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The 1 Thing Missing from MOST Nonprofit Mission Statements

The 1 Thing Missing from MOST Nonprofit Mission Statements

To be honest, most nonprofits could probably miss a few words and try to shorten their mission statements. A mission statement is a short, clear sentence that articulates the main goal of a nonprofit. It should be specific, idealistic, and inspiring. A good mission statement will guide the actions of an organization and help it stay focused on its goals. 

Before we get to what is really missing from many nonprofit mission statements, lets explore the 4 key elements of a mission statement. Or just scroll down if you’re impatient. 

4 Key Elements of a Nonprofit Mission Statement:

Kind of like putting together Ikea furniture, these steps might sound easy until something doesn’t perfectly fit correctly and you reach for the hammer. Find a nonprofit strategic planning expert to help with this process. Or try having an AI Mission Statement generator help you create a draft.

1. The problem you're trying to solve: A good mission statement must articulate the problem that your nonprofit is trying to solve. 

What need are you trying to meet? 

What population are you trying to help? 

Why does this problem exist?

2. Your solution: Once you've articulated the problem, you need to explain how your nonprofit plans to solve it. This is a chance to showcase an innovative approach to solving a problem.

What will your organization do to meet the need? 

How will you make a difference?

3. Your target population: Unless you are a Google Search, your nonprofit doesn’t serve everyone under the sun. While the impacts of your work may help the world, it must start somewhere, with someone. 

Who will your organization serve? 
Can you explain this specific group of people or geographic area?

4. Your values: Your values should be more than just buzzwords; they should be something that you truly believe in and that drives your work. So, if you could just copy and paste these kinds of values “trustworthy” or “honest” from the local bank pamphlet it might be worth digging deeper. 

What guiding principles will inform your work? This might include items like social justice, equity, or environmental stewardship. 

What would your community say if asked?

Ok, ok, you’ve scrolled far enough for the real answer :) 

What is missing from most?

Nonprofit organizations often have missions that are longer and more detailed than for-profit businesses. But despite this, many mission statements are missing a key ingredient: 


Passion is what drives nonprofit organizations to succeed. It is what motivates employees and volunteers to do their best work. Passion is also what attracts donors and supporters to your cause.

If your mission statement does not reflect the passion of your organization, it is time to revise it. Passionate mission statements inspire action and create a sense of urgency that can help your nonprofit achieve its goals. Find a nonprofit strategic planning expert to help with this process.