Run-on Missions Bite the Dust!

June 25, 2014

We have enjoyed some great content published over the last couple of years highlighting the importance of mission statements with eight words or less.  Speaking from a funder’s point of view, there is incredible value in getting right to the point.

Eight-word mission statements do not attempt to define every activity your organization carries out. They include action words. And, most importantly, they are short enough to remember.

As we get ready to embark on another partnership with Sarasota Magazine, the publisher of the annual Guide to Giving magazine listing local nonprofit organizations and sharing moving feature stories, we urge you to take a look at your organization’s mission statement in The Giving Partner.

We have discovered some thesis-style mission statements hiding there! These run-on missions are complicated and sometimes confusing. If you can’t articulate your mission in a simple sentence or phrase, you are asking yourself and others to remember too much. And you may be inadvertently asking someone else to slice and dice your mission for you during the editing process. (Don’t let your nonprofit fall victim!)

As you are re-visiting your mission statement, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How many words are in your mission statement?
  2. Can your staff and board members recite the mission with ease?
  3. How can you cut right to the chase?

On Tuesday morning we issued a challenge on The Giving Partner’s Facebook page: in three words or less, describe your organization’s mission. It was met with enthusiasm by some talented nonprofit staff who had no trouble dipping into the heart of what they do without long-winded explanations.

Take a look at what some of your peers were able to do in boiling down their missions to three-word taglines. Bravo!



Can you do the same for your organization?

Visit our Facebook page to see the other great nonprofit responses. And don’t forget to check your profile online in The Giving Partner to tune up your mission statement.

Enjoy your Wednesday!




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