Tips for Writing a Mission Statement for a Charity or Fundraising Organization

goals, vision and mission word abstract - a collage of isolated text in letterpress wood type Fundraisers always function better when there is some type of mission or goal to motivate both the planners and the givers. If you have an ongoing charity, it is especially important to constantly advertise your mission statement to ensure that givers know what their money is going to. Writing a mission statement can be difficult, so we have broken it down into a few steps with extra tips to help you write a motivating, altruistic mission statement for any fundraising organization or charity.

Define Your Mission

Your mission is more than your current fundraiser. Focus your statement on your bigger efforts. Rather than sharing how you are trying to raise money for t-shirts for the local junior high, include language that shows your goal is to improve the educational experience for local students. Keep your mission broad enough to motivate even those who do not directly benefit from the donation.

Get Multiple Opinions and Perspectives

Whether you are planning for a back to school night or trying to raise money for your neighbor’s cancer treatment, you need the perspective of others to help you write a mission statement. Get input from as many people in the community as you can. Including others will increase your support base. A written brainstorming session with your co-organizers can quickly morph into the perfect mission statement if everyone is willing to listen.

Keep It Short and Simple

Your mission statement doesn’t need to include every goal you’ve ever had. It can be short, simple and to the point. You are going to be sharing it with your community every chance you get, and people tend to tune out if the statement is too long. Your statement should be strong enough to inspire, but short enough to easily communicate and remember.

Have It Written Professionally

When there is a typo or mistake in your mission statement, your organization instantly loses credibility. If you aren’t a writer and don’t have one in your network, hire someone to professionally take your ideas and put them down on paper. A good writer will avoid stilted language and jargon and ensure that your statement flows smoothly. Hiring a writer also ensures that your mission appeals to a broader audience.

Update It Frequently

Your goals will change over time, and your mission statement should reflect that. While you want to keep the general idea the same, it is a good idea to revisit your statement once a year and change any outdated information.

Things to Avoid When Writing a Mission Statement

Once you know how to write your mission statement, you can run it through some simple tests to make sure it is done right. Read through your statement and make sure it doesn’t include any of the following:

  • Generalities like “eradicating poverty” or “saving the world”
  • Passive voice; always use active voice
  • Formal, stilted language
  • Jargon that is specific to one industry that the average person wouldn’t understand
  • Focus on your group rather than the people you are helping

Designing a strong mission statement can motivate and inspire your organizers, your volunteers and your community to not only give, but to become invested in your organization and your goals long-term.