A New Year’s Resolution for Your Nonprofit

“A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

How many New Year’s resolutions have you made?

Now is the time – new year, new decade, and new beginnings!

Now is also a good time to review and refresh, recalibrate and re-energize your organization – and for applying that to a renewed look at your mission and possibly even your vision statement.

Do your mission and vision still ring true or have they become “Mission Impossible”!

Sometimes the mission that we created many years ago becomes outdated and old. It no longer speaks to the aspirations of the organization, and it no longer inspires your donors. The same is true of the vision statement.

Do you even know your mission statement?

In many organizations, it would be difficult to find anyone who could recite the mission statement. If that is the case in your organization, it may be a sign that this is the moment to renew. Many mission statements are long, rambling, and infinitely forgettable!

Bear in mind as you create a mission statement that it should be easy to remember and succinct – defining who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

Asking yourself the following questions will help to formulate your ideas and bring your mission statement to life:

  • If your organization did not exist, what would happen?
  • If anything were possible, what impact would you want to have?
  • What problem or problems are you solving?

Try to describe your organization in a few key words, keeping it as succinct as possible.

While facilitating mission statement workshops, I have seen how energized, excited, and motivated people become. The passion is palpable and new thoughts and ideas abound, culminating in a renewed vigor and energy, which ultimately increases all activity.

January and February, which are often the quieter months of the year, are a good time to re-engage with your constituents, perhaps bringing in those closest to you for a brainstorming session around your mission. Why don’t you suggest to leadership that a review of the mission statement would be the perfect opportunity to reach out and remind those more distant pr­­ospects why you do what you do?

Many times, bringing in an outside facilitator provides the right environment to achieve maximum cooperation and effective results.

So pick up your pens, shake off those cobwebs, and let’s renew the inspiration and allow the dreams to become realities!

Jane Narich is a Senior Vice President with Graham-Pelton. Contact her directly via email or by calling 800-608-7955.

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