Build a Strong Board with a Clear Mission

Blog post by Janetta Cravens, Vice President of Programs

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits assists organizations across the state in gaining insight in board development and establishing best practices throughout the organization. In the Boot Camp for Boards, participants receive insider tips for oversight and management, recruitment techniques, strategic planning and a deep dive into your mission statement. All organizations, new and veteran, will benefit from the course – a stronger board with a clear mission is better able to serve the community.

Our mission is “building better communities through effective nonprofits,” and that starts with helping others build strong mission statements that provide clear direction for your organization:

What is Your Mission?

Before you begin writing your mission statement, you have to first define what exactly you are trying to accomplish in your organization. What do you believe in? What inspires you? Focus on the mission before putting pen to paper. How do you benefit the community? How do you assist your employees? Ask others how they would define what you do. Outside opinions might be different than yours. The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits can also be your outside source and help you define your core strengths.

What’s Your Story?

Now that you have decided what you do, it’s time to define why you do it. A good mission statement includes “the why.” It will differentiate you from the rest and give your mission emotion and a human aspect. Think of how organization first began and what made you excited to be part of it. Once you find and define your passion, the words will write themselves.

Time to Write!

Remember to use action verbs in your mission statement. It’s all about what you do after all. Some common action verbs are “build,” “transform,” “begin” and create. After you have drafted a few statements, cut them down. Wordiness might make your statement harder to remember or confuse employees and clients. Confusion about this mission statement can lead to disagreement or dissension. But if it’s not possible to narrow down the statement, it might be a good idea to adopt a shorter motto or phrase. OKCNP can help edit your mission statement and help you pick the important words to focus on.

Share Your Mission

Once you have finalized your organization’s statement, become a walking example of your mission. It isn’t enough that you’ve created your statement, it’s time to use it and exemplify it. Share it with others you come in contact with. Let the community know what you stand for and how you are there to help them. OKCNP helps you find your clear direction at the Boot Camp of Boards and will help you every step of the way.

Refine and Innovate

Every two or three years, it’s a good idea to revisit and refine your mission statement, so it is fresh and modified for your mission and work. Your organization will be known as an organization that is willing to innovate and change for the better.

Register for the Boot Camp for Boards to find your path and define your mission statement today.

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