Is your mission statement accomplishing its job?

Mike Reitelbach
J. Michael Reitelbach, CAE RCE IOM President

What is the mission of your association? Can your leaders and staff articulate it? More importantly, can they relate to it?

Mission statements have been overdone. Many are a waste of time. Everybody has one, but few really use it. It may be a bunch of nice words. It may even make a great soundbite.

But does it really mean anything? Does it accomplish something? Does it guide decision-making?

A strong mission statement is important to a nonprofit. It should serve to communicate why your association or society exists and what your purpose is. It should answer the questions of who you are, what you do and why you do it.

It should be clear, concise, unambiguous, motivational, realistic, relevant, understandable and uncomplicated.

You could even strive for inspirational and defining.

It is your job to drive focus on the mission statement. You must give constant reminders, provide training and communicate it to all audiences.”

Your association may have the greatest mission statement ever crafted. To be effective, however, the people in your organization must understand it.

They must buy into it. They must live it. They must walk the talk.

You can stimulate calls-to-action by asking your leaders what they have done to advance the mission. Print it on every board of directors’ agenda. Place it in your publications. Mention it every time you are on the podium.

See if your mission statement stands the test of time and use. Put your mission into practice. If people don’t take it seriously, rewrite it.

Persistent focus on the mission will help your association evolve and succeed.

One thought on “Is your mission statement accomplishing its job?”

  1. This is the first blog I’ve seen, Mike. The Mission Statement should not be an organizational exercise, but a philosophy, way of life for its community. Each organization takes on a personality of its own. It should reflect the passion that the organization was created. Looking forward to reading more.

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