Mission statement for a non profit
When we design websites for non-profits, there is a tendency for the organization to focus on the Mission Statement as front and center content on the homepage. In our expert opinion, your mission statement might be a very long paragraph, and putting that on a homepage is, with certainty, NOT BEING READ by the average person who visits your website. Mission statements are great for donor presentations, and grant applications, but the majority of people who visit your website are coming for a few top reasons:
Top reasons people visit a non-profit website
There are many reasons why people visit your website, depending on what kind of non-profit you are, what services you offer, etc. Many of their reasons for being on your website are based on who the site visitor is. These are the top reasons they visit — and it is not to read your mission statement:
- Looking for help based on the programs and services you offer.
- Seeking information on how you can help them.
- Career opportunities.
- Volunteer opportunities.
- Donations and to support your cause.
- Information on why to give you funding (grantor or sponsor.)
- Events that you might offer
- News of your organization
- Success Stories
Where should a mission statement for a non-profit be on a website
We are NOT saying do away with your mission statement on your homepage completely, but the complete mission statement taking up a full top area on your website will not help your website goals given the short time span (under 2 minutes) that you have to catch a person’s attention. Here are two before and after examples of how you CAN utilize a mission statement for a non profit on your website. We advocate having two types of mission statements: one short and sweet for the homepage and another longer version for an inside “about us” page. Clear here for many examples of non-profit mission statements.
Example 1: Cerebral Palsy
Before – Takes a long time to read
Provide a continuum of community-based services that support the efforts of children and adults with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible in the least restrictive environment through personal involvement, individual decision-making is supported and encouraged to enhance the control of a person over their own lives and foster self-sufficiency the general areas of service include, but are not limited to, physical, mental and speech.
After – Short and can fit easily under a hero image
We empower children and adults living with Cerebral Palsy to live independently in the least restrictive environment by encouraging individual decision-making and fostering self-sufficiency.
Example 2: J Paul Getty
Weaving together the presentation, enjoyment, study, and conservation of the visual arts in order to increase the public’s knowledge and sensitivity, expand its awareness and creativity, and sharpen its understanding and caring — all with the conviction that cultural enlightenment and community involvement in the arts can help lead to a more civil society
After: Short and can easily fit under a hero image and people will read it. Yes, I understand it’s J Paul Getty but it’s TOO LONG!
Our goal is to promote the visual arts to create a more civil society through cultural enlightenment and community involvement.
What to include in a non-profit mission statement
- Purpose: Clearly state the organization’s primary purpose or reason for existence and even why you exist
- Beneficiaries: Identify the target beneficiaries or the specific group of people, animals, or communities the non-profit aims to serve or support.
- Cause: Define the issue or cause that the non-profit is dedicated to addressing and improving.
- Activities: Briefly describe the main activities or programs the non-profit undertakes to fulfill its mission.
- Values: Highlight the guiding principles or core values that govern the organization’s work.
- Impact: Specify the desired impact or outcomes the non-profit seeks to achieve in the long run.
- Uniqueness: Convey what sets the organization apart or makes it distinct in its approach to tackling the identified issues.
- Vision: Optionally, include a statement about the organization’s vision for the future and its aspirations.
A well-crafted mission statement succinctly communicates the non-profit’s purpose and serves as a guiding statement for all its actions and decisions.
How to get started
Write down everything you think you know and then run it through ChatGBT. Then rewrite in your own voice. It is a great tool to get started writing a non-profit mission statement, but we also recommend running the final version through a plagiarism tool like Grammarly.