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Showing posts from September, 2014

Stagnant or In Motion: What's Your Nonprofit's Mission?

WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT A NONPROFIT'S MISSION STATEMENT ANYWAY?  A recent exchange of emails with a museum client about their mission statement underscores the potential they can play in a nonprofit's growth and development.  I've been encouraging this client to go beyond the usual, inward-focused litany of activities that virtually every museum in the world cites as their mission.  Yes, museums collect and preserve stuff.  But if that's all they did, they'd be more like mausoleums than museums.

The museum director and his staff have had several robust discussions about what the museum does and the audiences they serve.  It's clear from their conversations that the museum is much more than a place full of stuff.  There's meaning and resonance there, too.  Sorting through that has been both an intellectual and emotional exercise.

Museums are not the only victims of tepid mission statements.  There are plenty of nonprofits of all stripes that hew to a lit…