Nonprofit Mission Statement

Your nonprofit mission statement is a description of your organization’s purpose. Mission statements are usually short and specific. It is the reason your organization exists or what your organization intends to achieve.

When you recruit directors, the first thing they will want to know is what mission your organization will serve. Your mission statement will also be input to the “corporate purpose” listed on your articles of incorporation and used to qualify for 501(c).

Examples of Public Charity Mission Statements

To create content that educates, informs and inspires.

Public Broadcasting System (PBS)

To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

American Heart Association

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF fights for the survival and development of the world’s most vulnerable children and protects their basic human rights.

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.


Examples of Private Foundation Mission Statements

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a medical research organization whose scientists include many of the world's leaders in the fields of cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology. These HHMI investigators carry out research at universities and academic medical centers across the United States. In addition, the Institute has a grants program that is helping to enhance U.S. science education at all levels, from preschool through medical school. Through its grants program, HHMI also supports the research of outstanding biomedical scientists outside the United States.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Key Takeaways:

  1. Your nonprofit’s mission statement will guide your board of directors, members, and volunteers. Create a short specific mission statement.
  2. Draft a mission statement early on to explain your nonprofit to potential directors and as input to your corporate purpose on your articles of incorporation.

Continue reading “Types of Nonprofit Organizations”