Tip 40: Avoid Mission Creep

05 Apr 2017 3:09 PM | Heather Kaye (Administrator)

“Financial need makes it difficult for leaders to turn down money for programs, even if those programs are not a good fit. If proposed federal budget cuts come to pass in 2017, that pull may become even stronger.” says Rebecca Koenig in her recent article in The Chronical of Philanthropy.

Nonprofits are already bracing for sweeping reductions in a lot of their programs. As the government retracts or retreats from providing the amount of social services people need, I think a lot of governments are going to be relying on nonprofits to fill the void.
Larry Checco, Nonprofit consultant
Five Tips for Nonprofit Leaders to Avoid ‘Mission Creep’
How can you stay true to your organization’s mission and focused on your main objectives? 
  1. Make a mission statement and a strategic plan. A clear, strong mission statement is the best way to stay on target.
  2. Make your mission clear to supporters. Marketing your mission accurately can help bring in money for programs you’re qualified to run. If your marketing doesn’t match your mission, you may need to revise how you sell your organization.
  3. Run new ideas past a team of leaders. Frequently checking ideas with organization leaders, such as the executive team or the governing board, will help your nonprofit stay on track. Other groups can help, too.
  4. Seek new, mission-appropriate revenue opportunities. Bringing in money that matches your mission requires your nonprofit to make its expertise visible to potential partners and consumers
  5. Suggest other outlets to help. But just because your nonprofit can’t serve someone doesn’t mean that you can’t help at all. Be available to offer options.
In the nonprofit world, you only have one chance to have success with a program. If the outcomes are not good, that reflects on your organization. Taking money for things you’re not equipped to do turns into something negative.
Sofia Crisp
Executive Director of Housing Consultants Group

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