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The Link Between Strategy and Mission for Nonprofits

We often hear the term strategy thrown out, sometimes too often, it’s a good buzz word within business as well as nonprofits. But how does your strategy tie into your mission as a nonprofit. Are they aligned and running in sync? To function, they need to run hand in hand and they need to be both song and verse of your communications. Let’s look at some examples of how to accomplish this and accomplish it well.

Annual Giving and Fundraising

At the very least your fundraising should be supporting your mission, but really how do your benefits align to your mission. Can your benefits properly align the interests of donors to further your mission. Let’s look at an economic development agency as an example, take any CID district that also has a membership component, do the benefits of the membership component align to the growth of the district? Can the benefits better support the businesses, apartments, restaurants and stores? Will providing discounts within them provide more business to them and strengthen their value? Will exclusive member events at those locations provide them better notoriety or publicity? Taking a look at your benefits package to align to your mission can provide two key returns: you will align your mission to your donor community and strengthen your messaging moving forward.


Often times you are communicating your mission as a nonprofit, but as more and more access to communications tools become available are you using them properly. Looking at a leadership development agency, you have a mission of improving the community around you to become better leaders. Through a podcast you are able to highlight your own agency, but this can be very labor intensive and you may struggle to come up with unique content. Instead of focusing on yourself, looking at those going through the program as potential interviews can provide a way to share your mission through your questions but also highlight the quality of students you’re working with. Others can now see themselves in the program as they relate to the interviews and you have the added benefit of elevating the visibility of your students giving them added value to your program.

We see time and again where these and other areas get explored and sometimes embarked upon that lead to mission creep or loss of focus, make sure everything you are doing aligns to your overall mission. It’s truly the best way to make sure your organization is aligned from Board to Intern and from Donor to CEO.