Having a Clear Mission

I finished reading “Managing the Nonprofit Organization” by Peter Drucker, the book that I mentioned in my last post, and in post-reading reflection I thought that the book covered some great topics that were really relevant to running a nonprofit organization.

First and foremost, I want to reflect on the importance of having a clear mission for the organization.  Looking back at one of the organizations I’ve worked with, one significant problem that I had to deal with was the lack of clarity on the mission.  Without a clear mission, organizations fail to organize their programs and activities to support it, and end up chasing different loose ends at the whim of their respective leadership.  So what can organizations do to prevent this lack of direction from the beginning?

It’s important that the mission of the organization is focused on delivering the organization to it’s vision articulated in the vision statement.  Drawing the mission down from the vision will help the organization work towards a goal that makes sense.  Along with that, it’s important to evaluate the mission to ensure that the organization is actually serving the population appropriately.

Although I’ve only got a basic view of what a mission should be, I’ve definitely realized  the importance of it.  A lot of the time people have great ideas for programs, but they don’t think about how the program will fit with the organization as a whole.  I think having that overall picture is what separates a program director from a nonprofit executive.

Drucker emphasizes three things: opportunities; competencies; and commitment.  Does the mission take into consideration all these items?  If not, how can an organization take those three items into account?

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