Mission Focused = Mission Accomplished

What is your mission?  What is your focus?  Is it being accomplished?


Across America today, there are nonprofit executives focused on getting the mission accomplished.  They should be applauded by their donors, coworkers, and communities in which they serve.  But what is their focus?  Is it the mission or something else?

In a recent post by my good friend, Steve Holt (@sholtutm), he placed “What’s Your Mission?” as the first item regarding success with social media.  Honestly, my first response was what does you mission have to do with Tweeting, Facebooking, or Google+ing?

It is the most important thing for social media and EVERYTHING else you are doing.

Steve makes the point better than ever, and what I wanted to do is provide two easy questions you must ask yourself regarding staying mission focused.

  1. What is your mission? – We must start here.  If you can’t answer this question, don’t move on to #2 until you do.  This is the most important question you will ever answer regarding the success of you nonprofit.
  2. How does this support the mission? – How many times has a donor or staff member walked into your office with a great new idea, which they believe should be acted upon?  Without the filter of your organization’s mission, you would absolutely agree that it is a worthy cause.  Example:  Your organization is in the field of serving the homeless, and someone comes in with an idea to repair homes for elderly people who can’t afford to have it done themselves.  Granted, this is a very worthy cause, but your mission is to serve the homeless and these people are obviously not homeless.  I know you think this sounds blatantly obvious, but it happens every day to well meaning organizations and directors.  REFER TO #1!

BEWARE OF SUCCESS – If you run a great organization and one which others seem to emulate, be prepared for those leaders within your community to ask you to do things based on your prior success.  It will sound very tempting and they typically will remind you that they came to you because of the amazing job you are doing with _(fill in the blank)_.  REFER TO #1!

I am reminded of a sign I saw hanging in a McDonald’s one day.  It said:

#1 – The customer is always right.

#2 – If the customer is wrong…REFER TO #1

More insights and training coming soon to 501(c)(3) University!  Connect here!

FEEDBACK: What helps you stay mission focused?  Suggestions?

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