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A mission statement is a summary of what an organization wants to do. It is a banner of intent held up to the world. It is also the most versatile tool in any nonprofit’s reach. The benefits of a concise declaration of goals are essential to attaining those goals.

The first reward of a good mission statement is how it affects personnel. The document generates an ongoing sense of purpose. Inspiring words cut through the daily grind and remind people of their initial passion. Everyone is on the same page, and there is no confusion. Teamwork intensifies, and overall morale increases.

Another advantage is how an organization appears to society. The complexities of establishing a respected position in the public arena can be greatly helped by a proper mission statement. By showing humanity the good things they intend, a nonprofit can attract like-minded people to their cause. They can also become more visible to those they wish to help.

A third asset to having a firm mission statement is identity. Ambiguity can lead to failure. Clearly stating intent can head off confusion on many levels. A hazy image presented to the public erodes confidence, but a vigorous promise to alleviate suffering or combat injustice garners trust. A solid identity also helps with the legalities of establishing and maintaining a nonprofit business.

The next thing to be gained from a statement is resource management. A clear sense of direction illuminates the areas that need attention. People know where they need to be. Required supplies move about in an environment structured by clarity. Everyone knows where the front lines are. Waste is minimalized.

The final benefit of a mission statement is its ability to act as a measuring stick. It is an unchanging set of standards exemplifying an organization’s reason for being. If the goals are being pursued, then the statement is serving its purpose. If the goals are not being pursued, then the statement can act as a guidepost to put things back on track.

The rewards of mission statements are clear. Not only do they present determined faces to the world; they also define goals and outline paths to achieving the best things humanity does for humanity. It is possible to function without one, but it is like reaching into the darkness rather than pursuing a visible target. A mission statement is like a roadmap. It shows the best route.