Thursday, March 27, 2014

If Not-For-Profit, Then For What?

We can’t figure out what to call ourselves.

I most often hear “non-profit” or “not-for-profit,” but both describe what we are NOT – not what we are FOR.

We certainly aren’t for loss – though some organizations are mistakenly managed this way!

We have tried so many alternative labels:  philanthropic, independent sector, social sector, non-governmental, mission-based, charity, etc.

Part of the challenge is that we are FOR so many things.

We’re for healthy kids, for a green planet, for well-educated young people, for the arts, for cures to illnesses, for everyone being well-nourished, for the humanities, for everyone having safe affordable housing, and the list goes on and on and on. 

Here’s an idea, let’s try “Mission Impact Organizations.”  That’s what we are and what we are FOR.  We all have that in common!  No?  You don’t think it would catch on?

Hmmm.  Well, while it would be nice to come up with a new label for our sector, maybe we just need to make sure that each organization clearly communicates what they are here FOR.  And this is communicated in our mission statements.

We need to be clear on our IMPACT (the difference we make) and AIM (for whom/what) when we state our mission.  For a mission statement mini-case, check this link.  Make sure that you are clear on your Mission Impact so people know what you are here FOR.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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