39 Examples of Nonprofit Mission Statements

A quick Google search of “How to write a mission statement” will give you over 7.1 million results. Depending on who you ask, a mission statement is either one of the most important or least important documents for your nonprofit. How do you cut through the noise and figure out what your nonprofit’s mission statement should include?

We break it down into three key elements:
1. Who you are
2. What you do
3. Why you do it

1. Who you are

The first part of your mission statement should be a clear and concise description of who your nonprofit is. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that not everyone is familiar with your organization, especially if you’re just getting started. 

Make sure to include any important keywords that someone might use to search for your organization online. For example, if you’re a food bank serving the community in which you’re located, be sure to include that in your mission statement so people can easily find you when they’re searching for help. 

2. What you do

The second part of your mission statement should describe what your nonprofit does on a day-to-day basis. This is where you can get creative and really capture the essence of what makes your organization special. 

Think about the unique services or programs that you offer and how they benefit those who receive them. You can also mention any awards or recognition that your nonprofit has received in this section as well.

3. Why you do it

The final part of your mission statement should explain the fundamental reasons behind why your nonprofit exists. This is your chance to get to the heart of what drives your organization and what sets it apart from others like it. 

Your “why” should be more than just a vague statement about making the world a better place. It should be specific and personal, captured in a way that will resonate with everyone who reads it. 

The best mission statements are those that are clear, concise, and capture the true essence of what makes your nonprofit unique. By including all three of these key elements, you can be sure that yours will do just that.

Examples of Nonprofit Mission Statements

For fun, here are some popular nonprofits and their mission statements. Each one has an emoji rating for the three elements of Who, What Why. We also do this to show how hard it is, even for the best nonprofits in the US to fit it all into one concise statement.

Emoji Rating System

Here is a super scientific and not at all subjective {insert sarcasm} look at a simple grading system of some nonprofit mission statements. Keep in mind that these organizations have their own models and templates of what to prioritize and communicate in a mission statement. We are not THE EXPERTS in mission statements, but rather like to show organizations how the might approach the daunting process of mission statement creation. In short no one asked us to grade these, so please take with not just a grain of salt but perhaps the whole shaker…

馃ぉ = Wow, that鈥檚 awesome
馃槂 = Really great
馃檪= Solid
馃= Had to think about it
馃= Not sure

  • Humane Society Of The United States: We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: a humane society.
    • Score: 馃ぉWho | 馃ぉWhat | 馃槂 Why
  • Habitat for Humanity: Seeking to put God鈥檚 love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
    • Score: 聽馃ぉWho | 馃ぉWhat | 馃槂 Why
  • GlobalGiving: To transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change.
    • Score: 馃槂 Who | 馃檪 What | 馃槂 Why
  • David And Lucile Packard Foundation: We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy resilient natural world.
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ |聽 Why馃ぉ
  • National Public Radio: 聽The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with Member Stations to create a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events,ideas, and cultures.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ |聽 Why馃ぉ
  • ASPCA The Mission of the ASPCA, as stated by Henry Bergh in 1866, is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ |聽 Why馃ぉ
  • Make a Wish America :聽 Together we create life changing wishes for children with critical illness.
    Score: Who 馃ぉ| What馃ぉ |聽 Why馃ぉ
  • The Nature Conservancy:. To conserve the land and waters on which all life depends.
    • Score: Who馃榾 | What 馃ぉ|聽 Why馃ぉ
  • International Rescue Committee: To help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ |聽 Why馃ぉ
  • Donors Choose : We make it easy to help a teachers in need , moving us closer to a nation, where students in every community Have the tools and experience they need for a great education.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What 馃ぉ|Why 馃ぉ
  • Kiva: We envision a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives.聽
    • Score: Who 聽馃檪| What 馃ぉ|Why馃ぉ
  • IFAW聽 – Animals and people thriving together.聽
    • Score: Who 馃槉| What 馃ぉ| Why 馃檪
  • World Animal Protection : Our mission is to create a better world for animals.聽
    • Score: Who 馃檪| What 馃ぉ|Why 馃槉
  • Doctors without Borders: Everyday doctors without borders teams deliver emergency medical aid to people in crisis, with humanitarian projects in more than 70 countries.聽
    • Score: Who 馃ぉ| What 馃ぉ|Why 馃ぉ
  • American Redcross: Prevents and alleviates suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.聽
    • Score: Who 馃ぉ| What 馃ぉ| Why 馃槃
  • ALSAC聽 – Advance cures and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of the founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or ability to pay.
    • Score: Who 馃ぉ| What馃ぉ| Why 馃ぉ
  • National Resources Defense Council 聽:聽 Safeguard the earth, its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems in which all life depends.l聽
    • Score: Who 馃槃| What 馃ぉ|Why 馃ぉ
  • World Wildlife Fund: To leverage sound science to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth聽
    • Score: Who 馃檪 | What馃ぉ| Why 馃ぉ
  • UNICEF USA : To pursue a more equitable world for every child.聽
    • Score: Who馃 | What馃槉 | Why 聽馃
  • Save The Children : Every child deserves a future. All over the world Save the children works to give children a healthy start in life. The opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When a crisis strikes, children are the most vulnerable. The first to respond and last to leave . Doing whatever it takes for the children everyday and in times of crisis. Transforming their lives and the future we share.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ| Why 馃ぉ (concise 馃)
  • Feeding America : A America where no one is hungry. To advance change in America by ensuring equitable access to nutritious food for all in partnership with food banks. Policy makers, supporters, and the communities we serve.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 聽馃ぉ (concise 馃)
  • YMCA Of the USA : To put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.聽
    • Score: Who馃槂 | What馃槂 | Why 聽馃ぉ
  • Salvation Army : An international movement, is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.
    • Score: Who馃槂 | What馃ぉ | Why馃ぉ (concise 馃)
  • Mayo Clinic : Inspiring hope and promoting health through integrated clinical practice, education and research.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 馃檪
  • Lung Cancer Foundation Of America : The improvement in survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science. While raising funds to support lung cancer research.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What 馃ぉ| Why 馃ぉ
  • Donate Life America : A nonprofit organization working to increase the number of donated organs, eye and tissue donors.To save and heal lives through transplants. While developing a culture where donations are embraced.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Planned Parenthood : To ensure all people have access to the care and resources they need to make decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Wounded Warrior Project : The transition to civilian life is a journey. We are here for their first steps and itchy step that follow. Because every warrior should have a positive future to look forward to.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Goodwill Industries : Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃榾 | Why馃ぉ聽
  • Special Olympics: The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic- type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other special olympic athletes and the community.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ | What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ聽 (concise 馃)
  • Second Harvest : At Second Harvest, it is believed that hunger is unacceptable. We distribute food through a network of more than 300 partners at over 900 ites across San Mateo counties.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Teach For America : Teach for America finds, develops, and supports a diverse network of leaders, working together to end educational inequity.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Compassion & Choices : Improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end of life journey.聽聽聽
    • Score: Who馃槂 |What馃榾 | Why馃檪聽
  • Media Justice : Building a powerful grassroots movement for a more just and participatory media. Fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in the digital age.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Fight Colorectal Cancer : We fight to cure colorectal cancer and serve as relentless champions of hope for all affected by this disease through informed patient support, impactful policy change, and breakthrough research endeavors.聽
    • Score: Who 馃ぉ|What 馃ぉ| Why 馃ぉ
  • Donor Alliance : Donor Alliance Saves lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why馃ぉ聽
  • News Literacy Project: The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit, is building a national movement to advance the practice of news literacy throughout American society, creating better informed, more engaged and more empowered individuals and ultimately a stronger democracy.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • Scratch Foundation: At the Scratch Foundation, our mission is to ensure that Scratch is available for free, for everyone, so that kids around the world can express their ideas through coding.聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ
  • JED Foundation : Jed believes that we can promote mental health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults by equipping them as individuals strengthening their campuses, and mobilixing the communities and infoluences in their lives.聽聽
    • Score: Who馃ぉ |What馃ぉ | Why 馃ぉ

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