Regardless of their size, most businesses have some sort of mission statement meant to guide the focus and general intent of their daily activities. But it’s not only the typical business that benefits from the clarity of a mission statement. Many non-conventional organizations, as well as sole proprietorships, have them: poetry websites, yoga studios, and classic car dealers — just to name a few. Even some families craft mission statements to direct and guide their daily communication and function in their lives together.
Why develop a mission statement for your donor advised fund?
Developing a mission statement for your donor advised fund will clarify and give focus to your philanthropic giving. When writing out a statement for your charitable giving, try to stay as clear and concise as possible. Some of the best mission statements are between one and four sentences, but you can always go longer, if necessary.
If you plan to involve extended family and younger generations in the philanthropic process, it’s a good idea to invite them to help develop the mission statement as well. Giving all family members an opportunity to contribute to the process will foster a sense of belonging and inspire a deeper concern for the overall purpose.
When you begin the dialogue about developing a mission, asking the following questions may help fuel ideas and creativity:
- What common values will guide your family’s philanthropic giving? For instance, discuss ideas, traditions, experiences, and important events that influence your family culture and make it unique.
- What needs or issues do you hope to address and impact with your giving? In other words, what do you hope to achieve? Perhaps your family places a high value on academic excellence, sustainable environments, green spaces, or community development. Choose a cause that ignites passions and energizes even the youngest family members.
- How will you choose which charities will receive grants? Discuss and agree upon criteria that any chosen charities must meet to become candidates for consideration.
- How will you measure progress? Decide upon what indicators demonstrate your efforts are having a positive impact.
Once completed, your donor advised fund mission statement will act as the driving force behind your philanthropic giving strategy. It will speak specifically to the charitable mission and purpose, but should also allow for flexibility as time passes. So go ahead and give it a try!