Everything begins with defining the mission, described in Question 1. The mission statement outlines what the organization aims to achieve. It's the foundation upon which our actions and strategies are built.
The Plan > Translating Mission into Results: After defining the mission, it's essential to translate it into specific, measurable results or goals. These goals should be broken down into specific strategies. And should target specific customer or donor segments.
To be successful, we should focus on specific customer segments or donor groups instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, the American Heart Association segments donors with specific messages to raise funds effectively.
Competence | Opportunity | Commitment
Competence: Focus on our strengths and areas where we excel. Rather than trying to do everything for customers, we should concentrate on doing what aligns with our mission and what we do well.
Opportunity: Identifying opportunities and needs of our customer is crucial. We should determine where we can make a significant impact with our limited resources (people, money, and expertise).
Commitment: The commitment of champions to the mission is essential to grow mission impact. A dedicated and passionate team is more likely to achieve outstanding results.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Nonprofit Results Are External. Results of nonprofit organizations are seen outside the organization itself. For example, a teacher's results are the children who learn, not just what happens within the school. Focus the organization on helping its primary customer to survive or thrive.
Setting Realistic Goals: A clear definition of key performance indicators (KPIs) helps in setting realistic goals. We should regularly assess whether our activities align with our mission and if they produce outstanding results.
Resource Allocation: Concentrating resources on a few core activities is more effective than spreading them too thin on non-mission activities. When we focus on our strengths and resources on our mission, we make the most significant mission impact.
Prioritization: Evaluate every decision in terms of whether it increases our capacity to achieve our mission. Existing programs should be periodically assessed to ensure they still effectively contribute to the mission.
Don’t get trapped into doing the wrong things.
“There is nothing quite so useless,
as doing with great efficiency,
something that should not be done at all.”
The Five Most Important Questions begin with mission and translate it into results. Our plan unfolds through commitment, resource allocation, and focus into an action to achieve measurable results. Effective results align through our mission and strengths.
But it doesn’t stop with the results. There is a need for continuous evaluation and adaptation to ensure we remain effective in growing mission impact.
Mission > Plan of Action > Results to Grow Mission Impact.
"OK Wes, this is a great summary of Peter Drucker's five most important questions, but how can I create an action plan to grows mission impact?"
The problem most nonprofits struggle with, is not lack of effort. You work hard.
Nonprofits struggle with a lack of focus
lack of simple proven leadership tools.
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