“Know Thyself” is a commonly referenced ancient Greek maxim. It is generally interpretted as meaning that in order to fully understand the world we must first understand ourselves.
For charities the proper place to start may actually be “Know Your Mission” … because if you do you can raise more money. Let me explain.
In a recent survey we conducted with over 700 respondents we asked non-profit volunteers and fundraisers if they could repeat the mission of the organization they were involved with. We then went on to ask them how likely it was they would ask a friend to donate to this charity. What we found further re-inforced the need for charity’s to have a crystal clear mission. We found that people who answered “Yes, Absolutely” they could repeat their charity’s mission were almsot 50% more likely to ask their friends for donations compared to people who said they could not repeat their charity’s mission.
In addition, the people who said they could repeat the mission were also 28% more likley to ask their friends to volunteer and 55% more likely to volunteer or fundraise for the charity in the future! In other words, the people who could repeat the charity’s mission are exactly the type of members we are looking for.
Now our survey didn’t establish causation so we can’t jump to quickly to conclusions (did knowing the mission cause people to want to ask their friends, did wanting to ask their friends cause them to know the charity’s mission or was it something else that caused both of these conditions)
However, if you don’t have a clear (and memorable) mission or you don’t think your members could repeat your mission, you might want to spend a few minutes preaching to the choir. In other words:
1) Write down your mission.
2) Keep it simple.
3) Repeat your mission over and over again, until everyone knows what it is.
Know Your Mission.