by David Tandet
When a nonprofit positions itself as the best organization to provide the solution to a problem, it means staying the course for the distance. Three elements should be present for the agency to accomplish its goals and achieve mission integrity. These elements are fluid and can quickly disappear. Organizations that make attaining and holding on to them a priority have the greatest chance of success.
(1) A mission has the greatest chance of success if the agency’s board of directors is composed of
– board members who truly understand and believe in the agency’s mission;
– board members who are willing to take the time and expend the energy necessary to see the mission through; and
– board members whose combined life skills, work experience, and community contacts interact synergistically to advance a goal-oriented campaign toward ambitious, achievable objectives.
(2) A mission will have the greatest chance of success if the agency’s staff is headed by
– an administrator who truly understands and believes in the mission;
– an administrator who has respect for the function of the board and the staff, and is honest in evaluating how effectively each contributes to fulfilling the agency’s mission;
– an administrator who understands enough about the role of every staff member to be able to assess how successfully each member, or in the case of a larger organization – each department, is performing the job required.
(3) A mission will have the greatest chance of success if the agency’s staff is composed of
– staff members who truly understand and believe in the mission;
– staff members who have the work experience to properly perform their jobs, or the ability and enthusiasm to quickly learn how to effectively carry out the required tasks;
– staff members who understand enough about the functions of other staff members to be aware of how those members’ jobs contribute to fulfillment of the agency’s mission.
When all three requirements are met, adjustments that must be made due to funding challenges and evolving community issues can be made. The agency is on its way to effectively fulfilling its mission. Nonprofit mission integrity is achieved.