Monday, July 27, 2009

Where Are We Going? - Monitoring Mission & Strategy standard

The following post was written by Mac Ryerse, who was the Project Manager for the Charities Review Council Standards Revision project and is a member of the Charities Review Council Board Development Committee.

Many nonprofits spend countless hours and dedicate resources to develop thoughtful and poignant mission statements and related strategies. Why, then, do these important guiding documents sometimes languish on bookshelves until a crisis compels their review?

This standard encourages nonprofits to annually review their mission and the strategies developed to accomplish the mission. Together with the Impact on the Community standard, both support regular monitoring of community impact and program effectiveness in the context of organizational strategies and overall mission.

The Independent Sector Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice notes that effective nonprofit boards should extend beyond routine monitoring of program activities and instead focus on a “more rigorous periodic evaluation of the organization’s overall impact and effectiveness in light of goals and objectives.” This activity also helps assure that donor resources are being used in ways consistent with the organization’s mission.

How often does your organization critically review its mission and strategy? How do you determine program effectiveness and your organization’s impact on the community?

Next standard: Governing Document Review

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