Foundation Operations: Communications-> Missions Language-> Communicating with the Community
How can we communicate our mission to the community?
A foundation's mission is an important statement to share with stakeholders such as nonprofit organizations, government, businesses, and other funders in the area. It provides everyone with a clear understanding of the foundation's strategic objectives and how it intends to achieve those objectives. For new health foundations in particular, a mission statement can be used to publicly state that the foundation has a purpose that is separate and distinct from that of any earlier associated enterprise. Health funders have used a number of different ways to get community input and feedback on their missions. According to GIH's 1999 survey of new health foundations, 2 in 5 new health foundations involved their local community in the initial development of the mission. Their methods included:
- consulting directly with area residents and neighbors through community forums,
- convening focus groups and public hearings,
- engaging the expertise of health professionals to gauge community needs,
- seeking consultation with public health officials and academic experts,
- creating professional advisory committees and community coalitions,and
- conducting both formal and informal needs assessments or feasibility studies.
In theory, a foundation should ensure that during its grant review and decisionmaking processes, each grant proposal is evaluated in terms of its consistency with the mission.