Foundation Operations: Communications-> Missions Language-> Communicating with the Community - GIH Skip Navigation

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.

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