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Alex Rostorfer
Ms. Scott
Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations 2150
10 April 2015
Discussion Question 2
A nonprofit organizations performance is not dependent on the size of organization or
the amount of assets they have. Many other factors play a role in how successful and results
oriented that one may be. A couple of the best indications of whether a nonprofit is high
performing would be based on the organizations mission, vision, and strategy as well as the
impact and outcomes they have after serving their clients.
Mission statements are the guided statements or directions that the organization lives by,
just as a board does its bylaws. It keeps the organization running smoothly as everyone knows
what they are trying to accomplish. Mission statements are also known to be a marketing piece to
draw in staff and volunteers as well as donors and members. Mission statements drive the
nonprofits to do what they do because all organizational actions should be based off of that one
statement. According to M. Tschirhart et. al., when the mission statement is well defined it gives
organizational leaders a sense of the reality, the social problem, and an approach to problem
solving. The mission statement is like the center of a dart board or a target in which all other
aspects of the operations or layers revolve around it.
When crafted well, the mission statement can lead an organization to high performance.
If the organization has a stronger mission in which they follow thoroughly, they are more likely
to have better results compared to one that doesnt have a strong foundation or one that is not
followed. A strong mission statement by definition is one that clearly describes the purpose, the

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value it brings, and states who it helps, says P. Hull. Quality of direction in the mission
statement is important in order to follow through on accomplishing organizational expectations.
The mission is like the heart of the organization. When people have passion for something they
are more likely to put more effort into doing whatever it is they are partaking in and this
statement as a marketing piece can bring in people who are more likely to perform better.
According to C. Groscurth, a great mission drives loyalty, fosters customer engagement, and can
improve strategy. The mission statement can also be used to look back on when the organization
is in any crises or confusion and will help guide decisions in question. The depth of the mission
statement will determine whether the organization will be guided properly in supporting a need.
The vision is what the organization sees that it wants to accomplish. It combines the
organizations mission and value statement, and clearly states what they want to achieve. It also
serves the purpose of another defining statement that helps people better understand what they
are trying to achieve in the mission statement. It defines accomplishment. The purpose is not met
without saying that this was achieved. The vision acts as a finish line on a map in which an
organization will follow from the starting point which is when the mission is formed.
The vision assists the mission statement in indicating high performance because it brings
value to the purpose. It inspires or motivates employees to work towards achieving the end
result. This drive helps the organization adapt to the changes needed to provide the best service.
If the vision is stated clearly and effectively, stakeholders can see the desire to prosper. The
desire in return pushes the employees to work more efficiently.
Strategy is the plan to help fulfill the mission and vision. It later plays into impact as it is
the ideal design to make the most results. The strategy becomes part of this performance
indication as it explains the process of getting to the result to stakeholders. It indicates the

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different aspects of internal and external factors that either will be used to the organizations
advantage or pose a challenge or barrier to the goals they are trying to achieve. The organization
can then make plans to work with and around those factors.
A well-developed strategic plan helps guide practices to fulfill the mission and complete
the goals of an organization. G. Gifford restates in her article that 93% of the nonprofits
reporting success in the Arkansas study mentioned that the strategic plan played a major role in
that success. Typically revisiting this plan in leadership meetings helps make it the most
effective because they can adjust to the changes needed based on client feedback. The plan
focuses systemically on the need and sets alternative actions based on goals to be able to better
respond to changes. In return, they can continue to have the resources needed to continue their
support.
Impact and outcome is an indicator as it they are quantifiable results to the actions of the
nonprofit. Numerical data acts as an indication of performance through high or low values. By
asking if the program impacted people, the organization can determine whether the programs are
effective. Impact on a systemic level is the most basic indicator that the programs or actions
work well in supporting a need. The organization will ask what business is unfinished. They can
only say none if they made a large impact and if they have made a difference in providing the
service needed. This should be when the problem no longer exists. Impact may be hard to define
but when we put a number value to it we can see if what the nonprofit does works well for the
most amount of people in that area of need.
The level of impact an organization has can tell stakeholders how much they are making
a difference in their clients lives. In a study completed by the Association of Strategic Planning,
88% of those nonprofits that claimed to have high success also claimed that they had high impact

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on the area they were serving. Numerical data is factual data that explains the outcome whether
the organization has had high or low impact. This can also be used continuously as a benchmark
at different periods as the organization can see whether it needs to improve and can also make
changes to continue to achieve better results in the future. That then correlates with high or low
performance.
These factors cover the foundational and big picture view on indicating the performance
of nonprofit organizations. The best mission, vision, and strategy statements work together and
can add a competitive advantage for an organization and therefore, would be a great indicator of
high performance. Quantifiable results such as the impact and outcome are great for looking at
the full picture action to reflect on work in determining whether their work was successful. We
cannot say that one factor is the best indicator of performance as we know all nonprofits are
different. However, these factors stated above can work best for the most amount of nonprofits
as it covers some of the most important aspects of and an organization in a wide variety of
performance areas.

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Works Cited
Tschirhart, Mary and Bielefeld, Wolfgang. Managing Nonprofit Organizations. Page 418. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint, 2012. Print.
Association of Strategic Planning. Strategic Planning Practices Result in Higher Performing
Nonprofits. Association of Strategic Planning and University of Arkansas. 23 April
2013. Web. 08 April 2015.
Gifford, Gayle. Strategic Planning Practices in High Performing Nonprofits. Cause & Effect
Inc. 17 October 2013. Web. 08 April 2015.
Groscurth, Chris. Mission Drives Performance. Gallup. Web. 08 April 2015.
Hull, Patrick. Answer 4 Questions to Get a Great Mission Statement. Forbes. 01 October
2013. Web. 08 April 2015.