Mission & Deeds
Start by identifying the charities you want to support
A good place to begin is with people you know and trust. Talk to friends and family about the organizations they support, and find out why.
When you are ready to learn more about a specific charity, start with the mission statement. Your first concern is whether the mission is in line with your charitable goals.
A good mission statement is brief, easy to understand, and clearly articulates both the primary purpose of the organization and the community it seeks to serve.
Where to find the mission statement
If the nonprofit organization has a web site, start there. Look on the home page or in sections that provide background information on the organization's purpose, programs, or history.
If the organization does not have a web site, you can Research with GuideStar® to learn how to access a charity's report online.
You can always contact the charity directly and request its annual report.
Do the deeds fulfill the mission?
An organization's programs should be derived directly from its mission statement.
- Do the nonprofit's programs clearly address the purpose spelled out in its mission?
- Does the organization measure and communicate the impact of those programs? For example, if the mission is to provide job skills, does the organization track and report how many individuals signed up for job training, how many completed the training program, and how often that training resulted in employment?
- What role will your charitable dollars play in supporting these programs and, ultimately, in fulfilling the mission?