Benefits of an Individual Charitable Mission Statement

In our blog “Which Charitable Giving Strategy is Right for You?,” we discussed establishing a charitable giving strategy as a way to become more organized and impactful with your charitable dollars.

Another important element in developing your strategy is writing a charitable mission statement.

What is a Charitable Mission Statement?

A charitable mission statement is a short written piece which describes the purpose behind your giving. It outlines the reasons you give and the impact you would like to make. Schwab Charitable describes a mission statement as “your vision for change” including “your goals and how you expect to achieve them.”

How Does A Mission Statement Make Your Giving More Meaningful?

Fidelity Charitable cites the following benefits of a charitable mission statement:

  • It gives your giving focus. By identifying your priorities, decision making becomes easier.
  • It creates energy and makes giving more fun.
  • It creates a filter to help you say “no” to requests that are not aligned with what is most important to you. You have probably heard of the 80/20 rule. Such a rule can also be applied to charitable requests. Elaine Martyn with Fidelity Charitable recommends following an 80/20 rule for requests from friends, families, or other situations that just come up. “You can set aside some funds to support the things that are important to others you care about or to respond to a situation the really moves you,” she says. “But reserve the bulk of your giving for the things that really matter to you.”
  • You can make a greater impact over time. Your mission statement can identify what you wish to accomplish over defined periods of time, such as the next year, five years or longer. A mission statement also helps you zero in on organizations you would like to support and how you would like to support them.

To help you take the first step toward writing your mission statement, use Fidelity Charitable’s worksheet.

If you have questions or need help developing your charitable giving strategy and mission, please call me at (203) 972-8262 or send an email to me at valerie@htgadvisors.com.

Valerie Connolly, CFA

Valerie joined HTG in 2011 as a senior advisor. Drawing on 30 years of experience in financial services, she greatly enjoys collaborating with clients to shape their financial aspirations. Valerie takes a lead role in developing client investment plans, researching investment vehicles and developing firm-wide investment policy.

Valerie received a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from University of Chicago. She is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute, the New York Society of Security Analysts and CFA Society Stamford.