Sound Mission Statements Help Donor Organizations Stay on Course

Philanthropy is mutually beneficial to both the giver and the receiver. There are direct gains that improve the quality of life to both parties. People have a visceral need to connect and communicate with others. This creates the foundation for a thriving community. It involves minding about the well-being and growth of other people around you including neighbors, the local community, and causes important to you. Giving triggers your brain’s reward-pleasure system enabling you to realize happiness.


This premise explains why donor organizations go to great lengths to identify causes that are close to their hearts and by extension, closer to their ideal communities. The Denver Post has a great post on how philanthropy positively impacts the givers. Let us look at some of these benefits.


  • Donors have a general feeling of happiness and joy derived from their actions. As pointed out above, the brain responds to giving by producing “happiness-chemicals” into the body that reward us with joy. Additionally, investing in the growth and happiness of others directly improves our sense of prosperity.
  • Philanthropy works to improve the health and quality of life of both donors and receivers. Donors experience lower stress levels, an enhanced level of emotional maturity, and health. This consequently leads to better physical health and quality of life.
  • Givers are able to find meaning in their lives through philanthropy. They enjoy an increased sense of purpose. Additionally, starting a culture of giving early sets the stage for a longer, happier, and healthier life later on.
  • Deeper and stronger connections with people that share your beliefs create stronger communities. Donors care deeply concerned about the causes they support. Receivers are able to realize their life goals, improve their quality of life and end up feeling better towards their givers.

In a recent interview, River Cohen stated that it is vital for donor organizations to create a considerate mission statement. Cohen is a renowned financial technology expert who has dedicated his life to giving through RiverCohen Giving. He suggests there are three elements that should clearly illustrate the aims and values of the donor.


  • Identify a core philosophy including mutual beliefs, shared goals, and individual principles. This should be bold enough to serve as the pillars of the framework for giving.
  • It is prudent to consult widely to ensure the principles and frameworks created are flexible and robust enough to support the organization into the future. This ensures the donor organization stays on its intended course. It is also important to factor in the dynamic nature of deserving causes in relation to the fundamental beliefs of the founder.
  • Refine the mission statement to focus on activities that empower the organization to achieve the intended goal. Avoid over-reaching or getting derailed by issues that are not on the organization’s scope of operations

Serving others brings you joy and happiness. It enables stronger relationships between the donor and the receiver. Articulating clear mission statements helps the donor organization stay true to its cause and achieve the goals set out by the founders.


John Ross Jesensky