How to Develop Your Core Values Statement as a Nonprofit Organization

how to develop your core values statement

Creating a core values statement for your nonprofit organization is an important step in the establishment and growth of your nonprofit. A values statement helps to guide all aspects of your nonprofit, from the mission and vision, to how you make decisions and interact with others. This article will help entrepreneurs understand how to develop their core values statement and incorporate it into their nonprofit’s communication plan and mission statement, explaining why it is needed for effective organizational functioning.


What is a Values Statement?

A values statement is a written declaration of the core beliefs that guide an individual or organization. These values serve as a filter for decision-making and help shape the culture of the nonprofit. The values of a nonprofit should align with its mission and vision, and should be reflected in all aspects of the organization.


How Does a Values Statement Benefit Your Organization?

There are many benefits to creating a values statement for your nonprofit organization. A values statement can help to:

– Define the culture of your nonprofit and help to create a positive work environment

– Guide decision-making at all levels of the organization

– Attract like-minded individuals to your nonprofit

– Keep the nonprofit focused on its mission


How to Develop a Values Statement

Developing a values statement for your nonprofit organization does not have to be a complicated process. Follow these steps to get started:

Decide Which Values Are Important to the Organization:  The first step in developing a values statement is to decide which values are important to the organization. What is the primary goal of your nonprofit? What are the core beliefs that guide your nonprofit? These are the values that you will want to include in your statement.

Assemble a Few People to Write Statements: Once you have decided which values are important to the nonprofit, assemble a small group of people to write statements about each value. This group should include individuals from different levels of the organization, as well as individuals with different perspectives.

Brainstorm Options:  After the group has written statements about each value, it is time to brainstorm options. What are some ways that you can phrase the values? How can you make the values more concise? What are some alternative ways to express the same idea?

Narrow Down the Options: Once you have brainstormed options, it is time to narrow down the list. Which values statement best reflects the mission and vision of your nonprofit? Which values statement do you think will be most effective in guiding the nonprofit?

Finalize the Statement:  After you have narrowed down the list of options, it is time to finalize the statement. This is the version of the values statement that you will use going forward. Make sure to review it with the group that helped to create it and get feedback from other stakeholders before finalizing.

Post the Statement: When the values statement is finalized, it is time to post it in a place where everyone in the organization can see it. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of the core values of your nonprofit and can use them as a guide in their work.

Review the Statement Regularly:  It is important to review the values statement on a regular basis to ensure that it still reflects the mission and vision of your nonprofit. As the nonprofit grows and changes, the values statement may need to be updated.


Examples of Great Values Statements

Below are some examples of great values statements from nonprofit organizations:

– The American Red Cross: “The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.”

– Habitat for Humanity International: “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

– Make-A-Wish Foundation: “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”



Developing a values statement is an important step for any nonprofit organization. A values statement can help to define the culture of the nonprofit, attract like-minded individuals, and keep the nonprofit focused on its mission. Follow the steps above to develop a values statement that guides your nonprofit in your purpose.