How can we avoid mission drift? Have a look at this research organisation’s response to the challenge:

“It is easy for institutions like us to become distracted from our vision and mission by funding or partnering organisations. What if, through the prospecting process, the potential for new research projects that are not in our current five-year plan are identified? These are then critically reviewed on the basis of their strategic potential to open up new areas of research.

More recently, the organisation has consciously linked its Advancement strategy to its strategic plan. This has made it easier for staff members to identify synergies between the organisation’s vision and work plans and the objectives of a particular founder. In the past, the organisation tended to be driven by donor demands. Now it is better able to provide donors with an impression of medium- to long-term objectives, and how it seeks to achieve these.

If all staff are acquainted with the organisation’s mission and vision, they will be better able to support Advancement. Having a clear approach to Advancement, both in thinking and action, has empowered staff and enriched what it is the organisation seeks to achieve.” – Striking the Rights Chord.

For additional resources see:


Judge, M. and Jones, S. (eds). 2012. Striking the Rights Chord: Perspectives on Advancement from Human Rights Organisations in South Africa. Cape Town. Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement (Adaptation of pages 56 to 57).

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