13 of the best Social Purpose Statement Examples

Previously, I shared 11 corporate purpose statement examples. I thought they were generic – many companies could claim the same statements.

Which raises the question: what does a great purpose statement look like?

Today I share 13 of the best social brands or not-for-profit organisation purpose statements. They’re better examples than the corporate ones because they’re more specific. This is likely due to the social enterprise being truly created from the point of view of purpose (and not something that is bolted on later).

NOTE: Watch the video before reading the blog post. I’ve shared each purpose statement as a game for you to play. See how many you can guess. It’s short and sharp and will get you thinking about your life and business purpose.


1 Red Cross

To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

The Red Cross (formally known as the International Committee of the Red Cross) purpose statement focuses on who they help and who helps them. They help people facing emergencies. And they do this through volunteers and donors.

2 World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

The World Wildlife Fund example has a clear strategy in its statement, “to conserve nature”. And they do this by addressing “the most pressing threats”.

3 Oxfam

To tackle poverty and the issues that fuel it, working to achieve lasting change.

The Oxfam purpose statement is similar to the Save The Children’s example (see below). It seeks to address the immediate problem but also make lasting change.

4 Habitat for Humanity

To build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

The Habitat for Humanity purpose statement is the simplest on this list. It’s for everyone and has the qualifying word ‘decent’ as key elements.


To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.

The NASA Purpose Statement is often compared to this one from the movie franchise, Star Trek.

To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Which one do you prefer, NASA or Star Trek? I prefer the Star Trek. But it’s worth remembering this is a sci-fi movie. In contrast, NASA is a publicly funded organisation that takes on real spaceflights, not imagined ones. 

6 Medecins Sans Frontiers

To provide medical care to those in crisis, regardless of their nationality or political affiliation.

The English translation of Medecins Sans Frontiers is Doctors Without Borders. Their purpose statement has two parts. The statement of who they serve. Plus a qualifying statement that strengthens it, ‘regardless of their nationality or political affiliation’. Without this, their purpose and their actions could easily be watered-down.

7 Amnesty International

To work towards a world where human rights are enjoyed by all, without discrimination or fear.

The Amnesty International purpose statement is made stronger by the tagline, ‘without discrimination or fear’. (similar to the previous example) Campaigning for human rights is a tough business. It’s filled with political power and this statement acknowledges this. It’s a strong addition of values to their purpose.

8 Save the Children

To inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

The Save The Children purpose statement is a good example of causing immediate impact and long-term value.


To protect the rights of every child, everywhere, by providing healthcare, education, and emergency aid, and by advocating for their well-being.

It’s worth comparing the two purpose statements of Save the Children and UNICEF. Both organisations focus on children. But their purpose statements are very different.

10 Greenpeace

To ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity and work towards a sustainable and equitable future.

The Greenpeace purpose statement is similar to the World Wildlife Fund. They both talk about ‘diversity of life’ but go about it very differently. WWF tend to focus tightly on the well-being of animals. Greenpeace tends to focus on broader issues of Climate and Energy, Biodiversity and Social and Economic issues. This is where your values and mission present a deeper or different take on things.

11 World Food Programme (WFP)

To end global hunger by addressing the root causes and ensuring that all people have access to sufficient, nutritious food.

The World Food Programme is part of the United Nations. Their purpose is clear. They want to address the real problem of global hunger. Compare this to Feeding America who is working on both ends of the problem – an immediate solution, plus an end to the problem.

12 Teach For All

To enlist, develop, and mobilize the leadership of educators worldwide to ensure that all children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The Teach For All purpose statement shows the importance of who to focus on. The end-user is children. But the way to influence and help children is through educators or teachers. Be clear on who you want to help and the best way to achieve that.

13 Feeding America

To feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger.

Feeding America‘s purpose statement stats two clear actions to take. First, we want to build “a nationwide network of member food banks”. Second, we want to raise awareness and engage people in the battle to end hunger. It’s providing an immediate solution while advocating for a final solution.

Four Tips to Write Your Purpose Statement

What can you learn from these 13 purpose statement examples? Here are four tips to help:

  1. You can be specific. Each of these examples is tightly aligned to what the organisation does. This contrasts with the examples of the corporate purpose statements in the previous post. The key difference is that a social organisation or not-for-profit is created to pursue a cause, whereas the corporates are not.
  2. Your purpose statement may include a statement of how you are going to fulfil your purpose. For instance, Feeding America has two clear actions – build a network of food banks and engage people in the general fight to end hunger.
  3. Many of these purpose statements are specific about who they serve. This ranges from children to America’s hungry to those in crisis (Medecins sans Frontier). This could be a good starting point for creating your purpose statement.
  4. Many of these examples share the dual purpose of impacting the immediate problem while also working to provide lasting change or end the problem. You might like to consider this when writing your purpose statement. What needs to be fixed now? And how do we prevent this from happening in the future?

More to help you create your Purpose Statement Example

Here are three related posts to help you write your purpose statement:


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