July 13, 2012
NEW YORK CITY—The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS (AGO) announces a newly adopted mission statement, which was approved by the AGO National Council at its July 2012 meeting in Nashville. The new mission statement begins with a succinct, memorable statement that focuses on how the AGO makes a difference in the world. It is followed by a list of goals that help define how the mission will be accomplished.
The mission of the American Guild of Organists is to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
To achieve this, we:
• Encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music;
• Inspire, educate, and offer certification for organists and choral conductors;
• Provide networking, fellowship, and mutual support;
• Nurture future generations of organists;
• Promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles; and
• Engage wider audiences with organ and choral music.
“The new mission focuses on more than just serving the needs of dues-paying members,” declared AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “This is a mission that gives the work of the Guild meaning in the context of our society.”
The Guild’s prior mission statement was developed early in 1998. Over the last three years, the AGO National Council and various task forces have reviewed AGO members’ responses to a long-range planning questionnaire to determine what is most important to members and consider afresh what the Guild should plan to achieve organizationally.
In 2011, a task force was formed to develop a new mission statement. Members of the task force were AGO Councillor for Region IX Leslie Wolf Robb, Director; AGO Treasurer Calvert Johnson; AGO Councillor for Region VI Jan Kraybill; and AGO President Eileen Guenther (ex officio). The task force drafted three mission statement options and asked AGO members to complete an online survey in April 2012. Based upon the responses of Guild members, the AGO National Council endorsed the new mission statement to challenge, energize, and equip AGO members to continue and expand the work of the Guild both now and in the years to come.
“The Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations defines a mission statement as ‘What you intend to accomplish, your organization’s overall goal, the reason you exist’,” stated AGO President Eileen Guenther. “Other books on leadership define it as what an organization can do uniquely—better than any other organization. Not-for-profit organizations must revisit their mission statements periodically to be sure they reflect current environmental realities as well as the organization’s current needs and objectives.”
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. The Guild currently serves approximately 19,000 members in more than 300 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. The American Organist Magazine, the official journal of the AGO and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers each month.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists and The American Organist Magazine. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman by TEL (212) 870-2310, FAX (212) 870-2163 or E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org.