AGO National Council Adopts New Mission Statement

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) announced 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.”