Pro Tip of the Month: Live the Mission

Lisa Masters with her sons Brandon & Andrew

This month’s tip comes courtesy of Lisa Masters, the founder & CEO of Autism Life and Living

In the world of nonprofits, the mission is the guiding star that drives every action and decision. For many leaders, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and lose sight of why that mission matters so deeply. As a nonprofit leader myself, I’ve learned that the most powerful way to truly understand and serve those we aim to help is to live the mission.

For me, this lesson came from personal experience. As a single mother of two young men with autism, I intimately understood the challenges and gaps in services that families like mine face every day. This insight fueled my passion to found Autism Life and Living, a nonprofit dedicated to serving individuals with similar needs.

But simply believing in the mission isn’t enough. To make a real impact, nonprofit leaders must immerse themselves in the lives of those they serve. This means actively participating in programs, events and engagements that bring them closer to the community they work so tirelessly to support. By experiencing a mission moment, leaders gain invaluable insights into the diverse needs and experiences of their beneficiaries. They witness firsthand the transformative power of their programs and services, and the positive difference they make in people’s lives.

Immerse yourself in the experiences of those you serve, engage with them directly, and let their stories guide your work. Only then can we truly fulfill the promise of our missions and create lasting change in the world.

Autism Life and Living empowers young adults with autism by providing programs that promote inclusion, independence, socialization and well-being. For more information, visit

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