Is it time to write or revise your mission statement? The following outline will give you a start on getting all your ideas down and working toward those few but essential words you need.
A mission statement is a philosophical statement about the human or societal situation your organization addresses. It shares your purpose.
If used well, it will:
This last item is often the most critical. For example, during decision-making, ask, “Which choice brings us closer to achieving our mission? Why?” When resources are limited, you can use the mission statement in this way to help you say “no” to exciting but off-target opportunities.
Select some of the following questions to ask during a mission statement session:
In all honesty–work. Good mission statements are short, memorable, and inspiring. Usually, they combine group discussion, individual wordplay, and time to percolate. Once you have input from others and have narrowed your words to a handful of choices, place these ideas on stickies. Post them around your work area to look at for several days, stopping to replace terms and rewrite them as you move through your workday.
Our organization …
Good mission statements result in the following:
Here are some examples to inspire you; notice how succinct and inspiring they are:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
To end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.
Girl Scouts of the USA
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Florida Arts Council
More art for more people more of the time.
National Partnership for Women and Families (Yield Giving: $8 million grant)
To achieve health equity and secure a fair and just region through leadership, advocacy, and resources.
Meals on Wheels of Manatee (Yield Giving: Disclosure delayed)
To assist individuals to live independently by providing nutrition and caring, supportive services.
An emergency room (as reported by Peter Drucker)
To give assurance to the afflicted.
(This organization developed a corresponding goal to serve everyone within one minute.)
The Nature Conservancy
To preserve plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and water they need to survive.
The Salvation Army
To make citizens of the rejected.
Christian Congregation (with thanks to George Villa)
To know Christ and make Christ known.
For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.
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