Crafting Vision and Mission Statements
When conducting a strategic plan, it is important to ensure that the organization has clear vision and mission statements. Whether the organization is new or has been in existence for many years, the staff and board members should all know these statements by memory and should be able to recite them to potential donors and partners.
Prior to crafting, changing, or reviewing your vision and mission statement, it is important to understand what these statements should accomplish and how it can benefit a nonprofit organization.
Vision and a mission statements should articulate the spirit of your organization’s beliefs and define the organization’s place in the world. Both can help to establish the long-term direction of the organization and guide every aspect of day-to-day operations.
There are distinctions between the two, each having equal importance on today and the future. Vision statements should be very high-level, and should demonstrate how the organization will be successful. A mission statement, on the other hand, is a roadmap to guide members of an organization, with more specific steps toward success.
Below, we have formulated questions that should be asked when either reviewing or creating a vision and mission statement.
For a Vision Statement:
- What are the values that guide your work?
- What does success look like for your organization?
For a Mission Statement:
- What is your strategy for achieving your vision?
- Who is your organization benefiting?
Some other key points to consider when talking about vision and mission statements?
- Why are we doing this?
-What is the case for making this a priority?
- What does it mean to us?
-How do we define it?
- How will we make this happen?
-What are the key steps to making this a reality?
- How will we know we have succeeded?
-What measurements will we use to gauge our success?
Vision and mission statements for a nonprofit organization should be reviewed consistently so that members within the organization can be certain that they are following the correct path as outlined in these statements.
As stated earlier, the members of the organization need to be able to verbalize these statements. However, more importantly, they must understand the meaning behind these statements and how it relates to the organization’s definition of success.