Mission Statements are often overlooked or ignored. But, if an association is operating without one, or paying no attention to what’s already in place, they’re making a critical error. A Mission Statement is what ensures an organization stays on its intended course.
Is it time to reevaluate and update yours? Is your Board asking for one? Are you asking your Board for one? Whatever the reason may be, taking time to review what’s in place vs. how your organization is operating is an important exercise.
Take a minute to go over this checklist and make sure your association is on target.
What is a Mission Statement?
A statement describing the reason(s) an organization or program exists. The best mission statements are clear, memorable, and concise.
A well-developed mission statement is a practical tool used by associations to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities. It should paint a picture of your association, communicating its fundamental objectives.
A Mission Statement needs to:
- be clear and simple (most aren’t)
- avoid elaborate language & buzzwords
- be easily explained by others
- not be confused with a vision statement
- be recognizably yours
6 Steps to the Perfect Mission Statement:
1. Why do you exist? (problem/needs):
Example: Millions lack access to safe water
2. What’s the broadest way to describe the work? (1-5 word answer)
Example: Providing clean drinking water
3. For whom do you do this work?
Example: For people without access to clean drinking water
4. Where do you work? (geographic boundaries)
Example: In developing countries
5. What type of entity/program? (Is this important?)
Examples: a nonprofit, volunteer program, event, business, etc.
6. Review your answers, pare down unnecessary wording, and carefully craft your statement.
Example: WATER is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
Although Mission Statements are often a group effort, the process usually begins with one person. To start, simply take the time to review your mission; it could be more useful than you think.
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