Is Your Mission Statement Meaningful?

Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:50AM

Hardy Smith, Nonprofit Speaker & Consultant

A compelling and concisely written mission statement provides an organization with purpose focused guidance. A wordy or vague mission statement offers no sense of identity and no clear direction for the organization to follow.

Here’s a quick test to evaluate how effective your mission statement is: Can you repeat yours right now?

Who you are, what you do, and why you do it are the essential elements that should be communicated clearly. If it has been a while since your mission statement was reviewed, consider conducting an exercise that examines if it is still relevant or if some revision is needed.

Whether updating an existing mission statement or writing a new one, seek input from key stakeholders.  Involvement in the process will help test for clarity and ability to motivate.  An inclusive approach also helps develop commitment to the finished product.

Do comparison shopping and check mission statements of other organizations for examples to stimulate your thoughts.  Avoid trying to craft a message that appeases everyone.

A mission statement should be clear and succinct, offer a sense of identity, and clear direction. Be sure your organization has a meaningful mission statement — one that inspires volunteers, donors, members, and staff.


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