Your organization’s mission and vision statements are meant to guide your work, inspire your team and supporters, and unite your community around a particular cause. With a bit of reflection and a few steps, you can achieve these benefits. Utilize these two strategies to ensure you’re making the most out of your mission and vision statements:
Make sure your mission and vision statements are clear, motivating, and up-to-date.
Whether you’re beginning the strategic planning process or your board simply hasn’t set aside time to review your mission and vision statements in a couple of years, it might be time for an update. Each statement should use simple language that can easily be communicated and understood by individuals of varying backgrounds and ages. You want your organization to be accessible to everyone, so make sure anyone can easily determine what you do and why by reading them. Your mission and vision are often someone’s first glance into your organization, so they should be inspiring. When someone reads it, they should feel motivated to join your cause and help you create the world you’re striving toward. Your statements should also accurately reflect your current programs. If you’ve shifted programs or are planning on taking your organization in a different direction, make sure both statements are revised to reflect these changes.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Once you have a beautifully crafted mission and vision, consider when and where you are communicating these statements. When an individual visits your website or social media pages they should be able to locate these statements easily and almost immediately. Add them to your homepage, your “about” section, or your bio. Whether you’re sending fundraising appeals, newsletters, or impact reports, include your mission and vision to remind the recipient what you’re trying to achieve. If it’s a new contact, an individual who hasn’t interacted with your organization in awhile, or they’re forwarding the material to someone in their network, it’s important that the recipient knows who you are and why you exist. When an individual is introduced to your organization, make sure they are told your mission and vision. At your fundraising events, include them on your materials or in speeches. Practice incorporating them into your elevator pitch. Also think about how often your staff and board see these statements. Post your mission and vision in your office in a place where everyone will see them each day. At the beginning of team meetings or board meetings, share your statements so they are at top of mind when reflecting on recent happenings or making important decisions.
Your mission and vision are the foundation of your organization. Ensuring that you have strong statements and that all of your stakeholders are aware of them will help strengthen your organization and community ultimately allowing you to make a greater impact.