The job of a mission statement is to articulate the essence of why the organization exists. If you dont articulate it, then its very likely that there isnt an essence at all, just a cloud of assumedly similar individual understandings. So when people advocate working on the mission statement, what they mean is, Lets sharpen what we say about our purpose so that we can work more effectively together to achieve it, and draw more people into our fold to support it.
Externally, a mission statement is branding and positioning. It differentiates your organization from others that may do similar work. It captures most compellingly your case for support. It creates awareness for your cause, and it focuses that awareness on you. It unifies your communications so that when people hear about the organization from any source, the message is the same and reinforces what they heard before.
Internally, a mission statement is generative tool for clarity and focus. First, the work to create a mission statement itself will raise important questions of intention and priority. If the discussion is difficult, that may mean you need to resolve some differences of direction. If well orchestrated, the discussion will be neither interminable nor tedious, but contained, validating and invigorating.
Does your organization have a Great Mission Statement?
Or are you interested in getting some help with a Mission Statement Makeover?
Enter your nonprofit in the Third Annual Whats Your Mission? Competition. On the entry form youll find links to the winners and makeover comments from previous years.
Submit your entry by midnight on Thursday, October 25, 2012.
Selected Great Mission Statement entries will be publicized broadly and discussed in this blog. During our webinar Whats a Mission Statement Worth? on October 31, attendees will help to choose three finalists, followed by an open forum to help select a winner. The winner will receive extensive publicity and a free day of consulting on any aspect of nonprofit strategy, planning or organizational development.
Mission Statement Makeover finalists will receive assistance in creating a new draft mission statement. The winner will receive additional help to take it through internal approvals, and then publicity.
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