When you start a nonprofit organization, one of the first things you should do is write your Mission and Vision Statement. Although the Mission and Vision Statements are usually written by the CEO, a good vision can come about through collaboration with team members. Writing a Mission and Vision Statement sounds easy, but there is a trick to it: Good statements are all about specificity, clarity, ambition, and inspiration.
In this article, we will be talking about the differences between a Mission and Vision Statement- and how to write the perfect Statement to represent your organization’s values, culture, and overall strategy.
What’s the difference between a Mission and a Vision Statement?
A Mission Statement focuses on the organization’s objectives and how they are accomplished day-to-day. A Vision Statement focuses on changes the organization hopes will happen in our world and how they will play a hand in fulfilling them.
Mission Statement examples:
“Spread ideas.” – TED
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.” – PayPal
“Bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world.” – Nike
Vision Statement examples:
“A world without Alzheimer’s disease.” – Alzheimer’s Association
“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”-
“Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” – Facebook
How to write a good Mission and Vision Statement
When crafting your Mission Statement, think about these three questions:
- What does your organization do?
- How does your organization do it?
- Why does your organization do it?
With this information, you will be able to write a Mission Statement that accurately reflects your organization’s culture and values. Be sure to keep your Mission Statement brief and specific. Many people fall into the trap of including too many concepts in their Mission Statements. Try to boil down what you do into a single, short sentence by highlighting your primary service or product. Avoid listing everything you offer. It will make your statement seem unfocused.
When crafting your Vision Statement, think about these three questions:
- What are our hopes and dreams?
- What are we trying to change?
- What worldwide problem are we solving?
Consider these questions, and use the answers to formulate a Vision Statement. A good Vision Statement will be a constant reminder of what the organization’s end goal is. Essentially, it is the answer to “What are we hoping to change in the world?” Like the Mission Statement, keep your Vision Statement clear and concise. A Vision Statement is usually a bit more abstract and broad than a Mission Statement and will act as a guide that provides direction to your organization for years to come.
Words hold incredible power. Choosing the right ones for your Mission and Vision Statements can help set your organization up for success.