Perhaps one of the most useful and valuable tools for fundraiser to have is a clear, concise, eye-catching mission statement. In this age where people on the whole are becoming ever more globally conscious. There is more money than ever available to charities and non-profits. Still, at the same time, competition for those dollars is also at an all-time high.
Therefore, it is very important to let your donors know from the get-go who you are, what you are about, and what your purpose is. This will help them know that their dollars are in good hands with you. Knowing how to create a mission statement can help answer some of these vital questions for your donors. And this is regardless of whether you ever meet them or not.
Creating a mission statement helps people know who you are and what you stand for.
Creating a mission statement helps potential donors to understand what your vision is. As a charity or non-profit, people need to understand where you are going. Most of all, that means explaining the overarching vision of what you will do with any monies they donate to you.
In addition, it can help you remember those same things. When it comes time to make important decisions that can affect the trajectory of your non-profit, you often need reminders. Mission statements are becoming increasingly popular. That’s not just for companies and businesses but for charities, non-profits, fundraisers and even for individuals and families. Still, knowing that a mission statement is important and understanding how to create a mission statement are two completely different things.
Stand Out from the Crowd: How to Create a Mission Statement that Gets Attention
Here are 7 steps on how to create a mission statement that accurately reflects what your goals, visions and values are:
1). Identify why you started doing what you’re doing and what your original mission or goal was.
When non-profits or charities are new, they are often very clear about what their mission is because they have not yet accomplished it. For a single fundraiser, identifying your mission is also fairly easy. In other cases, however, charities grow and expand far beyond their original mission and sometimes change course all together. While this is not a bad thing, it can have a detrimental effect on a charity or non-profit to not have a clear-cut vision for where you are going and what you are doing.
How do you know if you are accomplishing your mission if you don’t know what it is? Going back to the very deepest roots of your organization and figuring out what you started off meaning to do in the first place will help you clarify your vision for where you want to be going and what you want to be doing in the future.
2). Identify what kind of world you want to live in
A mission statement is not about goals it is about values. Just like any company or business, a non-profit or charity is nothing more than a group of people that all have personal values of some kind. The most functional mission statements are those which do the best job of interweaving shared individual values into corporate ones. Identifying the kind of world you want to live in is a good tool for identify the individual values of your volunteers and/ or employees that will help you create and shape your corporate ones.
3). Think globally and then figure out how to act locally
Once you have identified where you have come from and the kind of world you want to live in, then you can start to identify how you want your non-profit or charity to move towards creating that kind of world. You can’t change the world on a global scale, but you can certainly change your immediate environment, which in turn affects the larger world around it.
4). Break down your overarching values into concrete bullet point statements
This is where you take the broad statements you made about the kind of world you want to live in and narrow them down to specifics. If the kind of world you want to live in is one in which everyone is equal, how specifically do you achieve that? Eventually, you will want to distill your mission statement down to about 5-10 of these bullet point statements, but to get there, you want as wide of a variety of statements as possible to choose from.
5). Identify what policies and procedures you would need to institute to be in keeping with these values and compare them to your current policies and procedures
Non-profits and charities are in a delicate situation in which they have to adhere to certain business and corporate guidelines while deliberately avoiding others. It is very important, therefore to ensure that the policies and procedures by which your charity or non-profit runs are not in direct conflict with your mission statement – or the effect you want to have on the world at large. If you are a non-profit that provides aid to women and yet the women that work for the company do not make a living wage or do not have adequate access to childcare, then your own policies are in direct conflict with your overarching mission. It’s important to make sure that you are first having the impact internally in your own “business” that you want to be having in the broader world at large.
6). Narrow down your list of bullet points to 5-10 statements
This is where you begin the process of separating wishes from actionable statements. Narrowing down a long list of ideals into 5-10 key workable, realistic statements may prove to be harder than it seems but in the end, the work that goes into doing so is an invaluable part of eventually adhering to the statements you eventually settle on.
7). Fill out your surrounding language
Mission statements are rarely just a list of bullet points, although you can certainly leave it that way if you wish. While mission statements can certainly include bullet point statements, you probably want to use those bullet points instead as a base from which you create something a little more reader friendly.
Understanding how to create a mission statement is only the first step. Actually creating that mission statement can be a long, involved process, but can also be an invaluable one. Knowing how to create a mission statement will hopefully help you to clarify your goals as a charity, a non-profit or even a family. You can even create a mission statement for yourself individually when you understand these key basics of how to create a mission statement.
All images taken from depositphotos.com.