Nonprofit Insurance Program

How To Write Mission/Vision Statments

By Kathi Fuhrman
December 31, 2014

If you run a nonprofit organization, you need to let people know in a nutshell who you are, what you do and what effect you have in the world. This needs to be done in a concise and memorable way. In short, you need a strong mission or vision statement.

A great mission statement has these components:

  • It lets people know the name of your organization.
  • It lets people know what your organization does.
  • It shows the effects your organization has for good.

Here’s an example of a strong mission statement:

ABC Literacy works with adult learners to eradicate illiteracy.

All three components are there. Also, the statement avoids jargon, uses an action verb and is straight to the point.

Here’s an example of a weak mission statement:

Tired of the seeing so much illiteracy and misery in the world and want to do something about it?  Than volunteer for ABC Literacy and work with adults like yourself to make a difference. 

It’s too long, vague and preachy. It doesn’t really show what the organization does. It just shows what the organization wants from the reader, in this case to volunteer.

Here’s one more piece of advice. The best person to write the mission statement for your nonprofit is YOU. Don’t outsource it.You’re the one who knows your organization best. You’re the one who believes in it; otherwise you wouldn’t be there.

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