a friend is launching a new nonprofit. some guidance that i gleaned online:
1. it can’t be said much more simply than this:
A Mission Statement should be a one-sentence, clear, concise statement that says who the agency is (the name, that it is a nonprofit, and what type of agency it is), what it does, for whom and where. Period.
2. to distinguish between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement:
What are the values or beliefs that inform your work?
What would you ultimately hope to accomplish as a result of your efforts?
How do you plan to work toward this broad vision? For whose specific benefit does the organization exist?
3. then to think of a mission statement as poetry:
On a concrete level, how can we apply the craftsmanship of poetry to mission statements? Think carefully about each word of your mission statement, about the range of denotations and connotations it carries, and about the effect it will have on readers. As you write or revise, consider your mission statement a poem, that is, a carefully-worded piece in which every syllable holds meaning. Interpreting an existing mission statement as a poem can provide meaningful insight into your organization’s purpose and approach.
On a “positioning statement” that is speaks to the value of your nonprofit:
a one to three (only if they’re short) sentence statement that conveys what your org does for whom to uniquely solve an urgent need—the value that your org delivers. Here’s a list of key components your positioning statement should convey:
- Who you are
- What business you’re in
- For whom (what people do you serve)
- What’s needed by the market you serve
- What’s different about how you do your work
- What unique benefit is derived from your programs, services and/or products?