Now that we’ve looked at some example mission statements and discussed the importance of having a written outline of the goals and actions of a Non-Profit Organization, it’s time to write our own. Remember, writing a mission statement is a form of persuasive writing; you are trying to convince your audience that your organization is worth joining or supporting. It needs to be clear, intelligent, and short.
First step- With your partner, brainstorm (write down) 2-3 possible projects in which you could become involved in your community. These may be problems, concerns, or simply services which people in your community might require or benefit from. Think of people whom you know who need help. ex. To eliminate homelessness This will be part of your purpose statement.
Choose one of these ideas and write down two different ways you could accomplish your purpose. Remember, these should be ongoing actions that help lots of people, not just a one time action like have a fundraiser and give them the money. Ex. Build homes for the homeless, provide job training for the homeless. This will be part of your business statement.
Now, decide which values your organization encourages in its members. You may want to ask yourself, what characteristics do people who do our work all have? List at least three values. Ex. Caring, sportsmanship, citizenship, diversity, respect, etc.. This will be part of your values statement.
Now make any final decisions regarding your purpose, business, and values. Make sure you agree on exactly who your organization is and what they’re all about.
Make sure your mission statement tells: The name of your organization Your purpose Who you serve What work you do What values you have (what characteristics are most important for your members and the people you serve?) Look at the following examples and non-examples.
Non-examples: The National Children’s Museum’s (NCM) mission is to inspire children to care about and improve our world. (too short, tell us how and what values you want to change) Inspiring young people to push their limits, expand their opportunities, and become healthy and engaged members of their communities (Tell us how)
Non-examples: KaBOOM! (www.kaboom.org) is a national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds. We passionately believe that play has purpose, and that unstructured play in particular helps make children happier, fitter, smarter, more socially adept and creative. From our inception in 1995, KaBOOM! has led over 1500 playground construction projects that pair community leaders with funding partners who support our mission. These playgrounds are our hallmark, all-volunteer, done-in-a-day builds that serve as an achievable win for communities that need it most.. In addition to these KaBOOM! lead builds, we offer Do-It-Yourself Tools and other online resources. We also rally individuals and communities through the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, to achieve better public policy, funding and public awareness for increased play opportunities. KaBOOM! inspires mass action for the cause of play, empowers individuals to take action on behalf of play and works to create playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Please join us as we help create a more playful nation. (too long, too much information)
Good examples: The Urban Dove is dedicated to enriching the lives of New York City’s at-risk youth by creating a supportive, positive environment where kids can develop the life-skills and confidence they need to reach their full potential. Keely's District Boxing and Youth Center is a community-based anti-gang organization that uses boxing and academic classes to promote the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of at-risk youth in Washngton DC.
After you have written your mission statement, read it out loud to your partner. The partner should ask themselves: Does it sound professional? Does it make you want to find out more about this organization or does it just leave you confused? Do you know what this organization does? Were you bored as they read it? Make sure that you like every single word you included in the statement. Be prepared to share it with the class.