ACCOMPLISHEDTips and Tools to StayMission Focused
The mission is the center of your organizationhttp://www.raise-funds.com/2001/dont-make-your-organizations-statement-of-purpose-amission-impossible/
An Accomplished Mission Statement will: • Capture the fundamental purpose, philosophy and values of your organization • Concisely represent the core values of your organization and guide all actions and decisions • Answer 3 Questions: 1. What do we do? 2. For whom do we do it? 3. What is the benefit?http://www.raise-funds.com/2001/dont-make-your-organizations-statement-of-purpose-amission-impossible/
Is your Mission Accomplished?MISSION STATEMENT CHECKLIST Yes NoEnds, not meansDoes your mission statement address what difference your organization will make for those you serve, or does it merely describe what yourorganization does? Remember, your mission statement doesn’t relate how, but rather why. It should focus on the results your organizationaccomplishes through its programs and services.EffortDoes the language used in your mission statement elevate effort to effect? (Words such as try, seek, influence, or encourage suggest staff organizesactivities around righteous exertion rather than results.)VerbsDoes a verb—any verb—figure prominently in your mission statement? Even when they don’t equivocate as the ones mentioned above, verbsordinarily refer to something that is to “go on,” rather than the intended OUTCOME. Beware of your verbs!Nouns embodying activitiesDoes your mission statement use nouns that signify a type of “means” rather than an outcome? Beware of words such as advocacy, education,program, and service.The unidentifiableCheck carefully to make sure there is no technical language or jargon—meaningless to the outside world—in your mission statement.BrevityIs your mission statement too long? Does it ramble, making it difficult to locate the main point? Burying the mission in two or three paddedparagraphs will be sure to weaken its power to guide and shape your organization.—Accuracy, not cosmetics. Is your mission accurate? Or does itembroider or glorify your organization’s intentions to make them SOUND better, loftier, more extensive, or more glamorous than they are?Too broad or too narrowYour mission statement should be broad enough to allow for growth and expansion, but narrow enough to keep the organization clearly and stronglyfocused. Does it allow for your organization to be “all things to all people,” or, on the other hand, restrict the organization from meeting changingneeds?Net value addedIf your organization is a federation or another type of membership organization, or if your board has authority over other boards, does your missionstatement deal with the additional result intended beyond what the members of subsidiaries would have produced themselves anyway?UniquenessDoes your mission statement focus on what is unique about your organization? It is important to consider your mission in light of other similarlysituated organizations, and to ensure that your organization “stands out in the crowd.”
Mission: AccomplishedTo inspire girls with the highest ideas of character, conduct,patriotism and service that they might be happy and resourcefulcitizens.- The Girl Scouts of the USATo make citizens of the rejected.- The Salvation ArmyTo preserve plants, animals and natural communities that representthe diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and water theyneed to survive.- The Nature Conservancy http://www.missionstatement.com
Mission: FailedToo Long The mission of the National Autism Association is to educate and empower families affected by autism and other neurological disorders, while advocating on behalf of those who cannot fight for their own rights. We will educate society that autism is not a lifelong incurable genetic disorder but one that is bio medically definable and treatable. We will raise public and professional awareness of environmental toxins as causative factors in neurological damage that often results in an autism or related diagnosis. We will encourage those in the autism community to never give up in their search to help their loved ones reach their full potential, funding efforts toward this end through appropriate research for finding a cure for the neurological damage from which so many affected by autism suffer.
Mission: FailedToo vagueExxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world’s premier petroleum andpetrochemical company. To that end, we must continuously achieve superior financialand operating results while adhering to the highest standards of business conduct.These unwavering expectations provide the foundation for our commitments to thosewith whom we interact.To wordyThe Walt Disney Company’s objective is to be one of the world’s leadingproducers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio ofbrands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’sprimary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocatecapital profitability toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholdervalue.
Mission: Adrift Mission drift happens when an organization veers away from their original purpose and mission, usually in pursuit of growth or funding. (ex. a summer camp changes its target market to children with Aids in pursuit of a grant) It is the role of nonprofit staff and volunteers to keep the organization on course. Dedication to the mission will energize staff, volunteers and donors for your cause and philanthropy and is central to a strong fundraising program.http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/nrc/Mission_Focused%201.pdf
Ways to Avoid Mission Drift Establish a clear, concise mission with measurable objectives Refer to the mission often Convert the mission to hard facts and key objectives Align assets and budget with the mission objective Make the mission the touchstone for every decision Judge a program’s success by the mission Make the mission visible (letterhead, brochures, etc.)http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/nrc/Mission_Focused%201.pdf
Free (Or Almost Free) Ways to Make YourMission VisibleResearch tells us it takes seven repetitions of a message before people hear the message. Therefore, even when you repeat or people see yourmission thousands of times in thousands of places, with these ideas, today someone will understand it for the first time. On the top of a meeting handout write: Our mission is ____ and ____ to _____. Ask people to fill in the blanks without looking elsewhere. Develop a column in your newsletter in which you bullet mission activities you accomplished. Add a “learn to recite the mission” exercise at your volunteer orientations. Letter your mission statement with WindowWax on a door or window. (Or when you need one anyway, get it printed in your welcome mat.) Get a stamp with your mission statement. (Not free but inexpensive and once you own it, you’ll discover new ideas for its use.) Add it to agendas and envelopes. At events, stamp the back of hands to indicate paid admission. In your public presentations include, “As you know our mission is…” http://www.kedconsult.com/articles-resources/23-free-ways/
Mission: FocusedBrinckerhoff ’s Stewardship Decision Tree