Every non profit is started because there appears to be a need in some area of the community. Perhaps the local nature reserve needed protection and regular clean ups; or perhaps homelessness is a local challenge so a soup van is started.
Whatever the cause, it is important the charity has a focus. A direction. A guiding light. Therefore it is crucial you have a vision and a mission – and good ones at that.
Firstly, let’s start with the vision.
A vision is what your charity aspires to; what the world (or your community) would look like if you were successful. It should inspire and drive the organisation’s leaders, staff, volunteers and supporters. Your vision should be a statement articulating your dream.
Some points to remember when writing your visions statement, or reviewing the one you have, it should be:
- Written in the present, not future tense. Explain how we would think, feel, behave like it was happening now
- A short, impactful sentence or two (three at most!)
- An expression of what your organisation’s wants to create
- Free of jargon and easy to read
- Emotive and demonstrative of passion
The mission, however, is a more concrete description of purpose and intent. It is an expression of what your organisation does, for whom, and what its basic service is. The process of developing (or redeveloping) your mission statement can provide your Board and employees with a deeper understanding of your organisation. It is critical to get your mission statement right because it can be the basis for the branding and marketing of your organisation.
Remember, both your vision and mission need to be positive and uplifting. Even if your organisation deals with sad or horrible community, you always want to instil hope.
To finish, a few sample vision and mission statements to use as a reference.
Vision: To be the leading authority in animal care and protection.
Mission: To prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.
Make a Wish Australia
Vision: All Australians have the opportunity to share the power of a wish.
Mission: To grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick