When a non-profit is founded, it envisions the path it will take to achieve its objectives. Nonprofits, while creating an action plan, must lay out all they wish to achieve so that it is clear to them and the people associated with the organization what they aim to accomplish. While doing so, a few key factors are brought to light, such as an organization’s vision, its mission, the values they believe in and wish to incorporate into their journey, the objectives for which they strive, and the activities they need to perform in order to execute their plans to perfection.
An organization can be defined by its vision and mission statements. Non-profit organizations can use these mission and vision statements as a guide to outline performance standards and define key metrics, giving everyone working in the organization a roadmap to follow.
Many organizations lack vision and mission statements, and some organizations tend to club the two statements together, even though there are significant differences between the two. This confuses the organization, making it more difficult to understand and meet the established objectives and goals. We have discussed the importance of these statements and how your nonprofit can benefit from them.
What is a vision statement?
Your "vision statement" sets your organization’s direction. It should describe your organization's future and success, as well as the growth you hope to achieve. A powerful, memorable statement will help your organization thrive and inspire all the stakeholders involved. In short, your vision should be captivating and meaningful enough that it becomes everyone else's vision as well.
Tips for writing a good vision statement:
While crafting your vision statement, be sure to answer these questions:
- What are your goals for your organization?
- What is the issue your organization wishes to solve?
- What makes your organization unique?
Here is an example for you. Feed the children is a nonprofit with a vision statement - “Create a world where no child goes to bed hungry.”
What is a mission statement?
An Organization is motivated by its mission statement. It explains both what your organization does and what makes up the heart of your NGO. Then, goals are established to achieve them. An effective mission statement inspires people to come together to accomplish a common objective.
Tips to form a good mission statement:
When creating your mission statement, be sure to answer these questions:
- Who are we?
- Whom are we here to serve?
- What can we do to help them?
An example of a good mission statement is: "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world." - TED’s mission statement.
Why is it important for a nonprofit to have a vision and mission?
Vision and mission statements are important for everyone participating in the organization, including external stakeholders, so that everyone understands what the organization wants to achieve and the means by which it will achieve it.
Vision statements vs mission statements
One of the main differences is that a mission statement explains what your organization does, whereas a vision statement describes what your organization wishes to achieve in the future. Mission statements answer the question of why an organization was formed, while vision statements are meant to point toward and mark the direction in which the organization should be headed.
According to Jamie Falkowski, “A vision is an aspiration. A mission is actionable,” the managing director at - Day One Agency.
There are a few other elements your organization should be able to define so as to ensure a blueprint for the smooth running of your organization. These are:
The values of your organization
Your values are the guiding principles that influence your vision and mission. A good vision is formed on a strong foundation of values. Your mission's integrity and direction are also determined by the values your organization seeks to uphold. They serve as a moral compass and guide you through your journey.
While forming your organization’s values, a few questions to answer would be:
- What do we believe in?
- How should we behave?
The Objectives and Activities of your organization
An organization's objectives are a general statement of what must be accomplished and are turned into a detailed and measurable statement of what must be done and when it must be accomplished by. These goals are narrowed down to the most important concerns and milestones. They explain the activities and objectives that will help you attain your objectives and the deadlines for accomplishing the tasks. An example of an objective would be, rescuing 15 strays a month.
Activities are identified project work where an organization has the most experience and addresses the needs of the community. Activities are those that ensure the fulfillment of an organization's objectives.
To sum up
These statements, such as a vision, mission, values, objectives, and activities, are essential to defining an organization. They enable an organization, especially a nonprofit, to establish its identity, set its culture, develop its purpose, improve its performance, build a community’s confidence, and look forward to playing its role in our society's growth and progression.
Chezuba has partnered with over 7000 nonprofits and over a hundred - thousand kind-hearted volunteers, to help these nonprofits achieve their goals. Join Chezuba and let our virtual volunteers help you move closer to achieving your organization’s goals.