How do I write a Mission Statement to get results?
That’s the question I wondered if my community of followers and readers wanted to know this week when a previous workshop attendee reached out to me for my feedback on theirs.
She emailed me an example of what they had come up with and said “we want to improve on previous fund raising activities by having a catchy Mission Statement” and here it is:
“To promote literacy and the enjoyment of literature, and to encourage creativity and diversity in local story arts, through community engagement with celebrated authors and illustrators.”
So what do you think? Sounds good or could it be improved on?
My answer is that if you want something that sounds like corporate speak, go ahead. This fits really well. Ticks most ‘buzzword’ and ‘literacy’ terms and if you are just speaking to that audience congrats its job done, signed off.
Does it inspire me to give money; or inspire me to attend? No.
However, let’s take a step back for a minute and talk about what is a mission statement is.
A mission statement is supposed to be a statement that clearly defines in a concise and succinct way what you are here to do – i.e. the reason you exist. The other really important thing that these statements are supposed to do is to be able to clearly market and promote this purpose.
And for that reason it needs to be changed because here’s what it doesn’t do:
I wrote a very quick 2-minute response and here’s my email.
Lovely to hear from you.
My comment is that it sounds like any other mission statement and my question is how do you propose to use it?
If you are proposing to use it (as I understand from reading the email) to grab the attention of sponsors and funders then you are no different from any other organisation who is asking so there is nothing that makes you stand out from ‘the sea of brown’.
I would suggest you look at this and be outcomes focused and motivational to engage the reader e.g.
Our Mission is to make the world of literature engaging; fun and exciting; challenging and intellectually stimulating. We will do this by helping people discover and connect with our diverse local story arts through celebrated writers, authors, illustrators and bloggers.
I’ve added bloggers to it for the contemporary angle and also because as most people know, there are a lot of books that begin with a blog and it’s actually a good program for you to consider if you want to engage people in this ‘world’. Writing a book can be a seemingly insurmountable task, but starting to blog seems easy!
Anyway, something to think about – I’m full of ideas, not knowing your organisational plans etc. it doesn’t mean that it will be 100% relevant for you.
As a speaker, trainer and community development consultant I assists non-profits and small businesses to establish better governance practices and operational procedures, identifying new revenue and leveraging existing opportunities, community engagement, brand management and stakeholder communications.