Creating a Great Mission Statement

Your mission statement is the written vision of your organization. A solid statement can tell volunteers what you do and why you do it. A not-so-great mission statement can be a convoluted paragraph of cliches that don’t actually explain anything. When writing out your statement, we think it’s best to follow this simple checklist. 

Why Do You Do It?

Every mission statement should start with the why of your organization. What in the world lead to its creation? Maybe you wanted to bring running enthusiasts together, get good music to the masses or raise awareness around a certain cause. There’s always a reason for your group’s being and understanding it will inspire and empower volunteers. 

How Do You Do It?

This is where you start luring in the type of volunteers you want. If you need energetic people ready to get out there and spread the word of your cause, be sure to mention the boots-on-the-ground mentality that drives your outreach. If you’re looking for people with connections to help grow your group, point out that you strive to find ways for professionals to give back to their communities. Don’t hesitate to directly reference the kind of people who make your volunteer base what it is. 

Whatever It Is You Do, Do You

There’s no need to fall into the trap of sounding like a mission statement. Keep things in your own words to truly get the sound and feeling of your team across. Volunteers aren’t looking for a tailored blurb, they’re looking for an honest representation of your mission. 

Of all of these tips, perhaps the greatest to remember is to keep it short. Your statement should be a quick and easy way to get an understanding of how and why your organization exists. Lay out your philosophy, how and why you make change, and what kind of people you need to help you make it. 

Josanna E. Berg-Hammond

Josie Berg-Hammond is a staff writer at VolunteerLocal. She likes eating good things, meeting new people, and living in the Big Apple.