Having a mission statement is a necessity for any enterprise, for-profit and nonprofit alike. Having a good, well-crafted mission statement is absolutely critical if you want to make a real impact through your organization.
But, if you sit at your desk with a blank piece of paper in front of you and someone asks you to “write a good mission statement” for your center, how do you know where to start? What makes it good? How is it different from a vision statement? What elements does it need in order to make an organization more effective and keep it, literally, “on mission”?
Well, Care Net has done some of the homework for you. We used the following framework as a guide when developing our own mission statement:
There are five elements an effective mission statement needs.
First, your rationale:
This is a “because” statement that reflects your organization’s core values. How does what you believe drive your work? For us at Care Net , our “because” statement was this: “Acknowledging that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection…” At the end of the day, those truths drive what we do. Your mission statement should start with a similarly solid, anchoring statement.
Second, your resources:
Your mission statement should describe primary resources your organization will use to deliver on its promises. It is a “we will use” statement. For Care Net, the “secret sauce” that motivates our activities is “compassion, hope, and help” that changes lives.
Third, your organizational processes:
Your mission statement should discuss the processes or methodologies your organization will employ. Care Net delivers its promise through its “life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, organizations, and individuals.” We are Care Net - and this statement embodies our name. This life-affirming network represents the very hands and feet of Christ with whom we partner to deliver life-saving care.