A mission statement, which sets out the organisation's raison-d'etre, is much more imbedded into non-profit organisations than it will be for profit-making organisations. This should explain why the organisation exists.
The mission, which should be the basis for the strategic plan, should act as an impetus for the organisation but it is often confused with vision (see below).
To explain the distinction, the mission is why the organisation exists while vision is what you want to be or your goal.
Having a well-written and clearly articulated mission statement will inspire employees and volunteers. It may also work as a powerful tool when working with stakeholders and become a branding instrument for the organisation.
Therefore, greater emphasis must be placed in developing the mission statement so that it becomes more than a mere slogan. Such a development process will in some cases take month and not days.
For a mission statement is to be effective, it must be short, memorable and appropriate for a variety of organisational stakeholders including, for example, employees, funding sources, served constituencies and the board of trustees. It will also help in defining limits on the organisation's activities.
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