How To Write A Mission Statement

An effective Mission Statement supports your personal core values, spiritual gifts, strengths, and passion: Our mission will support how God made us. We are built for a mission to do something that only we can do. He created you for a purpose. An effective Mission Statement is short, clear and easy to recite. Avoid vague, unclear statements. Mission statements, every company needs one and yet many companies, both new and existing, sometimes struggle to write them. Many smaller organizations have them in the head of the owner or entrepreneur – but they are more effective when written down, communicated and understood. There are many schools of thought on how to go about creating the perfect mission statement, but there are some clear do's and don’t's to consider. Do keep it short and concise. Sum up the company’s mission in just a few sentences. Don’t write an essay. Your mission statement 2 By itself, your mission statement doesn’t mean much. It’s just words on a page. Who needs to write a mission statement? 3 Anyone who wants to decide what you stand for— how to do work that matters and bring your team together. Get your group together 4 What you need. Who you’ll need. How much time you’ll need. A good mission statement is short, to the point and memorable. It’s like a tagline in advertising, something that sticks with a person when they hear or read it. In a true sense, the mission statement is an ad in that it identifies your company as one that a customer would want to work with or support.

Missionstatements.com exists to help you write a good mission statement for your business or organization. We have a Mission Statement Tool Kit you can download for $5 here or see the Writing Services Page for help from a professional writer. Many examples of a good mission statement for businesses can be found in our library. See the links below to find sample mission statements in a category similar to yours. Writing a mission statement for an organization can be tough because it requires thoughtful analysis of what you do and why.

How to create a mission statement begins with quick answers to the following questions:

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. What’s the goal of everything that we do as it relates to our community or industry?
  3. What geographic area do we serve?
  4. Goods or services that we create to meet this goal?
  5. What values guide us as we do business?
  6. What strategies do we use to meet our goals?
  7. What are the tangible results we hope to see as the result of our efforts?
  8. Specific responsibilities we have to the community, shareholders, employees, etc.?

Example of a mission statement:

American Financial Group, INC Mission Statement: Our purpose is to enable individuals and businesses to manage financial risk. We provide insurance products and services tailored to meet the specific and ever-changing financial risk exposures facing our customers. We build value for our investors through the strength of our customers’ satisfaction and by consistently producing superior operating results.

Get Professional Help Writing a Great Mission Statement

We are here at missionstatements.com to help you write a great mission statement, vision statement, or anything else you need help crafting to tell the world in words and images about your business or organization. Contact us here today.

See our writing and branding services and packages here.

Create a mission statement in three easy steps

A good business mission statement can be set up with a question that gets people to think about some problem you solve or value you add.

If the blank page is daunting, here are three steps that will help you get started. These steps are foundational to writing an “about us” and business plan as well.

One thought, one sentence

Grab yourself a handful of note cards and begin jotting down something about who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you do it. Put one thought on each card and use only one sentence to describe the thought.

Key word brainstorm

Using notecards, a legal pad, or your computer brainstorm as many words as possible that you think describe what you do and that you think people might type into a search engine if looking for what you do.

Building blocks

Using your notecards and keyword brainstorm, begin typing or writing out descriptions of your businesses mission. Don’t hold back. Write as much as you can without stopping.

From there, go in and highlight the pieces that feel right. Cut and paste them into another section.

Keep going until you see the masterpiece begin to emerge.

See Hundreds of Mission Statements in Our Library

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest institutions devoted to prevention, patient care, research, and education in cancer. For over 120 years, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has offered the best possible care for patients with cancer and has sought strategies to prevent, control and ultimately cure cancer in the future. Our continuing record of success in the laboratory and at the bedside attests to our position as one of the nation’s premier cancer centers.

Microsoft

Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.

Norfolk Southern

Be the safest, most customer-focused and successful transportation company in the world.

Get Professional Help Writing a Great Mission Statement

We are here at missionstatements.com to help you write a great mission statement, vision statement, or anything else you need help crafting to tell the world in words and images about your business or organization. Contact us here today.

See our writing and branding services and packages here.

New Year's Personal Mission Statement Special

Only 10% of people write down a personal mission. However, 90% of those that have a written personal mission statement live out their mission.

Writing a mission statement is an important step for your ministry or business, whether you are a large organization or sole proprietor or freelancer.

When it’s clear and concise, your statement becomes a rallying cry for your staff and stakeholders (“This is what we wake up each day to do!”) And when your mission statement is targeted and focused, you can use it as a yardstick for making programming and funding decisions (“This proposed project doesn’t contribute to our mission, so we shouldn’t pursue it at this time.”)

But here’s the problem: it can be hard to know where to begin with writing a mission statement.

Maybe you need to write one and have been putting it off. Or maybe you’ve got one but are uncertain whether or not the statement is “what it’s supposed to be.”

There’s all kinds of advice out there for writing a mission statement. And much of it – to be honest – is good. How should you sift through it all so you can get going?

What Is a Mission Statement?

Most of what you read starts with defining what a mission statement is. And you’ll get plenty of answers, such as …

  • A mission statement is a sentence that explains why the organization exists.
  • A mission statement is a brief explanation of the organization’s core purpose.
  • A mission statement is a formal summary of the organization’s aims.
  • A mission statement is a description of what the organization does.

My definition: a mission statement defines what you wake up each day to do.

Confession: I love all of these definitions and theories and intangibles, but I want practical help. I want to know how to write a mission statement for my organization or small biz without it taking months. And I want the statement to be clear and simple so that my team can remember it and use it as a rallying cry.

That’s why I put together this simple guide for writing a mission statement. And your first step is to answer a few questions.

How To Write A Mission Statement That Doesn't Suck

Writing a Mission Statement Starts with Asking 3 Questions

1. Who do you serve?

Identify your target audience. Notice that your mission statement should identify a group of people … not merely address a kind of activity you stay busy doing. That’s because ministry and business is not about activities, but about people.

2. What do you do for them?

Your target population has a need or problem. You meet that need or solve that problem in the activities you undertake. What are those activities?

3. What difference do you make?

How is your target population different as a result of your activities? This little piece is key to a good mission statement because it demonstrates movement. You’re not simply undertaking activity just to be busy. You’re conducting your activities so that a specific group of people is transformed in one capacity or another.

Make sure your mission statement explains the change, outcome, or value you achieve. In other words, the difference you make.

You can ask this question another way – with “Why?” But be careful. Don’t answer “Why” with what your activities do for you. Answer by explaining what your activities do for your target population. And make sure the answer to this last question shows concrete results. For instance, “raising awareness” or “changing attitudes” can be vital outcomes of your work, but those two answers don’t demonstrate tangible results.

Some gurus advise including a “How” question as you write your mission statement. That is, describe the methods you use in helping your target population become transformed. However, I think “How” questions are best reserved for a “How We Work” section in your identity content. Answering “How” with your mission statement can also add quite a few words to its length.

The only exception is if your activities are distinctly focused on using a particular kind of media or methods that are indistinguishable from what you do.

A Mission Statement Template

Now that you’ve answered the three key questions, you can usethis template for writing a mission statement.

[what you do: a verb] for [who you serve: peoplegroup] so that [the difference you make].

Yes, you may need to move the word order around. But thegist of your statement will include answer to your three questions.

Here are some mission statement examples that follow thistemplate.

  • Equipparents of teenagers to raise godlyyoung adults
  • Create patchwork kits for busy women who wantto make handmade gifts
  • Savechildren’s lives in Ethiopia
  • Make content writingsimple for ministriesand freelancers

Is It Really That Easy?

Yes - if you’ve done a lot of the hard work to identify who you serve, what you wake up each day to do, and what outcomes you achieve doing it.

No – if you’re still working through all of that.

How Long Should It Be?

Length is another point on which the mission statement gurus differ. If you do a bit of poking around you’ll discover word count recommendations ranging from one sentence to 200 words.

How To Write A Mission Statement For A Nonprofit

I have come to believe that shorter is better.

Here’s why: a concise mission statement provides clarity for you and avoids confusion for your readers. Plus, if your statement is short then your entire team can memorize and embrace it easily. But you needn’t ditch all your extra content for your mission statement. Save it and pop it over in your identity content.

'No more than eight words.” That’s Mulago Foundation Director Kevin Starr’s recommendation and I like it. A brief mission statement gets to the point and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. If you get your mission honed down to eight words, then you are extremely clear about what you’re trying to accomplish and can quickly determine from your outcomes if you’re having impact on your target population from the activities you undertake.

Which gives you lots of extra time to continue to accomplish what your mission statement says you want to do.

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