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  • Writer's pictureJoRelle Grover

How to Write a Kick-Ass Mission Statement

A mission statement is where your organization or business begins and ends.

Make a statement and make it true

A mission statement is where your organization or business begins and ends. It provides a framework of your purpose and when you're lost, it’s your map to put you back on the right path.

Your mission statement needs to let everyone know what you’re about in the most concise way possible but broad enough in its language to allow growth.

It usually is only a long sentence that speaks to the reason your business exists.

When making decisions, the mission statement is there to guide your future actions and see if something fits within your company’s scope. If you think that resources might be stretched too thin, or are wanting to add a new program, consult your mission statement and see if it is actually within your original scope. If not, reassess the project or your mission statement.

Use This Formula to Start:

Make a statement. And make it true. Write down: Who you are, Where you serve, & Why.

Non-Profit Application:

Many non-profits must give their mission statement to grantmakers, which is why it needs to be an open-ended statement. There are different guidelines to get the right grant to match your great mission statement. If your statement says that you only help youth in your community, then you can’t apply to a grant that helps kids overseas. If your mission statement is that your organization helps children receive an education, then it’s broad enough to encompass overseas youth as well.

Mission Vs. Services

A mission statement is not the list of services you offer.

It’s easy to jump into the what and how, but your mission statement is the reason for your services. Everything you do supports that statement. You might provide counseling, education, in-home visits, but all of that falls under a mission statement a business may have of bettering the mental health and physical health of at-risk youths.

Use This Formula:

Focus on the Why - (leave off the What and How for now).

One Size Does Not Fit All

The One Sentence Situation

How you present your mission statement is often determined by your circumstances. If you only have an opportunity to introduce yourself, say where you work, and then move on, then this is the perfect time to use the one-sentence mission statement. It gets to the essence of what you do while inviting others to ask questions if they are curious and if time allows. It’s a great ice breaker.

Use This Formula:

Who you are, Where you serve, Why (Shave this down to one sentence).

The Elevator Pitch

If you find yourself in a situation where there are about thirty seconds to two minutes, this is an opportunity for your elevator pitch. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a short period with an audience to give it your all. You get to expand on your mission statement with what and how statements. Why are the mission and goals of your group needed and how are you meeting them?

Use This Formula:

Who you are, Where you serve, & Why

Add in: What are the needs & How are you responding.

(Record/Time yourself until you can talk about it in 30-60 seconds with confidence).

The Brochure Hand-off

When you have a pitch or a long enough exchange with a client or potential investor - bring a quality mission-based piece to leave behind. Create a story that showcases how your mission has impacted the people you meant it to. Be transparent. Be genuine.

Use This Formula:

Show don't tell. Use graphics, photos, and quotes to highlight your story. Bring it with you, and leave it behind to continue speaking for you after your pitch is done.

Non-Profit Application

Most non-profit organizations put out a year-end brochure that highlights how their mission was being met that year and updates to the non-profit. It’s the family Christmas newsletter of the corporate world. This is a good time to showcase and further expand your elevator pitch's What & How.

Mission Minded

Mission statements are the key to your purpose and the foundation of your business.

A mission statement for a business or non-profit isn't just a list of your resources, products, or services.

Does yours say who you are, where you make an impact, and why you do it?


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