Your mission statement is your charity’s foundation. It inspires everything your organisation does, from marketing to culture.
Having an inspiring mission statement is important as it explains to people why they should care about your cause. It can also help with recruiting suitable employees and volunteers, encouraging new donors, and reminding your existing donors to stick around.
Here’s what you need to know about crafting an inspiring mission statement for your charity.
‘Mission’ and ‘vision’ are common corporate buzzwords that often get their meanings confused. Whereas a vision statement sets out what your organisation’s idealistic future looks like, your mission statement defines your company objectives and how you plan to achieve them in the here and now.
It’s important for charities to have both a vision and a mission statement, as neither one works without the other.
Your charity’s mission statement is no time for showing off your vocabulary of complex words and jargon. It should be clear, unambiguous and easy to understand.
A good charity mission statement will follow this basic structure:
What: is your charity’s purpose?
Who: are you doing it for?
How: are you going to do it?
Answering these questions will provide clarity and ensure that your emotional impact is clear.
A well-crafted mission statement is short, sweet and to the point. Writing a statement that runs across several lines will often be less clear in meaning and run the risk of being unmemorable.
Good copywriting is often about using as few words as possible to get your point across. And a good mission statement should be one uncomplicated sentence that everyone in your audience can easily understand.
Here are some of our favourites:
We fight inequality to end poverty and injustice.
We love it because: it's punchy and clearly states why Oxfam exists.
We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
We love it because: it explains the why and the how Mind make the difference.
We create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
We love it because: it's short, sweet and magical.
A good mission statement doesn’t only dictate how your organisation will act. It should also heavily influence how your employees and volunteers feel about working for you.
Think of your mission statement like your North Star. It should help to influence and shape your organisational culture. Your employees and volunteers should know it off by heart and use it to help guide their communications with donors and beneficiaries. A clear mission is crucial for employee and volunteer retention and job satisfaction as well as galvanising support externally.
Charity mission statements often get buried in corporate documents like annual reports, so will sadly go unnoticed by a large proportion of their target audience.
Your mission statement should be centre stage in your marketing materials. This includes your website, social channels, email, direct mail and so on.
Every charity is on a mission. And your mission statement tells the world what your charity stands for and believes in. Whether you’re crafting your mission statement for the first time or breathing new life into an old one, it’s important to dedicate time and resources to create a memorable mission statement that encapsulates who you are and what you strive to do.
As charity marketing specialists, we’ve worked with several charities over the years to help define their mission statements and supporting messaging. If this sounds like something your charity needs help crafting, then do get in touch.