Freaked out by the idea of writing your mission statement? Hire someone to do the thing that brings them joy but makes you want to tear your hair out.
It’s the inverse of the idea that if you do something you love you’ll never end up working a day in your life.
So allow me to share one of my stranger quirks: I really, really love writing and rewriting mission statements.
1. I get to hear about what makes my clients really happy.
Few people who work for nonprofits do so for the fabulous pay and benefits. They’re there for the big reasons — the work of the organization speaks to them in some way that is powerful and important. I get to hear all about that.
2. Every word is important.
This is one of the few times I get to really indulge with my team in some seriously geeky word-smithing. We’re probably never so happy as when we get to spend three hours straight combing through a pile of dictionaries and thesauruses. And yes, I prefer the print versions, but have to admit that online is just more efficient. (I would also rather play Scrabble in person with the real tiles, but Words With Friends will have to do.)
3. It’s a great excuse to engage community.
When donors, board members, staff, and volunteers receive some simple coaching in expressing why they do what they do, the results can knock your socks off. Bringing all of those voices together in a cohesive and elegant mission statement is, well, to my ears, symphonic.
When donors, board members, staff, and volunteers receive some simple coaching in expressing why they do what they do, the results can knock your socks off.
Our work to create a mission statement makes use of the commonalities we hear from disparate constituents and distills the very best, most passionately held values down into a memorable statement that makes people proud.
Mission statements reflect strong values, inspire commitment, and elevate a worthy cause.
It’s pretty great work, but understandably may not compete with the dream jobs of the Richard Scarry canon. So make our day and drop us a line if your mission statement is making you pull your hair out.
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