Day 4: Starting My Mission Statement

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
— E.F. Schumacher

Staring at a blinking cursor is easy. Writing a mission statement is hard. I did some research on how to write a mission statement, and my take away from all articles I read was this: simplicity simply works.

I found an article from nonprofithub.org where they broke down the science of successful mission statements. I'll explain the lessons I learned from this article, but I also included a link to view the entire article if you'd like to read it yourself.

EVOKING EMOTION

The first part of the article compares the difference between a good mission statement and a bad one. My take away from this particular table is that the emotion is the end goal. These descriptions lead to a specific emotion, which can make or break your mission statement. Do I want people to be excited? Do I want to tug on people's heart strings? Do I want people fired up about my cause? Once we figure out what emotion our mission statements should evoke, it will help us decide what words to use and in what order. 

 

 

 

SHORT AND SWEET

I absolutely love this. This guideline essentially lays out a successful formula to piece your mission statement together. Each section has purpose, or a call to action. This is brilliant because it lets the words work for you! In addition, these guidelines restrict you from writing a lengthy mission statement that people will most likely forget. In an age where the human attention span is shorter than a the memory of a goldfish, getting straight to the point is the only way to keep attention. Keeping it short, sweet and simple is key to a successful mission statement.

 

BREAK IT DOWN

This article used charity:water's mission statement as an example. I can't describe it any better than the image presents. Study it, then write your own.

 

 

This all might seem complex, but it really isn't. If I had to sum up this article it would be this: Clear and simple communication produce effective mission statements. That's all. Having that said, I need to rework my mission statement and chisel it down to its simplest form. Simplicity simply works.