Having a mission statement is a necessity for any enterprise, for-profit and nonprofit alike. Having a good, well-crafted mission statement is absolutely critical if you want to make a real impact through your organization.

But, if you sit at your desk with a blank piece of paper in front of you and someone asks you to “write a good mission statement” for your center, how do you know where to start? What makes it good? How is it different from a vision statement? What elements does it need in order to make an organization more effective and keep it, literally, “on mission”?

Well, Care Net has done some of the homework for you. We used the following framework as a guide when developing our own mission statement:

There are five elements an effective mission statement needs. 

  1. Rationale
  2. Resources
  3. Processes
  4. Products
  5. Markets

First, your rationale:

This is a “because” statement that reflects your organization’s core values. How does what you believe drive your work? For us at Care Net , our “because” statement was this: “Acknowledging that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection”¦” At the end of the day, those truths drive what we do. Your mission statement should start with a similarly  solid, anchoring statement.

Second, your resources:

Your mission statement should describe primary resources your organization will use to deliver on its promises. It is a “we will use” statement. For Care Net, the “secret sauce” that motivates our activities is “compassion, hope, and help” that changes lives.

Third, your organizational processes:

Your mission statement should discuss the processes or methodologies your organization will employ. Care Net delivers its promise through its “life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, organizations, and individuals.” We are Care Net – and this statement embodies our name. This life-affirming network represents the very hands and feet of Christ with whom we partner to  deliver life-saving care.

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