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2) Write Your Mission Statement and Set Your Goals

Mission Statement

  • Define your purpose. Much of your organization’s success lies in articulating a clear and motivational mission statement for your work. Writing your mission statement also lays the groundwork for filing your corporate papers, which customarily require a statement of purpose.

    Ask yourself, “Exactly what are we trying to do here?” Defining your purpose precisely in words is tremendously powerful. Your mission statement will guide all of your work; it will help you with future decision-making and help get your message across to the public.

  • Make it work. A successful mission statement will: be brief (one or two sentences); be clear and positive in tone; be action- and results-oriented; and will motivate people to support your work.


  • Understand the goal-setting process. Don't confuse goal-setting with your mission statement. Goals are specific statements about what you need to achieve to fulfill your mission. To make them more concrete, put your goals in writing. Focus on results and the actions needed to achieve them. Your goals should be inspiring and motivational! Whenever possible, make them measurable.

  • Start with your long-range goals and work back to the present. Where do you want to be in 10 years? (The answer to this question will give you your long-range goals.) What interim steps will you need to take to get there? (These are your intermediate goals.) Finally, decide which of these goals you’ll work on in the first and second years. (These are your short-range goals; you’ll want to focus on these right away.)

  • Plan how you will accomplish your goals. Specifically, what programs will you develop? What will be required in terms of financial resources and people? As you do your planning, keep in mind that it's important to demonstrate success early on. Because of this, you may not want to tackle your most challenging project first; instead, hone your skills and develop the team with a more manageable project.

Next Step: Determine Your Business Plan and Your Tactics, Programs, and Activities