The case of the empty mission statement

The following “mission statement” is not a parody. It is real:

The [XYZ Nonprofit Organization] creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children in mind, body and spirit. [XYZ Nonprofit Organization] designs forums, partners with existing organizations and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action.

You can find it at Getting Attention: The 74% Percent: Is Your Mission Statement Ready for Prime Time? Where the point is that mission statement should be reserved for your internal audiences only: Staff, board members, volunteers, consultants, and others who need to have a clear understanding what your organization is about.

But gosh. A mission statement like that one isn’t going to help anyone think clearly, insiders or out. It’s a disaster of empty committee-speak. If this were the only one like it, it would hardly be worth mentioning. But there are more. You’ve seen them too.

If your mission statement reads like that, you’re in trouble. Chances are, everything people write (and think) for your organization are similarly sloppy.

Get professional help.


Comments

6 responses to “The case of the empty mission statement”

  1. One organization I worked with had crafted a similarly worthless mission statement and placed a framed copy on the wall. On the opposite wall, in a similar frame was another, worthless mission statement… different wording, just as worthless.

  2. One organization I worked with had crafted a similarly worthless mission statement and placed a framed copy on the wall. On the opposite wall, in a similar frame was another, worthless mission statement… different wording, just as worthless.

  3. This post gave me both a good laugh and a cry. Can’t ask for more than that!

  4. This post gave me both a good laugh and a cry. Can’t ask for more than that!

  5. Well, I can’t agree more about getting professional help. That sure is something that any other person should do. Thank you for this post a lot!

  6. Well, I can’t agree more about getting professional help. That sure is something that any other person should do. Thank you for this post a lot!

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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