Valley First

Developing a Vision

Vision and mission statements should capture the essence of your organization's beliefs and values, defining its place in the world. Create a vision and mission that establish the long-term direction that guides every aspect of your organization.

 

How do vision and mission differ?

  • Your vision statement should express your orgainizaton’s optimal goal and reason for existence. Keep it clear and concise and easy to remember.
  • Your mission statement provides an overview of the plans your organization has to bring the vision to life—your mission identifies your service areas, your target audience, and the value and goals of your organization.
  • EXPERT TIP

    Remember to factor in who your audience is when developing a business plan and objectives—know how to reach them and what tactics will appeal to them.

    Before you create your plan

    It may sound like a lot of work, but a business plan for a non-profit organization isn't that different from any other business plan. You simply need to describe why your organization is valuable, both to those who benefit from it, and to those who fund it.

    • Determine the scope of your non-profit. If your mandate is "to help the poor", you're probably thinking too big. You need to carefully define the group who will benefit from your activities and how they'll benefit from what you propose to provide.
    • Identify those in your community who currently support your vision and those who may be willing to put in time to help you.
    • Determine what public funding is available to you.
    • Establish relationships with key community representatives such as appointed government officials.
    • Contact the network of established non-profit organizations in the communities you’re proposing to serve and ensure that there isn’t going to be any duplication of effort if you create your non-profit.

    A non-profit business plan

    • Write your mission statement to describe the purpose of your non-profit.
    • Create the main goals which support the mission.
    • Identify some measureable objectives which support the main goals.
    • Write out the strategies you’ll use to reach your objectives.
    • Create a timeline for meeting your objectives so that you have a measureable plan.

    EXPERT TIP

    The key to success with your plan is keeping your long-term goals in mind, despite the day-to-day operations tasks that demand your attention. Measure your actual results against your plan regularly to ensure you’re on the right track.

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