Volunteer Power News Number 42
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2006 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
A warm welcome to all volunteer managersthose of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.
In this Issue:
What is the difference between a Mission and a Vision Statement?
Last week I had the opportunity to facilitate a strategic plan with 12 leaders of an organization. The group had requested that I help them develop a mission statement and a vision statement, so in preparation, I asked myself again the question, "What really is the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?"
I wondered what the experts said, so I googled that question, and I got 6,300,000 answers.
One of the most humorous answers came from Tom Perez, developer of Meaning At Work who claims that . . .
He went on to say that when the leaders of an organization develop a mission statement, they often spend eight hours in a hotel meeting room, during which the organization's 35 employees consume 102 donuts, 90 cups of coffee, 68 soft drinks (including 24 cans of Jolt Cola), 35 boxed lunches, and countless peppermint candies.
The result is the following:
And their vision statement was:
I have two questions:
1. So what - why do we need a mission statement - from the volunteer's perspective?
So What - Why Do We Need A Mission Statement?
A mission statement should excite the passion of the volunteer. A mission statement should be the rallying point of your organization. It is your cause. It is why you exist. And your volunteers must have a passion for that cause.
Look at these examples:
Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts, writes about their new mission statement:
"When Juliette Low started Girl Scouts in 1912, she wanted girls to build their own skills and values and give back to their country through leadership and service. How could Girl Scouts help girls do this? Juliette said: 'Let's take it to the girls and ask them."' They did. The 1912 mission statement was:
Kathy adds, "Ninety-three years later, we're still asking girls, and they're eager to tell us:
"Our new Mission tells girls: 'We hear you. And we'll deliver what you need.' Why does Girl Scouts need a new Mission statement? Because, if we're going to be girls' best choice to face tough challenges and achieve grand dreams in this fast-changing world, we need a clear, memorable statement that inspires girls all over America to join Girl Scouts and grow strong in our sisterhood. Our new Mission, which is easy to remember and quote (and can fit on a tee shirt) . . ." Source: Girl Scouts Leader Magazine
A mission statement is essential for my recruiting. I am not recruiting a volunteer for a job, but a specific task to fulfill a mission. When your volunteers believe that they are making a difference, you can tap into their passion.
To write a mission statement I use the following four questions:
After I answer each of those questions in ten words or less, I then use those answers to write a one or two sentence mission statement.
So What is a Vision Statement?
Although you can read five authors who will give you five different answers, I define the mission and vision statements this way:
Mission: Your Cause - Why you exist and the service you provide for the people you serve. It is what you do best.
Vision: Your Future - What you are going to do to accomplish your mission in the next year or few years. It is what your future is going to look like because you do your mission so well.
I like to think of my vision statement as my Big Hairy Audacious Goal - to borrow the term from Jim Collins in Good to Great.
Two examples of vision statements
As I met with the 12 leaders last week, we developed a vision statement. Then we brainstormed for an hour and listed everything we wanted to do in the next few years to fulfill our mission. We came up with about 25 ideas-some really Big Hairy Audacious ideas. Out of that list we chose one vision statement that became our goal for the next two years. In two years they will write another vision statement.
This is my take. Important things to remember in developing mission and vision statements:
For more information of developing mission statement and strategic planning retreats see the following resources on Volunteer Power: Strategic Planning Retreat
Volunteer Power Workshops or Key-Note Presentations for Your Organization
Consider one of the following topics (or several of the topics) for a Volunteer Power Workshop
The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting
Some Cats Got It . . . Some Cats Don't
Ten Really Cool Things that You Need to Know about Volunteering That You Are Not Hearing
They Don't Play My Music Anymore
The New Volunteer
Contact Thomas W. McKee for Information: (916) 987-0359 or Tom@volunteerpower.com
Tom McKee is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com.
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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