Mission, vision and values checklist

These three checklists provide a way to develop or review your mission, vision and values. Everyone in the organisation needs to be involved in this process, which should be led by the trustees. You might also want to invite feedback from other stakeholders too.

Vision

Your vision should:

  • describe the ideal future you want for your users or cause
  • capture the heart and the head, and have an idealistic tone
  • convey a standard of excellence
  • reflect horizon-expanding ideals
  • inspire enthusiasm and commitment
  • use language that’s easily understood
  • link with your mission
  • show that change is needed.

Mission

Your mission statement should say:

  • Who you are
  • Who or what you support
  • What you do
  • Why you do it
  • How you do it.

It should be:

  • clear and easily understood
  • short and focused (usually one or two sentences)
  • inspiring
  • realistic, workable and achievable
  • expressed in terms of outcomes
  • linked to your charitable objectives (if it isn’t, then these should be reviewed too – but remember that amending your objects is a major step).

Values

Values are:

  • things that people feel have value or worth and hold dear
  • beliefs, attitudes or principles expressed in behaviours
  • things that govern organisational behaviour – what people do and how they do it
  • consistent with each other and with your vision and mission.

Benefits

These checklists help to make these important organisational statements tangible. It offers a practical way to assess or devise each one.

Limitations

There is no absolute agreed meaning to this terminology: each can mean different things to different people and can cause tension and conflict when discussing them.

When to use it

This tool is useful when you clarify your organisation’s direction.

What are your experiences of using this tool? Share your triumphs and tribulations with our network members or write your own tips by commenting on this page.

More information on this tool is featured in our guide Tools for Tomorrow.

Last updated at 17:54 Mon 12/Apr/10.

Discuss

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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