Quick guide: vision & mission

Quick guide: vision & mission

By Sara Lock


A quick and simple toolkit to help you develop powerful vision and mission statements for your organisation.

"A personal or company vision gives you a sense of how things could be. It's your ideal future, it says what you, or even the world, could become."
Mel Larsen

an ideal future caused by you

Your vision is the driving force behind your organisation. It's the thing that gets you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night. It's the ultimate aspiration that unites your team and inspires donors to give.

Your vision is the difference you want to make in the world. It is your version of an ideal future.

Some of the strongest visions you will ever read are ten words or less. Those words may be the hardest you'll ever have to write. Once written, your vision will enhance everything you do. It will give people a reason to believe in you.

Vision exercise #1
find three visions that move you

  • Search the internet for examples of charity visions
  • Read as many as you have time for
  • Write down three that particularly moved you or stayed in your mind
  • Spend 10 minutes thinking about why they grabbed your attention

Vision exercise #2
think about your ideal future

  • Get your team or a few colleagues together
  • Imagine you could not fail
  • Ask yourself the following questions and note down some thoughts:
    • What is your ideal future/world/society?
    • What is the biggest difference we could cause? (remember that you're imagining you could not fail)

Vision exercise #3
write, re-write and hone your vision

  • Invite each member of your team to write a vision for the organisation (remember that short is memorable)
  • Share your visions and group them into like-minded statements
  • Make a note of any words that keep cropping up
  • Work together to create a single vision that incorporates those words
  • Ask why - why is that important? Why do we want to achieve that?
  • When nobody needs to ask why anymore then you'll know you've cracked it
  • Be brutal - cross out any words that don't matter
  • Finally, do the memory test; leave your vision for a few days - can you still remember it?

Download the full guide, including worksheets:
Quick guide: vision & mission (PDF)

Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2017