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Establishing a Nonprofit Organization

Develop vision and mission statements

Vision and mission statements should articulate the essence of your organization's beliefs and values and define its place in the world. They establish the long-term direction that guides every aspect of an organization's daily operations.

To distinguish between the two, a vision statement expresses an organization's optimal goal and reason for existence, while a mission statement provides an overview of the group's plans to realize that vision by identifying the service areas, target audience, and values and goals of the organization.

The following statements highlight the difference between vision and mission:

In drafting appropriate statements for your organization, you might think about answers to the following questions to guide you:

Vision

  • What are the values or beliefs that inform your work?
  • What would you ultimately hope to accomplish as a result of your efforts?
Mission
  • How do you plan to work toward this broad vision?
  • For whose specific benefit does the organization exist?
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