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How to Write an Effective Mission Statement for Your Community

Yogi Berra said: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” The same holds true for any community.

Mission statements are not new. Yet with online communities popping up, bringing people together from town to town, coast to coast, and country to country, crafting an effective mission statement is more critical than ever before. Be it your organization, Facebook community, or really anywhere you aim to organize and energize a population for a common goal, a mission statement can help streamline and focus the community’ s message in a consistent and appealing manner. I love Ben and Jerry’s Statement of Mission.

Any good mission statement is constructed on 3 main pillars:

1. Purpose Statement aka “Product” – – This pillar describes what your community is about, what it aims to do and why. Be brief and make it easy to grasp.

2. How the Wheels Will Turn aka “Economy”
– – This pillar describes what tools or initiatives will be involved to keep the community growing and thriving. Will you have events? Use social media tools?

3. Core Value aka “Social” – – This pillar describes your core values that permeate your community and serve as your guiding North Star.

Some Do-s:

* Be brief
* Keep it free of jargon
* Craft it so it can be easily articulated by members others to help spread the word
* Be motivational so those in the community are inspired and energized to participate and make it a thriving, healthy community

Some Don’t-s:

* Write three pages
* Make your goal to save the world
* Make it impossible to find on your site
* Construct it on only 1 pillar, or 2. You need all 3.

Some good examples:


“To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

GovLoop’s Fire and Emergency Management Group

“This group discusses the various social media applications available for use with Fire, Police & EMS agencies. Collaboration & networking will provide solutions to creating viable Web 2.0 tools for public safety agencies.”

Sierra Club South Carolina

“To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.”

Humane Society of the US

“To create a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people, through education, advocacy, and the promotion of respect and compassion.”

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