Step 2: Update Your Mission & Vision

I. Have everyone in your organization - volunteers, paid staff, board members - complete exercises 1-6 below. 

  1. Be clear on the differences between a mission and vision statement. Note that a vision statement grows directly from and incorporates aspects of a mission statement. While a mission statement tells what an organization was founded to do, a vision statement explains what it wants to become.
  2. In a sentence or two, state your organization's mission.
  3. In a sentence or two, state your organization's vision.
  4. Are both these statements clear? (Would your grandmother understand exactly what you mean?)
  5. Are both these statements concise? (Could you put them on the back of your business card?)
  6. Does your mission statement reflect current reality? Does your vision statement identify realistic goals for the future?

II. Compare your answers to questions 1-6 with those of others in your organization?

  1. Is everyone essentially in agreement about what your mission and vision statements are?
  2. Does everyone agree that your mission and vision statements are clear, concise, and up-to-date?

III. If your answer to questions 1 and 2 above was "no," arrange to meet with as many board and staff as possible to brainstorm ideas until you all agree on updated mission and vision statements.

IV. Don't worry if you've spent longer on this step than you'd hoped. This is a crucial early step in laying your fundraising foundation. Now that you have a clear mission and vision that everyone in your organization supports, you can use it again and again throughout the fundraising process. It will help rally people and show them why your organization deserves donations. No true fundraising can occur until you have gone through this step.


Key players in your organization have a picture of what your organization does and what it will be doing years from now.  You have thus turned everyone in your organization into a fundraiser, because this information is at the heart of every successful funding request.