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writing mission statements

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					a step-by-step guide:
writing your
mission statement




Family Pride
PO Box 65327
Washington, DC 20035
ph. 202.331.5015/ f. 202.331.0080
info@familypride.org / www.familypride.org
DEFINITION
A mission statement is a brief paragraph that gives a clear and concise message about why your group exists and sets a direction for
the future of the group. Mission statements are useful as criteria for measuring the effectiveness of your group’s activities against
the ultimate goal(s) of your group.

The statement should provide a strategic vision and enable all the group members to share and understand the mission.

HOW TO START
Brainstorm with group members about answers to the following questions:

1. Who does this group primarily serve?
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2. What are the basic needs that this group fills?
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3. How does this organization meet the needs of those it serves?
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4. Is the area served geographically limited? If so, what is the area served?
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5. What makes this organization unique?
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6. What values does this organization seek to promote?
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Write down everything people suggest, without debating ideas. Afterwards, re-read suggestions to find ideas that are similar or have
common themes. Try to come up with statements summarizing these concepts. Let people discuss and make adjustments until
everyone can agree with what you've written.

Put together a draft based on what you've agreed on, and bring it back to the group for final adjustments and approval.




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                                       a step-by-step guide: writing your mission statement
EXAMPLE
Here is an example of a mission statement from the National Association for White and Black Men Together:

        The National Association of Black and White Men Together is a gay, multiracial, multicultural organization committed to
        fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and the goal of human equality
        realized. To these ends we engage in educational, political, cultural and social activities as a means of dealing with the
        racism, sexism, homophobia, HIV/AIDS discrimination and other inequities in our communities and in our lives.

TIPS
•   Keep your statement concise and simple. The best mission statement is easy to memorize.
•   Remember that the statement is not inflexible; if the group decides to change direction, the mission statement can always be
    updated.
•   Effective mission statements take time to perfect – give your group a few weeks for input and final editing.
•   A good mission statement should explain why your group exists, and what it hopes to achieve in the future.
•   Make sure that everyone in the group gets a copy of the statement. Use it often and openly; the mission statement should lead
    the group’s planning efforts, goals and projects.




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MAKING YOUR MISSION INCLUSIVE
Take a second look at what you have. Are all loving families included in your mission? If not, why not? Does your mission have
transgender-inclusive language? Does your mission actively welcome people of color? Does your mission build community power?

This is a discussion that needs to occur among all group members.

•    Here is an example of a mission that doesn’t include all loving families:

     The Parents' Club of Providence enriches the lives of LGB-headed families with young children within our club. We are a group
     of parents who have come together to form a volunteer-led, non-profit organization that provides education, support, social
     activities and structures to promote family equality by creating safe spaces and networking opportunities.

•    Here is an example of a mission that is more inclusive:

     The Parents' Club of Providence enriches the lives of LGBTQA-headed families, both within our club and our community. We are
     a multicultural, multiracial group of parents, prospective parents, grandparents and guardians who have come together to form a
     volunteer-led, non-profit organization that provides education, support, social activities and structures to promote family equality
     by creating safe spaces and networking opportunities in which all people are welcome.

Be prepared to back up your mission with action. If you use transgender-inclusive language, for example, then make sure gender-
neutral bathrooms are available at all meetings and events.


WRITE YOUR MISSION
It’s time to write your mission. Using the brainstorming and input from the previous exercises, write a mission that reflects your group—writing it down gets
everyone on the same page! Remember, three sentences is a good length.
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UPDATE YOUR MISSION
Now that your parents group has a mission, be sure to email Family Pride. We need to update your parents group profile to accurately reflect your organization.
Send your updated parents group mission to info@familypride.org.




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                                               a step-by-step guide: writing your mission statement