I often find myself scrolling through articles or emails without reading them fully because they are too long for the time I have on-hand. Sometimes I love to see a short little blurb that I can read in-full, learn from and move on with my day.

This week’s blog is about the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement.

As an organization is established, this is one of the first questions that gets tossed around. ‘Why are we here, what are we going to do, and what is our ultimate goal?’

When working with clients who are in the process of strategic planning, working on grant proposals, creating case statements for campaigns or new entrepreneurs, the mission/vision conversation is a must.

Here is a great tool to walk you through creating or evaluating your mission and vision statements that Marie uses. We hope this will be useful as you continue growing for good.


Mission answers the question:Why do we exist?

Vision answers the question:What will the future look like as we fulfill our mission? What will be different?

While mission is about today, vision is about the future, what we will become.

Your mission can and should be written in a short, concise statement. It should pass the “T-shirt” test, meaning, it should be able to be printed on a t-shirt and still be readable.

The vision needs to be more than a statement. It should be a description. This description may be a paragraph or a whole page. It should paint a picture of the future that will come to be as we carry out our mission.

Example: Charity Water is a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Furthermore, 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.

Use this chart as a visual while working on mission and vision statements.
Mission Vision
Answers Why? What?
Definition Statement Snapshot
Length Short Long
Purpose Informs Inspires
Activity Doing Seeing
Source Head Heart
Order First Second
Effect Clarifies Challenges

Please remember, it is always acceptable to review your mission and revise it as necessary. Your mission can and possibly should change over time. As your work, your strategies and your community evolve, it is possible your mission will as well.