The vision statement for your nonprofit organization is one of the most important elements of your marketing campaign. This statement reveals what your organization is trying to accomplish and how it will use donations and earnings. However, many nonprofits do not give vision statements the proper attention they merit, often overlooking the important role they play and many times mishandling them by just running down a list of lofty goals that may seem pretentious or unattainable. Keep these tips in mind when you’re writing your nonprofit’s vision statement.
Your nonprofit’s vision statement needs to explain where your organization is heading with a concise and effective description of attainable future goals that are unique to your nonprofit, which help to distinguish it from other organizations. The statement should be memorable and appropriate for a variety of audiences, but it needs to make a strong case for why your organization fills a specific need.
Your vision statement should comprehensively outline your organization’s unique strategy – that is, the ways in which it will operate to achieve its goals. This strategy should differentiate your organization from other nonprofits. A unique strategy that is effectively outlined works to draw in funding, specifically from new and first-time donors. This also gives employees and other staff members a rubric to follow when striving to operate the organization as it was designed.
Every good vision statement has a compelling emotional component. Your organization strives to fulfill a need or accomplish a mission. In many cases, this means providing a basic necessity to underprivileged populations.
For example, if your nonprofit’s ultimate goal is to provide clean drinking water for children in Kenya, a short and simple vision statement such as “Help us help thirsty children in Kenya” is an excellent, succinct emotional appeal. Potential donors read this and get the distinct message that children in Kenya may die of dehydration or contaminated water unless they help. This is emotionally stirring and is one of the most important elements of a persuasive vision statement designed to elicit financial support of your cause.
Problem and Solution
Even though your vision statement is most effective when it is short, it should still include a problem and a solution. The problem is whatever your organization’s goal or cause is, and the solution is always money being donated.
For example, consider the sample vision statement discussed above. The audience reading “Help us help thirsty children in Kenya” understands that the problem is a lack of clean water for children in Kenya. The solution is also clearly evident from this statement. The wording used indicates that your organization can help fill the need and solve the problem. However, the statement also compels donations – it indicates that you can’t meet this need without the help of donors. In this way, the vision statement clearly communicates to donors that you can’t provide help without them.