Rethinking Your Mission or Vision Statement?



Date of Publication
January, 2017

Vision and mission statements are often used interchangeably, but differences do exist. A mission statement describes what an organization or business does and a vision statement describes what an organization or business hopes to achieve as a result of specific actions. Mission statements focus on the present and vision statements look into the future.

Recently rape crisis centers nationally and statewide have been tweaking aspects of their mission, vision, branding, and even agency names to keep up with emerging trends and popular language usage. Your mission and vision statements should be revisited periodically to ensure they still work for your agency.

For example, organizations have been moving toward the term sexual violence over rape or sexual assault as it can feel like a more inclusive term to the full spectrum of experiences.

Also, agencies have wanted to move toward a positive action like “to end” rather than being “against” an issue. Boards of agencies have shown recent interest in moving to prevention focused language in changes to mission and vision statements.

In a board or staff meeting, brainstorm some of the following questions to explore if your organization could use a mission statement or vision adjustment:

  • Does our mission / vision still feel relevant within the context of the anti-sexual violence movement?
  • Does our mission / vision statement feel inclusive to our service population and programs?
  • Are there language shifts that need to be made within your mission or vision?
  • What impact do you want to make in your community? Does your mission / vision still reflect this ?
  • How are you accomplishing your mission goal? Has the approach of the organization changed in a significant way that should be encompassed in your mission / vision?
  • Has our movement or society at large shifted our issue? Does this shift require us to shift as well?