Vision and Mission
People have a ‘vision’ of the way the world could be a better place. In the UK the term vision generally refers to a desirable future situation for an organisation‘s users and for the wider world. A number of organisations can share the same vision.
The term mission is the highest level description of why the organisation exists and what it aims to achieve. All nonprofit organisations should therefore have a mission. It may also describe the main means by which the organisation aims to achieve its mission.
Mission statements on their own do not give an organisation a mission. Missions need to pervade every aspect of what an organisation does. They need to be ‘lived’ by everyone in the organisation.
Confusingly, in the US the terms vision and mission are often reversed. We have used the UK convention on this site.
More on Vision and Mission
Characteristics of mission statements
Promoting the mission
Vision statements from the UK
Mission statements from the UK
Mission statements from the US
Chapters on Vision & Mission
Managing Without Profit
Mike Hudson, Directory of Social Change, 2009.
sets out the concepts of vision, mission and values.
describes how to create and refresh visions and missions.
Managing at the Leading Edge
Mike Hudson, Directory of Social Change, 2003 .
Section 6.2 describes how:
- Great leaders have a clear vision for the future of their organisation
- Missions are used by leaders to motivate people throughout the organisation
- The best mission statements are short, precise and distinctive
- Leaders ensure that missions are omnipresent, used in decision taking and that they are regularly reviewed and updated.
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Last updated: December 2012