Many nonprofit organizations seek assistance with strategic planning. ACT has found that a successful strategic planning project requires that there first be clarity and agreement on the organization’s mission or purpose.
The organization’s mission must be clear, and agreed to by the major stakeholders, before undertaking a strategic planning process. ACT can help the organization by introducing a process that will result in shared agreement on mission, vision, and values.
The words “mission,” “purpose,” “vision,” “values,” and even “strategy” can hold very different meanings to different people. Each organization must clarify what it means by each of these terms.
The priority is to have agreement among the people involved, not to have “the right definition.” That said, the following definitions provide useful guidance for many organizations.