What is the purpose of your community? Who is the community designed to serve? What value will people get when they join and contribute? These are some of the key questions you need to ask when creating your community. The answers to these questions must be clear to you and your members. This is where developing a community mission statement comes in! Your mission statement will help you answer these questions and more!
What is a Community Mission Statement?
A community mission statement is a formal summary that outlines why your community exists and the goals you want to achieve. It should be the central pillar of the community—you should turn to it as a guideline for all actions.
In addition to highlighting the community’s purpose, a great mission statement encourages members to join, articulates the values and culture of the community, and explains the value of being part of it.
Why is a Community Mission Statement Important?
The mission statement is integral to your community’s strategy because it is used to define future goals, as well as operational tactics. By defining the purpose of your community, you can better understand the goals your community is committed to achieving. Once those goals are set, you can create a strategy to achieve them. By establishing this stable foundation, you can build your community from the ground up and help ensure its stability.
Your mission statement is also critical for your members. After all, if you don’t have a clear and specific understanding of the focus and value of your community, you can’t expect your members to (or you risk them defining this for you, which might not be ideal). Potential members can evaluate your community based on its mission statement to decide whether it suits their own values and goals or not.
Best Practices to Create a Community Mission Statement
The ideation process of creating a mission statement should bring together multiple opinions from different community stakeholders. You may find that creating the mission station can also spark new ideas. The mission statement can also transform your perspective on your community. It can cause you to look at your community with a fresh pair of eyes.
That being said, bear in mind that a mission statement can always be evolved over time, enabling you to adjust your statement in new directions that better suit your members and your own business goals.
Here are some quick tips to ensure you create an effect mission statement:
- Answer key questions: Why you exist, what makes you different, and what you expect to accomplish
- Reflect your values. Values should be the guiding moral framework of your organization and your community mission statement should also reflect them.
- Keep it simple and short. No one likes reading long and boring statements. Get to the point quickly.
- Think long-term. Considering what you want to achieve in the long-term will help you to determine short-term goals that will guide you to the main purpose of your activity.
- Make it sound reasonable but memorable. Be original, do not be afraid of trying new approaches, and make your community mission statement unique. People love forming part of different and engaging communities.
- Involve your community. Involving your members in the creation process can give you more original and creative approaches and can increase engagement in your community
Examples of Good Mission StatementsHarvard Business School
“To provide meaningful forums for HBS alumni to connect with one another and the School, inspire through engaging, diverse and enriching programs, and to make an impact in their personal and professional communities”
Why it is good:
It’s inspirational and attractive. It reflects their values and gives a powerful message to their community. Members can always go back to this mission to remember why they are part of the community in the first place.
“We believe that complex global issues are fought by building confidence, raising aspirations, and connecting diverse people of merit.”
Why it is good:
World Merit succeeds in concisely explaining the reason why they exist and why they do what they do. The wording is to the point, memorable, and inspiring.
“Inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy”
Why it is good:
They keep it simple and short. In only one sentence, JA worldwide defines the purpose of their activity, no more words needed.
Developing a good community mission statement takes time and effort (and sometimes even money), but it is essential for your community’s success.
Mission statements can be incredibly powerful and you should think carefully before writing yours. These simple sentences and ideas force you to consider the current direction of the community and the image it presents to the world.
More community building resources
Looking to build, expand, or increase engagement in your community? Explore resources from our community experts:
- [Infographic] Your Online Community Launch Timeline
- [Guide] How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Community
- [Case Study] How the D2 collective is Making the Tech World Feel Closer
- [Guide] Why You Need an Email Marketing Strategy for Your Online Community
- [Webinar Replay] How to Launch a Successful Online Community
- [Webinar Replay] Harness the Power of AI in Community Management
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