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Why your charity's vision statement shouldn't be the missing piece of the puzzle

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

I love a strong charity vision statement. In every one of my roles working within the sector it has always filled me with a sense of pride to stand in front of a room and explain the world the organisation wants to see. It not only demonstrates why a charity exists but sets the scene for the part your charity plays in contributing to that change. And it helps donors, volunteers, staff, and stakeholders to understand the role THEY can play in creating a better future.

I see a vision as a completed jigsaw and each charity that contributes to it as a piece of the puzzle. Without each individual piece, the puzzle will never be complete and, without the amazing work charities do, that visionary change will never be achieved.

That is what makes charity vision statements unique. A charity’s vision statement is not just a marketing tool, it is about why your charity exists and the change your organisation wants to see. Creating a vision is a great exercise for trustees and staff to work through. It is not simply about your charity and what it can achieve, but the goal you are working towards, so don’t afraid to be bold!

A vision statement should be externally focused and looks to the future. Charities exist for the public benefit, working towards creating change and making a difference. So, it is important to be clear what that difference is. In an ideal world what change would your charity play a vital contribution towards and what would the end result be?

A strong vision can help drive your charity’s strategy. It also enables you to create a clear mission statement. A mission statement is about the activities a charity carries out and the role your organisation plays in working towards your vision. Here you can focus more on the impact of your work and the activities you are delivering. It can also include examples, and it may change over time.

So, I would recommend that all charities, no matter your size, spend time on creating your vision statement. Even if you are small, you can still be mighty when voicing the difference that you aspire towards.

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