Writing the perfect mission/vision statement for your animal rescue or sanctuary is difficult. This guide offers ways that you can craft a statement that speaks to your audience.
Things to Determine Before You Write Your Statement
Before you write your mission or vision statement, take a little time to consider what’s most important to your organization. Here are some questions you should answer when you write your statement.
Why does your nonprofit exist?
Your animal sanctuary or pet rescue organization isn’t the only one out there, so you need to communicate what makes yours unique. The best way to incorporate the answer to this question is into a mission statement that identifies your organization’s goals. If you can’t recount these goals, think about why your donors and patrons support you. Their goals should closely align with yours.
Who does your nonprofit serve?
The best way to show you’re in touch with your supporters is to use the same type of language they use when talking to others about their volunteer work and contributions. Evaluate the demographics of your supporters, such as their age group, location, and what motivates them to contribute. Perhaps they support your organization because you help animals find new homes or you’re protecting animals from hunters and breeding farms. Communicate this in your statement.
How does your nonprofit serve animals?
Protecting animals is the core of your organization’s purpose, but what are you doing differently than everyone else? With so many animal shelters and rescue organizations around, it’s difficult for potential donors and volunteers to choose which one to support. If you’re involved in animal fostering or adoption, you want to let people know that they can give a dog a forever home through your organization.
How does your nonprofit serve people?
Animal shelters serve a role in the community and you need to define how you’re helping that community. Perhaps you’re attempting to solve the problem of stray animals roaming the streets, or you want to pursue justice on behalf of animals abused by their owners. Make this clear in your vision statement.
Things To Do When Writing Your Statement
Here are some guidelines you can follow when you’re writing your nonprofit’s mission or vision statement:
Vague mission statements aren’t compelling because people think they’re emotionless and cold. When you communicate a very specific goal, you cut through all the clutter and jargon they’re used to reading elsewhere. It helps them make a quick decision regarding your cause and if they should devote time and money to it.
If your goals aren’t realistic, people may view you as an idealist or a dreamer. You need to show that your aims are achievable or highlight your past success.
If your statement sounds too much like other nonprofit organizations’ mission statements, you’re going to lose the crowd. People might see you as just one of many animal organizations and forget your name when it comes time for donations. If you show how you’re different, you become memorable.
It’s great that you love animals and want to protect them, but how are you going to do it? Use an action verb in your statement that answers the question.
On the internet, people have a remarkably low attention span. If you can’t capture their attention within the first sentence or two, you may lose them. This is why the most effective mission statements are only one or two sentences long. Adhering to this limit also reduces the likelihood that you’re rambling.
Things to Avoid When Writing Your Vision Statement
You might not nail your mission statement the first time you write it, and that’s okay. Review it to see if you’ve committed any of these mistakes:
Using jargon or complex language
Think about how you want to explain your goals to someone who has absolutely no knowledge of your area of expertise. Translate complex terms into layman’s terms so anyone who reads your statement understands what you stand for and how you plan to make a difference.
Get to the point quickly. Some of the most marketable mission statements in history are only a handful of words.
Using poor grammar
The importance of proper grammar and sentence structure is never overstated. This statement will influence how others perceive your organization, so you need to exude professionalism.
Here are three examples of great mission and vision statements:
“We’re a wolf sanctuary that returns wolf-dog hybrids to their natural habitat and educates the community on the dangers of owning hybrids.”
“Our nonprofit addresses the issue of canine and feline overpopulation by fostering animals, making it affordable to spay and neuter pets, and rescuing cats and dogs who live on the streets.”
“We help animals who’ve experienced abuse by arranging adoptions with loving families in need of a new furry companion.”