Episode 006: Every Nonprofit Should Have A Brand Manifesto

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In this episode

I might ruffle a few feathers with this episode, but it’s worth the risk.

It’s been my observation that there’s a lot of confusion between vision and mission statements. Rarely do I see a consensus on how to define the two. In some instances, I’ve seen where organizations have replaced their vision and mission statements with a purpose statement.

Here’s what I can tell ya. A vision statement talks about where you’re going as an organization. The mission then describes how you’ll get there.

But, I have three problems with vision and mission statements.

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Show notes

I might ruffle a few feathers with this episode, but it’s worth the risk.

It’s been my observation that there’s a lot of confusion between vision and mission statements. Rarely do I see a consensus on how to define the two. In some instances, I’ve seen where organizations have replaced their vision and mission statements with a purpose statement.

Here’s what I can tell ya. A vision statement talks about where you’re going as an organization. The mission then describes how you’ll get there.

I have three problems with vision and mission statements:

The first is they’re just not very exciting; and often not very inspiring.

Number two is they lack flexibility. To serve you well, they must be agile. We live in a world where everything is moving at lightning speed. Mission and vision statements should be flexible enough to evolve with the changing times. For example, your demographic may change over time. Or, you may add or discontinue programs and services.

Here’s the thing: It’s damn near impossible expect a vision and mission statement written over 25 years ago to still be relevant and applicable to your current organization.

My third beef and biggest beef is many of them leave it out the why; they’re focused on the where and how.

Which begs me to make this strong recommendation:

If you do not have a brand manifesto, drop everything you’re doing and get it done now! It’s a different kind of animal altogether. It includes the where and how, but it has the WHY covered in spades. A good brand manifesto is so emotionally charged that it grabs the heart and inspires people to want to become a part of you’re doing and help make a difference for those whom you serve.

Let me read the manifesto we created for Team Joseph, an amazing organization whose mission is to accelerate cutting-edge research to find a cure for Duchenne. Duchenne is an absolutely devastating disease that takes the freedom to walk, talk, run, play, hug, eat and breathe from young boys. Duchenne is fatal. There is no cure.

 

Here’s their brand manifesto:

We do not take no for an answer.

Close is not good enough.

We’re fighters. We fight to save children’s lives. To help them realize their full potential.

And it’s the love we share for our children and families, for the Duchenne community, that turns every potential discovery into true possibility.

This is why we’re helping accelerate cutting-edge research to defeat­­­­­­­­­­ Duchenne. Serving as a catalyst for breakthrough solutions.

This is how we’re collaborating with innovative medical professionals and dedicated supporters, and improving human lives.

And, this is the reason we share unwavering hope and a deep sense of determination.

Wherever children and families are suffering, whenever the Duchenne community is looking for a strong and relentless advocate for better and faster treatments, and an improved quality of life, we are there to answer the call.

For us, it’s more than a mission.

More than a passion.

It’s a fight. Our fight.

A fight for a better future.

A fight for breakthrough treatments.

A fight for a cure.

 

Powerful, right? It’s time to write on your own. Get to it!

@badassforgood

Thanks for listening to the BADASSFORGOOD podcast!

If you like the BADASSFORGOOD podcast, please download it, tweet it, Facebook it, and share it with everyone!

If you have a brand or marketing question, or an idea for a show topic, shoot me an email at trent@rtrentthompson.com or tweet me @badassforgood.

And, if you haven’t already, subscribe to the BADASSFORGOOD podcast today so you don’t miss a single episode!

My name is R. Trent Thompson. Thank you for stopping by!

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