Why does your group exist?  What were the reasons or needs that saw it established in the first place?

If your group is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic), you will have a Statement of Purposes that is part of your Rules which help articulate this.  If your group is not incorporated, you may still have a Statement of Purposes, or you may have a list of aims or objectives (or nothing in writing at all!)

To be really clear about what your group is here for, it is useful to think in terms of Values, Vision and Mission – this is where I always start with any group when helping them with their planning.

Values:  What’s important to us?  What do we (collectively) value?  Come up with a short list of words or brief statements that sum up what is important to the group as a whole.  What this includes will vary between groups depending on what they do and who they do it for.

Vision:  What’s our ‘perfect’ world look like?  If you close your eyes and imagine what the perfect world looks like in the context of your group, write that down and there’s your Vision Statement!

Mission:  What do we need to do to move closer to our Vision?  While the Vision Statement is future-focused, our Mission Statement is what we do in the here-and-now to work towards that Vision.  The Statement of Purposes can often be much the same as our Mission Statement.

These Values, Vision and Mission need to be alive within your organisation.  Promote them on all your marketing tools – brochures, websites, social media.  Spell them out in your membership packs for new members.  Feature them on your plans, your policy and procedure documents, your annual report – anywhere you can put them that will reinforce to your members and others what your group is all about.

You can download this Blog Post as a tip sheet by clicking here:Tip Sheet_ Establishing Your Organisational Values, Vision and Mission Jan 26, 2015