How To Write A Mission Statement


Mission and Purpose? For a team in a game?

We know. It might seem a little quirky for a team playing a game to do something as businesslike as articulating its purpose or even creating a mission statement.

But we thought it could be a fun and even useful process to help provide your team a sense of focus and a powerful reason to play beyond just winning some prizes.

After all, tackling climate change is a lifetime proposition for everyone involved, and it helps to have some clarity and focus around the way you want to participate.

The answers will probably change in time, but how excellent to have a place to start - and a group of people to start with!

The Four Questions

There are four basic questions to answer when you're thinking about your mission.

Let's look at it from the point of view of a couple different businesses - a farm and an alternative school:

  • Purpose: What do we do?
    • We grow and sell organic vegetables
    • We create and offer programs that help children learn
  • Values: How do we do it?
    • We operate according to the principles of permaculture (organic, fair-trade, non-gmo, based on nature's rhythms)
    • We match the learning styles of our students with programs created specifically for their type
  • Audience: Whom do we do it for?
    • People who care about healthy food and a healhty environment
    • Elementary and middle school students who haven't felt successful in a traditional educational environment
  • Sizzle: What value are we bringing to our work?
    • We care passionately about growing delicious and healthy food
    • We believe learning can be a joyous, engaged experience for anyone, and we don't want to see anyone miss out 

As you brainstorm answers to these questions, be clear, simple, direct, and honest. Then, as you craft your mission statement from those answers, the thread that holds it together is the fundamental spark or passion behind what you're doing.

Sample Mission Statements

A business's mission statement might look something like:

  • "My company's purpose is to grow market vegetables using organic, sustainable farming practices to give people safe and healthy food choices."
  • "We provide educational services that allow all children to experience learning success and become life-long learners and contributing members of our community."

Or, to give it a boost of passion, it might say:

  • "At Happy Hollow Farm, we grow market vegetables in a way that's good for the earth and good for the table".
  • "Unexpected Education Project helps young learners grow curiousity for a lifetime."  

Now go through this same process with your team. It could be as simple as:

  • Purpose: What do we do?
    • We play Vemontivate! for the town of Brandon to help combat climate change
  • Values: How do we do it?
    • We invite everyone we know to play and we make sure all our team members complete every challenge
  • Audience: Whom do we do it for?
    • We do it for ourselves so that we feel powerful and active and we do it for our children and our grandchildren so they have a healthy planet.
  • Sizzle: What value are we bringing to our work?
    • We are hopeful, persistent, and inclusive

​And so a simple mission statement might be:

  • "Brandon's inclusive approach to Vermontivate! means that every member of our team has a hand in creating a sustainable community and a hopeful future."

Ultimately, there are an infinite number of ways to go about creating a mission statement. We'll leave you with a few more for inspiration:

Life Is Good: "The Life is good Playmakers partners with frontline professionals - such as teachers, social workers and child life specialists - who dedicate their lives to helping children overcome poverty, violence and illness. These Playmakers use the power of play to build healing, life-changing relationships with the children in their care."

Patagonia: "Our Reason for Being - Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

Warby Parker: "Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses."

The Malala Fund: "WE AMPLIFY the voices of the girls to keep them in the spotlight, inspire girls globally and drive action on girls’ issues by the global community; WE ADVOCATE at the international, national and local level for policy and system changes that give girls access to a high quality education at a community level; WE INVEST in community centered scalable solutions that provide quality education with potential for systems level change by empowering local leaders and educators."