Introduce Yourself to the World
The “world” is the general population. It's your neighbors, the media, and people who have learned of your existence and are curious enough to look a little farther.
Most of these folks will never actually read the mission statement; they don't need to read it. The way your organization functions and the work it does will speak for itself. The mission statement anchors the organization; the organization's purpose stems from the principles it lays out.Play to Your Audience
Always remember the audience you are trying to reach. Over time, the members of your core group will understand one another through working and discussion. The mission statement is not the place to talk to yourselves, as fun and as easy as that may be.
You are preparing a document that will be read by people you do not know and may never meet. Do not waste time developing wording that impresses your group. You need to remain focused on the external audience and how they will read and interpret your words.Do More Research
Just as it is good to review the mission statements of organizations to get a feel for how they read and how they are put together, it is also wise to look at the grant applications of potential donors. This allows you to see exactly what they are seeking and what they want to see in the mission statements of groups they choose to fund.
Private foundations may choose not to reveal the groups and organizations they fund, but government agencies and public charities do. Between them, you will have more than enough examples to review.
The purpose of this research is not to copy or emulate the wording of another organization. It is to understand how a more mature, successful group communicates the essence of its purpose through its mission statement.
What is meant by the key documents?
The key documents that are easily obtainable consist of the organization's annual report, which may include its mission/vision statement, or its 501(c) (3) application, which is public record. Obtaining them is simply a matter of calling or e-mailing the group and asking for a copy of their documents.