Guerrillas know that every point of contact your organization has with people is marketing. Your mission statement touches everything you do and is seen by everyone you connect with. With something that important it makes sense to look at it with an eye for marketing. Why is it that mission statements are often written academically or by committees? Shouldn’t they should be written with the intent of using them as persuasive communication? Even the Declaration of Independence, though drafted by a committee, was written by a single person with a knack for words, Thomas Jefferson. Your mission statement should be written with no less thought than the most expensive advertising campaign receives. You wouldn’t expect a Super Bowl advertisement to be written by lawyers would you? Restating your purpose with a marketing mindset can help you connect better with people. Ask yourself, if your mission statement came up as the results in an internet search engine (a very likely scenario), would you want to click it? What would be the key words people used to find you anyway?
The Three Sentence Guerrilla Mission Statement
Here’s how you write your Guerrilla Marketing mission statement. The three things that will make your organization the most successful are, 1) your passion, 2) what you are best at, and 3) a clear sense of what is the bottom line impact you are trying to make. Sit down and struggle with all the data you have and cull everything you know about what your organization does and is down into just three sentences.
Write three sentences that describe your organization:
- Why do you exist? (Make sure you are talking about your passions.)
- What does your organization do? (This is where you talk about what you are best at.)
- What difference does it make? (Tell what is the impact your organization is making)
They need to be shorter sentences. Putting too much information in your phrases will make your audience’s attention spans start to wander. Imagine you are going to use this as your “elevator speech.” Suppose you have just gotten on an elevator and as soon as the doors close, another person in the elevator asks you to tell them about your organization. You have to tell them in the time it takes to go from the first floor to the second floor what they need to know about your nonprofit. If you can’t say who you are, what you do, and why it is important in :30 seconds, you may be too complicated to become the subject of people’s conversations. You may have bigger problems than marketing. We wish we could write your statements for you, but you are a Guerrilla, you have to do it yourself, the sentences need to come out of your passion. After you have written them, you can enlist help in word-smithing and polishing them. But getting the statements first from your heart will change you forever. These statements become the tools you use you can use in your progression toward unimagined success for your nonprofit.
Example: March of Dimes
- Why do you exist? Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
- What do you do? We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies’ lives.
- What difference does it make? March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight.