This essay deals with three mission statements of human service organizations. It evaluates the effectiveness of each, as a qualitative mission statement. A mission statement is defined as , “ a brief description of a company’s fundamental purpose. A mission statement answers the question, “ why do we exist?’ It articulates the company’s purpose both for those in the organization and in the public”. ( Ward Susan )
Statement 1 :
The first mission statement chosen for this essay is that of the center for faith- based & community initiatives, Unites States department of health and human services. It consists of three paragraphs. The first paragraph says that it intends to create an environment where faith based and community based organizations are invited to be partners, “ to focus on improving human services for our country’s neediest citizens ”.
The second paragraph mentions that many more faith based and community based organizations have been made partners, and offered technical help the needy citizens. It also says that it has collaboration with many old organizations and its staff is trained well to “ understand how to reach out and partner with these organizations”.
The third paragraph states that it “provides information and training, but does not take decisions on which groups will be funded”. It further gives web links for more information. Analysis of this mission statement reveals that it does not convey “ what” is/are the real functions of the center. The statement has words which have too broad meanings, like “ partners”, “ collaboration”, etc. By reading this statement the only aspects which become clear are that the center makes partnerships with faith based and community based organizations to help needy citizens and it does not take decisions on funding.
Answers to what type of “ information and help” is mgiven to partners is totally missing. Giving some idea of specifics of functional areas would have added a lot of meaning to this statement.( CFBCI ) An hypothetical example will prove this. ‘A’ may say that its mission is to “ make profits ”. ‘B’ may say, its mission is to “ make profits by importing crude oil and selling it in the local market”. The second is a much better mission statement. This statement, though very long, is a bad example of a mission statement.
Statement – 2
The second statement is the one issued by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Villanova University, Department of Education and Human Services. It makes clear that it supports the Catholic Augustinian thought tradition and it treats every individual on the campus as a unique human being, working with one goal, that of ‘ assimilation of knowledge’. The second paragraph tells very specifically its purpose is to prepare teachers, human service providers, counselors, supervisors and administrators. This is achieved through theoretical and practical exposures in school and community settings. It claims that each of its graduates will have a commitment to social justice, cultivation of the intellect, and willingness to serve.
This is an ideal example of a good mission statement. Needless to say that assimilation of knowledge is the mission of any department of an University, but this statement further clarifies the areas of knowledge to be imparted, how it is imparted and what are the expected results of its mission. It also mentions that it is dedicated to the Christian Augustinian faith.
The only drawback of this statement is that the language and the vocabulary bear a very high profile, especially in the second paragraph. The message can be understood only by those who are very good at English. Perhaps, simple words and shorter sentences would have been more effective. ( mission statement ).
Perhaps, simplicity communicates the best !!
Statement – 3
The third statement analyzed in this essay is of an association names as PROTECT. Its one paragraph, very short yet very comprehensive mission statement says that it is a ‘pro child, anti crime membership association ’. It is founded on the belief that the first and most sacred obligation as parents, citizens and human beings is to protect children from harm. Its aim is to build a powerful, non partisan force to protect children from abuse, exploitation and neglect. It is also clear that the tools adopted to achieve its goals would be a determined single-issue focus, a meaningful mainstream agenda, and use of proven medical political strengths.
This is one more example of a good mission statement. It gives a complete picture of the motives of the organization. The goals are clearly stated and the means to achieve these goals are also very clear. Some more clarity could have been added if the ‘ how ‘ part of the statement is elaborated. Few more words on how children will be protected, will make this an ideal mission statement. The only drawback of this statement is that it does not mention if the target is ‘ children’ on a universal base, or ‘ children’ of a specific country only. ( protect ).
A mission statement is judged by its ability to put across the main function of an entity. Out of the three statements selected for this essay, one does not communicate the crux in the minimum required depth. This is despite the fact that it is a very long statement. The other two are very brief and successfully tell the main function in a very brief fashion. These are good mission statements. None of them have to say anything else, apart from the main function.
Ward Susan, Mission statement, about Inc. a New York Times Company, 2007,
Retreived on 4 April 07 from:
CFBCI, CFBCI mission statement, Center for faith based and community
initiatives, United States department of health and human services, 4 Dec 06,
Retrieved on 4 April 07 from: < http://hhs.gov/fbci/ >
Mission statement, Department of education and human services, Vilanova
University, 2003, Retrieved on 4 April 2007 from:
< http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/education.html >