Mission Statements for RSOs
Why does my RSO need one?
Every RSO must have a mission statement. It describes the purpose for which your organization exists; it focuses your energy and clarifies your purpose. Try answering the question, "Why did we start this organization?" The answer will get you started at writing a mission statement. When you try to write your mission statement, you will find that you have to really define what you are going to do. Many questions will come up that must be resolved. For instance, whom will you serve? Are you concerned about the Evergreen community, or the whole state? Be careful to keep your mission focused on your purpose, yet flexible enough to allow your group to handle new issues that may arise. A mission statement is a beacon that will attract people and resources to your cause. Make your mission statement compelling as well as clear. It will be your part of your public relations.
Some Tips for Writing Your Mission Statement
- Bring in many perspectives. Get lots of input from the community you plan to serve, as well as from your advisor and other volunteers. This will help you develop a broad base of support. You can get this input through meetings, surveys, or tabling. Ask people what they think or need in regard to the area you plan to focus.
- Allow enough time. Time spent now will pay off later. So, don't rush the process. Provide time to reflect on the information you gather, to write an initial draft, to allow key participants to read it, and to make changes.
- Be open to new ideas. This is especially important for the founders of the organization as well as a returning RSO interested in revising an older Mission Statement. Be open to different interpretations of what you should be doing and new ideas about how to accomplish your goals. Use brainstorming techniques to ensure that all ideas come forward freely. You can reduce them down later.
- Write short statements and only what you need. The best Mission Statements are short, but a statement's length and complexity depends on what your organization wants to do. You should be able to use the statement frequently, so make it brief and succinct.
- It’s a good idea to review your groups mission statement annually to ensure the mission reflects the goals and aspirations of the current membership.
- For groups seeking S&A funding, try to communicate what purpose your group will serve in the campus community. What kinds of events, services, resources and/or equipment would you like to provide to students? Be as specific or nonspecific as you see fit, just keep in mind that the S&A Board will look to your mission statement for guidance. Be prepared to discuss how requested items are supported by your mission statement.
Examples of Mission Statements
Poetry Club (Not a real RSO)
The Poetry Club’s principle functions are to foster opportunities for involvement in community and professional activities by students of words at The Evergreen State College, as well as support and promote literacy education, especially as it relates to local authors and zine publications, both in the Evergreen and the broader South Sound community. The club will play an important role in the social facet of the student body, creating a sense of community among students at Evergreen.
Evergreen Dance Party (Not a real RSO)
The Evergreen Dance Party is a student club dedicated to teaching and enjoying various kinds of dance focusing on the bunny hop, flamenco, contra, salsa, and west coast swing. We will provide a fun environment for students to learn, meet, and relax in, and hosting large campus wide dance events each year. Any student is welcome to come to any club meeting and learn, practice or just watch.