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  • Writer's pictureJean Dion

Grant Writing Tip: Mission Statement vs. Origin Statement

Grant writing meeting

Any good grant writer will ask you about your mission statement before taking even one tiny step toward completing an application. Your mission statement defines who you are as a company, what you want to do, and how you can benefit your community.

Seems simple enough, right?

Unfortunately, many people I talk to confuse what seems like an origin story with what should be a mission statement.

Let me explain.

Your origin story is the reason you got into the business, and it might contain kernels of the issues that drive you to do your best work every day. If someone asks you for your "why" in business, your origin story is it.

For example, my origin story involves a very small pug and a very long commute. I wanted to spend more time with my dog every day rather than riding away from him on a smelly Portland bus every day. My solution was simple. I opened up my own content creation business so I could work from home.

An origin story like this definitely has a place in your business plan. It tells funding agencies why you're at work every day. However, it doesn't really tell them what you plan to do.

For example, my grant writing mission statement reads like this: I use my skills as a reporter and storyteller to help organizations secure the funds they need to serve the community.

This mission statement explains the skills I bring to the table, the clients I serve, and the focus of my work. It's a powerful sentence that could help to pique interest in a grant application, and I could use the rest of the document to secure the funds I want.

Now, writing a mission statement isn't easy. I know plenty of organizations need help with this critical function. Hiring a consultant can be smart.

I provide my coaching clients with a few basic questions about the words, phrases, and terms they've used in the past. Then, I brainstorm a few options and we talk them through together. The result is a durable mission statement that lasts, along with a deeper understanding of a company's business objectives.

Interested in this kind of help? Contact me and we'll get started!


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