Association Vision, Mission, & Values – Your North Star



Bottom line: Today’s associations must have solid vision, mission, and value statements in place to be effective in moving forward. These organizational tenets help guide strategic planning, new initiatives, goal development, and better define its value proposition.
I’ve worked with several organizations in developing these statements over the last two years, so let me break them down and explain how they build off of one another.

  • The “Vision” is aspirational – what do you want to become as an organization?
  • The “Mission” is what you do daily to achieve the “Vision,” and
  • The “Value” statement describes how you are going to do it. Organizational values help to guide decision making and establish standards for evaluating actions.

One of the challenges today is some associations are unable to definitively articulate their vision, mission, and values. More often than not, these statements were written some 50 years ago – never updated, and are no longer applicable to today’s groups. As a result, strategic planning sessions are often guided by the loudest voices in the room – without a North Star.
The mission, vision, and values statements describe the association’s purpose and overall intention. There must be clarity and agreement. They are the foundation of your organization. So, ensure these are aligned, supported, and reinforced at all levels of the organization.
Once firmly established, associations can embark on solid strategic planning and goal development with the full knowledge of what they are trying to do, why, and how. And from here, defining the membership value proposition will write itself – because a North Star is now in place.
If you enjoyed this content, check out my book Association Hustle – it’s a great resource on association membership, sponsorship, leadership, communications, and advocacy strategies. It’s brimming with actionable takeaways to grow various aspects of your organization.


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