Once the mission has been clearly, succinctly, memorably stated so that it is easily repeated to oneself and to others from memory, the mission statement becomes the frame of reference for goal setting. If the organization’s mission is to do certain things, for a certain population, in a singular way what is it the organization is intending to accomplish in the short term, intermediate time frame, and long term. It is usually helpful to think in terms of one, three, and five years.
An effective and efficient high quality organization has at least an annual and a long range plan. These plans should be completed and approved by the sanctioning body before the annual budget and longer term financial plan is done. Often, unfortunately, church organizations reverse this order and put the cart before the horse when they design and approve their annual budget and then decide how much revenue they will have to fund various services and programs. In this order, the money comes before the mission when in high functioning organizations, it is the other way around with the mission coming before the money.
At UU A Way Of Life our mission is to improve spiritual health, reduce immoral behavior and sin, and work across systems for positive change. As we work on our annual plan, the first question might be “How will UUAWOL improve spiritual health in the coming year?” We have set three annual goals for this example.
The first part of the mission is to improve spiritual health and so this year’s goal is to create a model for spiritual health which can be used as a blueprint in providing services to enhance the spiritual well being of individuals, families, communities, and broader society. This model will articulate a frame of reference and provide suggestions for how the model can be applied. It will also provide identification of measurable indicators that can be used as reference points to determine progress and spiritual well being.
The second part of the mission is to reduce immoral behavior and sin. This year’s goal is to provide a taxonomy of immoral behavior and sin so that the signs and symptoms can be identified and managed. If the problem can’t be named, it can’t be consciously and intentionally managed, so the first step in reduction of immoral behavior and sin is to identify the phenomena. Due to shame, guilt, and fear of punishment, evil usually operates in darkness, denial, minimization, and deceit. Naming immoral behavior and sin is 90% of its reduction for without the identification it is able to operate outside of conscious awareness and never be effectively addressed.
The third part of the mission is to work across systems for positive community change and so the goal this year is to establish collaborative relationships with at least five collaborative partners who share UUAWOLs goals and at least part of UUAWOLs mission so a synergistic effect can be created to enhance mission performance and vision achievement.
- Is there documentation of an annual planning process?
- Is there documentation of a strategic or long range planning process?
- Are the processes in #1 and #2 being performed and utilized in decision making?
- Is there documentation of a needs assessment of the primary stakeholders of the organization’s services?
- Is there a measurement system in place to assess the level of goal achievement?
- Is there a reporting mechanism documented for how needs assessment and goal achievement are fed back into the planning process?
- Is there documentation of a continuous quality improvement plan, implementation, and assessment?
- Is there documentation for how outcomes are reported, to whom, and how utilized?
- Is there a requirement for regular and periodic reporting to stakeholders of program and organizational performance? Are the requirements being met?
- Is there documentation for how the mission statement is related to goal setting and resource utilization?
- Is there documentation of satisfaction measured at least annually with organizational performance of payors (donors,) recipients of services, of employees including volunteers, and other community stakeholders?