You know that mission, vision, and strategic planning are key components to raising serious money. But it’s not always easy to articulate clear definitions for each.
To help us more clearly define and understand mission, vision, and strategic planning I like using a golf analogy. Imagine you have just stepped into the tee-box and are getting yourself ready to hit one of your famously beautiful (and long) drives. As you place the ball on the tee and prepare for your swing, your vision would be where you see your golf ball landing after your tee-shot. It’s the best possible destination you desire for your ball. For instance, this vision may describe the surroundings of the golf ball as being in the middle of the fairway, some 400 yards away, free of any obstructions and divots, and setting you up for an eagle!
Continuing with the golf analogy, the swing mechanics that allow you to achieve your vision would be your strategic plan. For instance, in order to get the ball to the place of vision, how slow will your backswing be? How much bend at the waist will you exact? How open will you club face need to be? How much torque will you need to apply? And how would you describe your follow-through? In each of these areas you will need goals and specific, measurable objectives. And when the goals and objectives are achieved, the swing is perfectly suited to launch the ball so that it lands at the vision destination.
Next, what about the role of mission? Your mission describes your purpose. It explains why your institution does what it does. And, it describes why your institution is distinct or unique. So, to complete the golf analogy, the mission would explain why we believe hitting a golf ball matters. It could explain why we are playing golf and not basketball, or baseball, or some other sport. And it would describe the distinctive way we approach the game of golf.