About The Author

David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In Key Statements for Success we looked at the need to keep organic statements up to date. In the 1920s and onward when people were just beginning to learn about history work, it was important to thoroughly expound on that work. Key statements evolved over the 20th century. Today there are often three key statements, and these need to have a purpose for today.

A room full of experts would likely come up with as many definitions for each statement as there are people in the room. After nearly 20 years of working with local history organizations in Minnesota, what each of these means to me is as follows:

Mission Statement

Answers the question, “Why are we doing this?”

Level: Aspirational

Primary Audience: Organization’s governance

Length: One short sentence


Vision Statement

Answers the question, “Where are we going?”

Level: Motivational

Primary Audience: Organization’s workers

Length: 2-3 paragraphs


Values Statement

Answers the question, “How are we going about our work?”

Level: Inspirational

Primary Audience: Organization’s supporters

Length: 4-6 words with explanations

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Response to Defining the keys for success

  1. The mission statement is, in my book, essential to keeping the organization on task and focused.

    The vision statement is one that we toyed with but opted not to incorporate. One of our board of directors is a Marketing professor. It was her opinion that very few organizations revisit the vision statement. We do however have goals and a long range strategic plan in place that tells us where we are going.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers