Digging deeper – how to write a vision statement for your museum or heritage organisation

Just as you get past the arduous task of researching and composing your mission statement, then getting everyone’s agreement (more or less!), you realise that’s not all, you must now pull together a vision statement for your organisation. Ouch.

The good news is that a vision statement is fun to write. If you feel at all passionate about what you do, this is the time when you get to express it. A vision statement is all about your hopes and dreams for your organisation, no holds barred.

To get you started, here is a technique to help you write a vision statement for your museum or heritage organisation. For this and more advice, download our free guide to drafting your museum’s vision statement from this page.

The Wise Whys

If you have gotten caught up in the humdrum, day-to-day concerns of your organisation, you may have to dig deep to find your organisation’s vision. Is the big goal of your organisation to get more visitors? Or to increase donations? If you think it is, then try this technique for going deeper. It’s great doing this with a colleague but you can do it on your own too.

  1. Start by answering the question ‘Why does your organisation exist?’ Write it down.
  2. Now look at what you have written and ask yourself ‘Why?’ Write that down too.
  3. Now look at that sentence and ask again, ‘Why?’ Write down your answer.
  4. Keep going until you can’t ask why any more. What you have at the end will be something that will help you write your vision statement.

Here’s an example.

Why does your organisation exist? To collect, preserve and display artefacts relating to [insert subject].

Why? So that people will learn about it and appreciate it.

Why? It’s important that people to know and understand what happened.

Why? Because understanding our actions in the past can help us to create a better future.

See how your vision evolved from collecting, preserving and displaying to…making a better future? This is just an example to show how using the Wise Whys can help you get to the deeper reasons for your organisation’s existence, because that is what your vision statement is all about.

For more help to write a vision statement for your museum or heritage organisation, download our free guide here.