The value of 17 syllables

Here’s an elegant idea from the Nonprofit Quarterly: write your mission statement in haiku.  While the emphasis on precision is excellent, and certainly brevity is the soul of wit in nonprofit missions as elsewhere, the Nonprofiteer actually disagrees.  She’s seen too many mission-drafting sessions turn into a search for a slogan or advertising tagline, a statement often more catchy than accurate and even more often neither catchy nor accurate. 

The same risk seems inherent in the haiku exercise; but if your Board is experienced unto jadedness and is resisting the very notion of re-examining the mission, this is a way to make the activity fresh enough to engage them. 


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3 Responses to “The value of 17 syllables”

  1. Tom Durso Says:

    Why so cynical? / Creative thinking sometimes / needs a new approach.


  2. Nonprofiteer Says:

    Tom, you’re correct but/
    I’m less cynical than scared/
    that we’ll lose mission. 🙂

  3. Tom Durso Says:


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