MISsion & Vision Canvas

What is it

Develop clear statements about your organization’s future aspirations and present activities.

Why use it

  • Establish clarity and consensus about the team’s present activities, desired future, and the link between the two.
  • Ensure the team’s activities are well-aligned with their objectives.

When to use it

  • When a team or organization is first forming.
  • Any time there is a significant shift in focus or effort.
  • When the organization’s efforts and purpose need clarification.





Group Size

6+ people

Suggested Time

60+ minutes

Mission & Vision Canvas

How to do it


Assemble a small team and provide each member with a copy of the Mission and Vision Canvases, as well as the third page of instructions and examples. Spend a few moments discussing the objective of this session and the difference between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement.

  • A VISION statement should describe future conditions in aspirational terms.
  • A MISSION statement should describe present activities in concrete terms.

TIP: Begin with a VISION statement if you are starting from scratch. Begin with a MISSION statement if the organization has already started or has a general vision established.


Invite the group to spend 4-6 minutes quietly writing responses to the questions in the boxes from the canvas labeled A – D (Vision) or A – E (Mission). Don’t miss the Bonus box in the Mission canvas.


The facilitator then leads the group through a discussion of the questions in the boxes, capturing key ideas, insights, and phrases for each. Use clarifying questions and prompts such as “Say more words about that…” or “Can you be more specific?” The “Five Why’s” is a good technique as well.


Highlight or circle key words from the lettered boxes, then use them to draft a Mission or Vision statement in the box on the right of the canvas. Refer to the fill-in-the-blank example below that box as a guide, but feel free to use other formulas or formats.


Assess the draft statement using the quality check guidelines and the Test provided on the lower right section of the canvas.

EXAMPLE: Feeding America

  • Vision: A Hunger Free America (aspirational and future-oriented)
  • Mission: To feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger (concrete and present-oriented)


Helps answer the question “Who are we and what do we do around here?”


This is an iterative process – there’s a zero percent chance you’ll get it 100% right the first time. Avoid the temptation to do too much wordsmithing in your first session.

Need help using this tool with your team?


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