Who defines the mission?

Each organisation sets out its objective in its constitution. The objective defines the outer limits of its permitted activities. Allowing any funds or assets to be used for any activities that are outside the scope of the defined objective could be a serious breach, and may lead to personal liability. Everything that a charity undertakes must contribute to achieving its stated objective.

Changes to the objective can be instigated by management or the trustees, often following a governance audit or the discussion of a new business plan, but can only be effected by a change in the organisation’s constitution. Membership organisations will require the consent of its members to that change. Charitable organisations will require the prior consent of the Charity Commission.

Once the objective is settled, the senior management team can prepare a draft vision, mission and/or business plan as a way of expressing how they will operate in the short to medium term. The drafts should be discussed with the directors/trustees and, once acceptable, the board can resolve to endorse them.

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