Mission Statement

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The mission statement should be descriptive, yet concise. In a few lines, it should outline our purpose and aspirations.

The "exclusively for charitable..." language will be added in our corporate charter so we can get a 501(c)(3) ruling from the IRS, but is not needed for a mission statement. For more information on a mission statement see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_statement.

from the wikipedia article

The mission statement can be used to resolve differences between stakeholders (in our case, Node members). Stakeholders affect and are affected by the organization's strategies.

According to Vern McGinis, a mission should:

Define what the company is
Define what the company aspires to be
Be limited to exclude some ventures
Broad enough to allow for creative growth
Distinguish the company from all others
Serve as framework to evaluate current activities
Stated clearly so that it is understood by all

The classic example of the mission statement is the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

should hit: 1. the physical space, 2. activities and events, 3. the membership, 4. philosophical goals Abachman

should exclude issues which should be left to personal preference.

Mission Statement draft

Our mission is to create and sustain an environment that promotes creativity, invention, and exploration at the intersections of art, technology, science and culture. This mission shall include:

1. Establishing and maintaining a nurturing physical space within Baltimore City that fosters creative technological exploration, collaboration, and education.

  • This point is about creating a space and what that space should be. IMO the space needs to meet the needs of technological exploration/collaboration/education; be a positive/nurturing environment and foster creativity.

2. Encouraging the sharing of the results of projects, experiments, and exploration with the community and world in a transparent, open and available manner.

  • I feel that the point of this sentence to to commit ourselves to freely sharing our work and making it available
  • That's for you as creator and initiator of action to decide. No part of Baltimore Node can dictate to its members how they license their work (call it the Self Reliance clause). But, it should be made clear (elsewhere?) that if you're in the space, working on a project, folks are free to look over your shoulder. Abachman 20:57, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it's reasonable to say that you can't work on secret or otherwise proprietary projects. HacDC has a licensing policy (CC Noncommercial, Share alike, attribution), which they require for "All contributions and content produced by HacDC". I think it's a good policy because it sets the terms up front and avoids some potentially intractable IP issues. What if we started to build a robot together and came up with a slick new technique to do X. In coming up with X, lot of people offered input, but I decided that I came up with it and I file for a patent by myself. Conflict ensues. The HacDC license doesn't hamper innovation, it just says 'We're not a commercial R and D lab'. Jonlesser 23:34, 5 July 2009 (UTC)'
  • I was of the opinion that we shouldn't be telling people how they should license what they create but Jon makes a very strong case and i have to agree with him Mehuman 01:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • This is worth some discussion and a more detailed look in the bylaws... I don't think that the mission statement actually forces a decision on members, it simply encourages sharing.
  • Yeah if we can keep this vague I think the way to word it is to make it so that the Node is about being open and transparent about the work we do as a group Mattyfo 19:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

3. Empowering its members and the community of Baltimore to explore the intersections of art, technology, science and culture.

  • This point is a commitment of what the organization should deliver to it's membership; I feel that it may need some work.

4. Actively engaging the community of Baltimore about issues involving the intersection of art, technology, science and culture.

  • This point is a commitment to engage the community on issues relevant to our organization

I made a point of trying to make each point more generalized yet also more specific to their purpose. Also, silly grammar stuff but should we be using active verbs (IE -ing) or the other way around? mattyfo

Revised version of the above:

  • The content of this version is not that different from above, but the languages has been significantly revised. So I didn't want to eliminate the original. Kellyegan 03:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this. --Mattyfo 18:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this version too. Mehuman 15:31, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Yo tambien. Sylviachi 16:17, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Baltimore Node Corporation seeks to create and sustain an environment that promotes the creative use of technology for the benefit of art, science and culture. To this end the Corporation shall:

  1. Establish and maintain a physical space within the City of Baltimore that fosters creative technological exploration and invention.
  2. Support a nurturing community of makers devoted to extending the Node's mission through education and collaboration.
  3. Empower the Node's members to create, experiment and invent interesting and novel ways of using technology.
  4. Encourage and support the sharing of research, experiments and knowledge with our community and the world.
  5. Actively engage with the community of Baltimore on issues aligned with the Node’s mission.

Potential mission statement

Baltimore Node serves as the building block of a community that educates, affirms and promotes the role of making and inventing across the technology, art and sustainability fields.

A mission statement is a short term objective, a vision statement is a long term objective.

The mission is to sustain a physical space to create, share, and learn about our technological world. Baltimore Node will take a bootstrapping approach, starting small with some computers and diy power tools and expand based on the consent of its members

Some examples from bylaws of other hacker spaces

The HacDC and Noisebridge examples are from their Articles of Incorporation and/or Bylaws and are not exactly mission statements.


  1. Build and maintain spaces suitable for technical and social collaboration.
  2. Collaborate on all forms of technology, culture and craft in new and interesting ways.
  3. Apply the results of its work to specific cultural, charitable and scientific causes.
  4. Freely share its research and discoveries, using what is learned to teach others.
  5. Recruit and develop talented members dedicated to these purposes.


  1. To provide work space, storage, and other resources for projects related to art and technology.
  2. Through talks, workshops, collaborative projects, and other activities, to encourage research, knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring in a safe, clean space.
  3. To develop, support the development of, and provide resources for the development of free and open source software and hardware.
  4. To foster, by all legal means, the common purposes of its participants.
  5. To conduct or engage in all lawful activities in furtherance of the stated purposes or those incidental to them.

Harford Hackerspace

The mission of this organization is to unify community members with similar interest in order to share their knowledge in an educational environment and to engage the next generation with hands-on, technical experiential activities.

Pumping Station: One

Its mission is to foster a collaborative environment wherein people can explore and create intersections between technology, science, art, and culture.

Specific Goals

  • Acquire and maintain a collaborative workspace for communal use by all members.
  • Foster a creative, collaborative environment for experimentation and development in technology and art.
  • Interact with the local community that our space is situated in through education and cultural participation.
  • Share our developments and ideas with the world at large.
  • Facilitate communication with other spaces and colleagues nationally and internationally. Invite experts and other creative individuals to share their ideas and projects.