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Survey Says . . . THF Mission Statement

Every September the Board of Directors and Associates of The Haiku Foundation are sent a survey. Their responses help to guide our growth and direction. We’d like to broaden our input, and so we’ll be asking you to respond to a series of questions, one per week, over the next half-year. Your replies will be weighed in our assessment of our performance.

Today’s question: Mission Statement

Our mission statement reads as follows:

The impetus behind The Haiku Foundation was the realization that English-language haiku had done a poor job of promoting itself in two important venues: in gathering, interpreting, honoring and making available its comprehensive history, and in reaching beyond a coterie audience to establish its importance as a literary vehicle in the present and future. As a result, THF has two primary missions:

1) to archive our first century of English-language haiku; and

2) to expand possibilities for our second.

All other haiku groups—from journals to societies to conferences—have been created to help the individual poet realize his or her creative dream, be it education, publication or social contact. The Haiku Foundation does not follow this model. THF instead is a series of projects organized not for poets per se, but for haiku itself. The realization of these projects will in due course help all haiku poets. Haiku has been very good to all the poets who have been fortunate to have found it. The Haiku Foundation is where poets go when they want to give back.

Please assess how well The Haiku Foundation is delivering on this topic. Indicate your assessment of our performance to date by choosing one of the options:






Please feel free to add additional comments. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and for helping us make The Haiku Foundation a better resource.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Good.

    However, instead of stating: “English-language haiku had done a poor job of promoting itself,'” you might want to state: “Proponents need to do a better job promoting haiku.”

    There are two reasons for the suggested change:

    1. “Haiku” in the current mission statement is personified to the point of trying to promote itself.

    2. The “better job” phrase gives the mission a more positive spin.

  2. I say ‘Excellent.’

    As a volunteer in the Digital Library, I may be biased. However, I thought It might help readers to assess our performance at the Haiku Foundation if they heard, from the point of view of one volunteer, a little more about what it takes to make it go.

    I’ve been taking care of and developing the digital library for about eighteen months now. There is seldom a day goes by that I don’t spend at least an hour, and usually several hours, at the work required. Depending on the time of the year, I could get by with much less, but in keeping with the Foundation’s goal of archiving the first century of haiku in English, a true assessment of the work this will require tells me it will take several generations unless we work hard to make it happen sooner.

    My main tasks at the library include:
    1) Increasing the size of the collection by soliciting books from authors and editors;
    2) soliciting permissions from authors and editors to republish books, essays and journals in digital form on our website;
    3) uploading and cataloging books that have been scanned into digital form;
    4) starting new collections, such as the Digital Essay collection that went online last November and the Haiku Journal collection that went online this week.
    5) keeping up the Contest database, which preserves the winning poems from several Haiku competitions;
    6) learning new labour saving software and sorting out the inevitable problems that occasionally develop in a database;
    7) and finding ways to usefully employ whatever volunteer assistance comes along.

    Besides all this, the process of digitizing our growing hard copy library of approximately 8000 volumes will require years of effort, so anyone willing to volunteer to take some of the pressure off the hard working Jim Kacian will be much appreciated.



    1. Excellent

      * * *

      Dear Garry, Thank you and Jim Kacian for all your work. I appreciate your explanation. The Introduction For Higher Education that we added to THF Education Page/Haiku Lessons mentions and links back to THF Digital Library. The library is a wonderful resource for many people. All of the programs here reinforce one another so well. Thanks again, and take care.

  3. Forgive me if I am out of line, but I have done many mission statements so have a little input to offer.
    1) Your first statement, to archive the first century of haiku, is limiting. Perhaps it is time to move forward to something like “…from the beginnings of the twentieth century to the present.”
    2) what do you mean by possibilities in the second statement? You don’t want to be so specific that you limit what your goal is, but I don’t understand if you mean possibilities to archive, or publish, or write, or share ideas? Maybe you could just add to that something like “…through activities such as….” then name a few. The ‘such as’ would leave you open to add whatever you feel meets the goals of the mission statement.
    3) one of your main activities seems to be a vigorous exchange of ideas through conferences and online communication groups of various sorts. If that is a driving force for the group, should it be included in the mission statement?
    I greatly appreciate the work of HSA and the support I feel from all my connections with it. So, carry on! Peggy B
    P.S. I couldn’t get any of the rankings listed above to work.

    1. But then, maybe you only want to know how you are doing on this statement. So, I apologize for my critique and my answer is, excellent.

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