You need to help yourself think through strategy and steps to execute strategy. That leads to concrete specifics like tactics, activities, responsibilities, task assignments, metrics, accountability, dates, deadlines, and real numbers for money in and money out. The most effective nonprofit executive I ever met said one of the biggest mistakes nonprofits make is not planning their organization carefully.
The biggest difference between the common nonprofit plan and regular plans is that the revenue in the nonprofit plan often comes from donations. So you need to plan funding as a matter of fund raising, donations, etc. The plan may include details about the need for the organization's services a needs assessment and about the likelihood that certain funding will be available a feasibility study or about changes to the organization's technology or staffing that will be needed in order to successfully advance its mission.
Another potential aspect of a business plan could be a "competitive analysis" describing what other entities may be providing similar services in the nonprofit's service and mission areas. Finally, the business plan should name important assumptions, such as that the organization's reserve policy requires it to have at least six months' worth of operating cash on hand at all times.
The idea is to identify the known - and take into consideration the unknown - realities of the nonprofit's operations, and propose how the nonprofit will continue to be financially healthy. It's a "plan" after all - and the underlying assumptions may change. If they do, then having a plan can be useful during the process of identfying adjustments that need to be made to respond to changes in the nonprofit's operating environment.
Basic format of a business plan The format may change depending on the audience. Your competition Everyone has competition —nonprofits too. Think about what your prospective clients were doing about their problem the one your organization is solving before you came on this scene. Use this section to talk about your long-term goals. Strategies for funding and promotion In a for-profit business plan, this section would be about marketing and sales strategies.
Positioning statement Before you get too far into your strategies, put together your positioning statement. Everyone in your organization should get really clear on this statement. You can use this simple formula to develop a positioning statement: For [target market description] who [target market need], [this product] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [key competition], it [most important distinguishing feature]. Maybe it looks something like this: For children ages five to 12 target market who are struggling with reading their need , Tutors Changing Lives your organization or program name helps them get up to grade level reading through an once a week class your solution.
Costs and service or product fees Instead of including a pricing section, a nonprofit business plan should include a costs or fees section.
Talk about how your program is funded, and whether the costs your clients pay are the same for everyone, or based on income level, or something else. If your clients pay less for your service than it costs to run the program, how will you make up the difference?
Your tactics might be similar for each group, or they might be completely different. Public relations: press releases, activities to promote brand awareness, and so on. Digital marketing: website, email, blog social media, and so on. Maybe you need to use a room in the local public library to run your program for the first year.
Maybe your organization provides mental health counselors in local schools, so you partner with your school district.
In some instances, you might also be relying on public health programs like Medicaid to fund your program costs. Mention all those strategic partnerships here, especially if your program would have trouble existing without the partnership. Milestones and metrics Without milestones and metrics for your nonprofit, it will be more difficult to execute on your mission.
Why do we need a Nonprofit Business Plan? What are the subcategories of your constituency?
Step 5: Evaluate your Plan Once you are all set with making the plan, assess and conduct a review regularly so that you can check how far you have come in achieving your goals. It will help you save money in the long run.
The plan should address both the everyday costs needed to operate the organization as an entity, as well as costs that are specific to the unique programs and activities of the nonprofit. However, even though a nonprofit organization. In this section, talk about the unknowns for your organization. Do you already have local traction? Tools for business planning Should your nonprofit use a business model statement to complement its mission statement?
Basic format of a business plan The format may change depending on the audience. Step Appendix Include extra documents in the section that are pertinent to your nonprofit: organizational flow chart, current fiscal year budget, a list of the board of directors, your IRS status letter, balance sheets, and so forth. Click here to gain access to the document.
How will we acheive more ambitious revenue goals?
It should frequently be referenced during key decision-making times to stay on track and to make sure your not for profit organization always adheres to its stated vision. Financial charts and visual projections are always appreciated. Blue Avocado Tools for business planning , creating a theory of change, a case for support, and building a revenue plan for purchase from Social Velocity. Get answers to common divorce questions, including how property is divided, how alimony is determined, guidelines around child custody and child support, and more.