A business plan is an official statement of a company’s aspirations and attainable goals, and it includes an outline of strategies to reach those set goals. A business plan consists of all background information on the organization, including foreseeable financial statements and marketing plans. The business plan can be used throughout the life of a non-profit, changing as the organization does. Both non-profit businesses and for profit businesses have business plans. Most of the rules for a business plan are similar and apply to both types of businesses. There are also a few differences that apply to the two types of business plans. Below is a summary listing ways to put together a business plan for a non-profit organization:
Step 1: Mission and Vision Statement
These statements define the organization’s purpose and goals. These statements tend to be short, and they summarize the vision of the business.
Step 2: Executive Summary
The executive summary is a quick overview of the highlights of the organization. Although this summary is located at the beginning of the plan, it is best to write it last after all research is completed and written out. Make the summary interesting and describe the non-profit’s history, objectives, assets, strengths, and anything else of importance.
Step 3: Structure of Organization
Define the organizational structure of the non-profit business, including information about staff and the board. Describe information about key staff members and their responsibilities. Provide the names of all board members in the organization and create an organization chart of any other subcommittees involved. Research and list trends, and highlight the stage the organization is currently at. Describe and include future plans, strategies, and any other affiliates.
Step 4: Market Analysis Summary
Assess and research the organization’s market. Include industry economics, partnerships, competition, and distribution patterns. Explain the need for services and programs that the non-profit business provides. Describe and define any possible competition and include any market research that has been done.
Step 5: Programs and Services
Define and describe the services the organization provides, and include any programs that also may be offered. If there are any products that may be distributed, this is the time to describe them as well. Include future development plans and information on the life of the services. Explain how the organization will be evaluating the efficiency of the services and or programs offered.
Step 6: Financial Plan
Include financial statements and financial projections. Detail the organization’s plan for fundraising and the need for financing. Explain and list major awards, funding and holdings. Define the sustainability of the non-profit organization.
Step 7: Appendix / Conclusion
Conclude the non-profit business plan with any additional and relevant information.
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