Non-Profit Business Plan Basics

by Janise Smith; Updated September 26, 2017
Business plans guide non-profits in carrying out their missions.

A non-profit business plan describes all of the aspects of an operation and provides a strategic plan of how it will be managed. The plan will show where the organization wants to be in three or five years and what it will take to accomplish the vision. The business plan can also be used to present to potential donors or lenders in order to get funding.

Mission and Executive Statements

Every non-profit organization is formed for a particular purpose and your mission statement should reflect that intentions. It can be a brief paragraph or section that identifies the population the agency intends to serve and the expected outcomes. For example, if the juvenile crime rates in your city propelled you to open a youth center, you can describe how your non-profit organization will help direct young people to stay out of trouble. Once you have the mission statement completed, you can use it to create the executive statement and give more detail on how your organization's programs or services will address problems in the community.

Management Plan

Once you have all of the goals of your non-profit organization established, you will need to determine who will be responsible for implementing each aspect of the operation. Your non-profit business plan can outline your personnel structure, the titles of the positions needed and how many employees are required to carry out the mission. It should also include the days and times needed to operate the organization, as well as how and when the programs and services will take place. If you will need the assistance of volunteers your business plan can include how you will recruit them, what qualifications they must have and how they will be used.

Financial Plan

Another basic step is the financial plan. You can outline all of the start-up costs involved in launching your non-profit organization, including expenses related to purchasing or leasing a building or office space and all of the monthly utilities. The costs of any necessary equipment, furniture, and supplies should be listed such as computers, desks, tables and chairs. The salaries for you and your employees need to be factored into the expenses as well. Since the services provided from a non-profit organization are usually free to those who need them, you will have to determine how you will generate funds to keep the agency running. Another non-profit business plan component is the fundraising strategy—how much it will cost to implement it, your target audience of donors and the expected amount of donations. This is also the section in your business plan where you can list the costs of any permits and licenses that may be required by your state to operate your non-profit organization.

About the Author

Janise Smith began freelance writing in 2009. She has published poetry, short fiction and various articles, with her works appearing in "Metropolitan Woman" and the "Detroit Free Press." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in written communications with an emphasis on journalism, creative and technical writing from Eastern Michigan University.

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