How To Create a Business Plan for a Non-Profit Organization

Learning how to create a business plan for a non-profit organization is essential for outlining your organization’s mission, goals, strategies, and operational and financial structure. Despite what you may read, a non-profit is a business; it is just not a business in which one plans to or can profit.

There are several great business planning sites to help generate a beautiful, seamless business plan. One of my favorites is LivePlan.

Here is a general outline for a non-profit business plan:

1. Executive Summary:

  • Briefly introduce your non-profit, including its mission and objectives.
  • Provide a snapshot of your organization’s history and achievements.

2. Mission and Vision:

– Clearly state your organization’s mission and vision.
– Explain the values and principles that guide your non-profit.

3. Description of Programs and Services:

– Detail the specific programs and services your non-profit offers to achieve its mission.
– Highlight the impact and benefits of these programs.

4. Organizational Structure:

– Outline the organizational structure, including key leadership roles and responsibilities.
– Describe the roles of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers.

5. Governance and Leadership:

– Provide information about the governance structure of your non-profit.
– Introduce key leaders and their qualifications.

6. Market Analysis:

– Identify the target audience for your programs and services.
– Analyze the need for your non-profit in the community or target area.

7. SWOT Analysis:

– Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing your non-profit.

8. Funding and Revenue Streams:

– Detail your organization’s funding sources, including grants, donations, and fundraising activities.
– Provide a financial forecast, including income and expenses.

9. Marketing and Outreach Strategy:

– Outline your marketing and outreach plan to raise awareness and attract support.
– Identify the channels and methods you will use to reach your target audience.

10. Partnerships and Collaborations:

– Describe existing or potential partnerships with other organizations, businesses, or government entities.

11. Measurement and Evaluation:

– Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your programs.
– Establish a system for monitoring and evaluating the impact of your non-profit.

12. Risks and Contingency Plans:

– Identify potential risks and challenges your non-profit may face.
– Develop contingency plans to address these risks.

13. Sustainability Plan:

– Outline how your non-profit plans to sustain its operations in the long term.
– Consider diversifying funding sources and building community support.

14. Appendix:

– Include any additional documents or information that supports your business plan, such as financial statements, resumes of key staff, or letters of support from community leaders.


Remember to tailor the business plan to your non-profit organization’s needs and goals.  Regularly review and update the plan as your organization evolves.

A non-profit business plan should help tell investors and donors about your goals as a non-profit and convey a clear, concise financial plan to set your business up for success.


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