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How to Write a Business Plan for a Non Profit

A nonprofit business plan should be detailed and well thought out.

The structure of the nonprofit business plan is very similar to the for-profit business plan. The differences lie in the details. Nonprofit businesses generate the majority of their funding through donations. Along with these donations, nonprofit businesses use the sale of products and services to fund their non-profit initiatives. Unlike for-profit businesses that place emphasis on their gross income, nonprofit businesses place emphasis on their objectives.


Difficulty: 3

Step 1

Create the business description for your nonprofit plan. Include the name and address of your organization, along with the legal description of the business. State if your organization has 501(c)(3) exemption. List the names of your business's owners and include a brief description of their applicable experience.

Step 2

State the intent of your nonprofit business in the business description. Include details on your organization's short- and long-term goals and missions and the impact that these goals will have.

Step 3

Identify the managers and employees needed to maintain your nonprofit's operations. Provide details on each manager's functions. Create an organizational chart to show the chain of command. Include cost information for your managers and employees that includes salaries, benefits and any additional employee costs like insurance and training.

Step 4

Explain your nonprofit's operations. Identify the essential equipment and fixtures that are needed. Identify the costs that affiliated with maintaining the business's location, such as utilities, taxes, zoning licenses and permits. Include the costs of these aspects and save any supporting documents, such as zoning approval letters and tax statements, for the business plan's appendix.

Step 5

Develop a marketing plan that addresses how your business will generate donations and how the organization will use those donations to meet its goals. List any products or services that your nonprofit will sell to generate income. Include the price that consumers will pay for each product. Identify the organization's target market, or constituents, who are interested in your nonprofit's mission. Explain the strategies your business will use to capture the attention and donations of these individuals. Select the advertising methods that your organization will use and list the costs of these methods.

Step 6

Complete the financial portion of your nonprofit plan. Include a personal financial statement for each of the nonprofit's owners, as well as a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. Provide accurate information for each statement. Don't worry about showing a profit, as nonprofit organizations are not expected to generate profit. Explain how your nonprofit will use any potential profit, such as establishing an endowment fund or allocating it to future expenditures.

Step 7

Create an executive summary for your nonprofit business. Introduce your business by providing a brief overview of your nonprofit's missions and objectives. Provide a brief introduction about your organization's owners that highlights their professional experience. Explain why your nonprofit's objectives are important and why your target market find passions in them.

Step 8

Attach supporting documents such as tax returns, journal entries, bank statements, marketing research and other documents that help to explain the information within the plan. This helps to corroborate the information within your business plan.


Article Written By Charmayne Smith

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.