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How to Write a Nonprofit Organization Business Plan

Learn how to write a business plan for a nonprofit.

A nonprofit organization business plan creates a guide that the employees of the nonprofit can use to run the business. Since many nonprofits apply for grants as a source of funding, the business plan is a document that describes both the purpose and viability of your nonprofit, and is submitted with your grant applications. Similar to the business plan used by a for-profit business, the format of the plan is the same. The only difference is that a nonprofit applies the money it raises for its mission or cause.


Difficulty: 5

Step 1

Write the mission statement. A mission statement describes the purpose of the nonprofit or the cause the organization is working on behalf of. For example, the mission statement for Springboard, a nonprofit organization that educates consumers on credit and debt, is, "Our mission is simple: To offer education on the wise use of credit." A mission statement can be as short as one sentence or as long as one paragraph. Typically, however, a mission statement is short and concise.

Step 2

State the goals of the nonprofit organization. Write out the main goals you are trying to achieve through the work that the nonprofit is going to undertake. Typically, the goals for the business plan are short-term, yearly, and long-term (over a two-, three-, four- or five-year period).

Step 3

Identify the nonprofit's objectives. An objective is a statement, or series of statements, that identifies the goals of the organization. Each objective you state as part of your business plan should be measurable. For example, if your objective is to enroll 3,500 members in your first year, at the end of the first year, you should be able to quantify how many members you have to determine the feasibility of your objective.

Step 4

Write out the nonprofit's strategies. The strategic portion of your business plan identifies the steps that have to be taken in order for you to achieve the goals and objectives laid out in the plan. For example, to enroll 3,500 members within one year, a strategy may be to run a membership drive in the month of March, where you leverage existing members to recruit new members.

Step 5

Create a calendar or timeline. Some individuals find it easier to accomplish their tasks by laying out the information in a calendar, timeline or checklist format. When the plan is broken down into chunks of time, tasks can be delegated accordingly and progress can be tracked more efficiently.


Article Written By Kristie Lorette

Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.