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What if the particular sources of income that exist today change in the future?A business plan can help the nonprofit and its board be prepared for future risks, by answering questions such as, “What is the likelihood that the planned activities will continue as usual?Business planning is a way of answering, “What problem(s) are we trying to solve? ” but also, “Who will get us there, by when, and how much money and other resources, will it take?
The plan may include details about the need for the organization's services (a needs assessment) and about the likelihood that certain funding will be available (a feasibility study) or about changes to the organization's technology or staffing that will be needed in order to successfully advance its mission.
Another potential aspect of a business plan could be a "competitive analysis" describing what other entities may be providing similar services in the nonprofit's service and mission areas.
” “What other nonprofits are providing similar services?
” and “What services does our nonprofit deliver that are unique?
The best business plans aren’t unnecessarily long, but do include as much information as necessary. If your plan has these seven sections and all the details mentioned here, you should be well on your way to meeting your nonprofit goals.
They may be as short as seven pages long, one for each of these essential sections, or up to 30 pages long as your organization grows and becomes more complicated. This is the easiest part but should not be overlooked. You should make sure your nonprofit’s name about is 2-3 inches from the top of the page.
A business plan can also take into account assumptions that exist today but may change in the future: Are there certain factors that need to be in place in order for those income streams to continue flowing?
The plan should address both the everyday costs needed to operate the organization as an entity, as well as costs that are specific to the unique programs and activities of the nonprofit.
It should frequently be referenced during key decision-making times to stay on track and to make sure your not for profit organization always adheres to its stated vision.
This guide will help you to create a business plan that fulfills all those roles.