The Importance of Writing a Business Plan for your Nonprofit

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Image via lucycrystal.com.

Via @bplan

If you think that only profit generating businesses should have a proper business plan, you are wrong. Non-profits, with their unique setup, do need a business plan if you are to be successful in your efforts to make a difference, whatever your cause.

Many founders of non-profit organizations barely bother to register their NPO, much less take the time to compile a business plan. However, having a business plan will give you the opportunity to get an overall view of the exact direction your non-profit is moving in. You can clearly envision your goals, target your weaknesses and get a realistic idea of your donor base.

Generally a business plan includes the following information [BPlan]

  • Executive summary
  • Objectives
  • Mission
  • Keys to success
  • Organization summary
  • Services
  • Market Analysis Summary
  • Strategy and Implementation Summary
  • Management Summary
  • Financial Plan

As you can see it provides important details that one so often overlook, especially when you want to establish a non-profit.

Having a written business plan will give your NPO a head start and can guarantee long-term success; even if you don’t think it is necessary.

Benefits, amongst others are:

  • Sponsors will take you more seriously. When asking for a grant, you need to make the right impression and a properly compiled business plan shows off your professional approach to your non-profit.
  • Should you apply for a loan; the bank will be more generous and willing to approve the financial assistance requested if you can provide your business plan.
  • Donors in general will appreciate your attention to detail and will be more likely to offer their funds or services to help your cause

Compiling a business plan need not be a difficult, time consuming process.

Bplans.com provides a variety of business plan samples for every conceivable type of business or non-profit you may have in mind. You can download your choice and use it as example to write your own.

Alternatively follow the link on Bplan’s pages and try out LivePlan. With LivePlan you can create your own business plan online.

Whether you are an established NPO or just starting out, you can benefit from writing a proper business plan for your organization. It is NEVER too late to introduce an air of professionalism into your org.

Start now. Click here to visit Bplan and compile your business plan.

SOURCE:

BPLANS.  Free Non-Profit Sample Business Plans.  [Web:] www.bplans.com  [Date of Access:] Oct 13, 2016.

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NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: BUILD A COHESIVE, MISSION DRIVEN BRAND

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Via @insquiredesign and written by #FaedaElliott

Whether your non-profit is still only in its planning phase or whether your established brand needs a fresh approach, Faeda Elliott’s ideas will be invaluable.

Look what she says: “In my experience, most non-profit organizations could use a rebrand, a brand refresh, or at the very least, a brand clarification. However, the reality is that it’s difficult for non-profits to divert limited time and resources toward branding. But here’s the thing, it’s the ONE ENDEAVOR that can make all your other efforts much more impactful.” [Elliott:2016]

Setting up, what ms Elliott calls, a cohesive brand and understanding the steps towards excellence in non-profit management is key behind a successful organization.

She explains the term ‘cohesive brand’ in short:

“From the outside, a cohesive brand is how a potential or existing supporter relates to you, comes to trust your organization, and feels compelled to support your mission. It allows your audience to clearly understand your impact on the community.

From the inside, a cohesive brand is all about making sure your message and visuals are clear, concise, and compelling across all platforms. Whether someone attends a fundraising event, volunteers with your organization, visits your website, or follows you on social media, having a cohesive brand means they will have a consistent, trustworthy experience.” [Elliott:2016]

It is essential for every non-profit to scrutinize their brand power regularly. Times are constantly changing and the donor platform fluctuates with the economy. We need to keep our donors interested and connected.

Click here for more information on how to develop a cohesive brand and download the workbook by Faeda Elliott.

SOURCE:

ELLIOTT, FAEDA. 2016.  Non-Profit Organizations: Build a Cohesive, Mission Driven Brand. [Web:] insquired.com: bit.ly/2dVwuIy [Date of Access:] October 12, 2016