skip to content

Knowledge Base

How do I write a business plan for a nonprofit organization?

According to the Free Management Library, "Business planning is usually conducted when starting a new organization or a new major venture, for example, new product, service or program. Essentially, a business plan is a combination of a marketing plan, strategic plan, operational/management plan and a financial plan. Far more important than the plan document is the planning process itself."

TV icon


Best Practices in Financial Management for Nonprofits

(Requires Windows Media Player)

 Just as with a for-profit business venture, creating a business plan can help a nonprofit organization describe how it intends to implement its mission and achieve its set of goals and objectives. The business planning process involves researching the market for the service the nonprofit plans to offer, investigating the resources needed to provide the service, devising implementation and marketing strategies, assessing risk, and determining ways to evaluate success.

In addition to enhancing overall organizational planning, a business plan also can be used to outline a specific project or venture for a nonprofit. To help diversify their revenue sources, many nonprofit organizations are exploring ways to earn income by developing their own business ventures. A classic example of a nonprofit business venture is Girl Scout cookies. Each year Girl Scout troops sell cookies, and the money earned is put toward Girl Scout programs. Providing goods or services for a fee can be an important way for a nonprofit to bring in revenue to supplement its fundraising activities.

Have a question about this topic? ASK US!

Still have questions related to starting a nonprofit, finding grants, or other fundraising and management queries? Chat with or email Foundation Center's expert librarians to get answers. Ask Us Now! >>

Selected resources can help to learn more about creating an overall business plan for a nonprofit organization or specifically for an earned income venture.

Web Sites

* indicates staff pick

Rate Content

You don't have access to rate this page.

Log in or create a user account to rate this page.

Average Rating (1 votes cast):
  • Currently 5 out of 5 Stars.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!