This week I read several articles about how to develop a nonprofit business plan, one in particular that caught my attention was titled A Business Plan Can Help Make Your Nonprofit Successful. According to Joanne Fritz, author of A Business Plan Can Help Make Your Nonprofit Successful, every nonprofit needs a business plan in order to “persuade major donors or foundations to fund them, to recruit board members, to serve as a compass for their organization (so there is no confusion about their goals), to apply for a business loan, and especially if they decide to set up a store or another venture to help fund their programs.” Without business plans nonprofits would certainly be unable to thrive or grow. There are nine important elements that Joanne Fritz highlights within her article; these elements are necessities in every nonprofit business plan and will aid the organization in thriving/growing.
The elements are as follows:
Executive summary: This is a brief overview of your entire business plan, this should include: The mission of your nonprofit, the history of your nonprofit and your nonprofits strengths and assets.
Organizational Structure: This section should explain how your nonprofit is organized (of course) from board to staff, this part should also include the maturity of your organization as well as how you plan to grow as an organization.
A list of products, programs and services: This list should also explain what products and services you provide and what programs your organization offers.
A marketing plan: This should describe who are you planning on reaching and how will you reach that select population. The marketing plan should also explain the need for your nonprofits services, as well as competitors and possible collaborators that are in the same market. The section dedicated to the organization's operational plan should include how you will deliver your services and where your facilities will be located. It should also evaluate the impact of your programs/services.
A management and organizational team section: This element should cover who the management team is, as well as their expertise. This section should also have an organizational chart that explains the responsibilities and assets of each member, along with current and future staff needs.
The organizations capitalization: This is a section about capital structure. A list of “outstanding loans, debts, holdings, bonds, and endowments” should be addressed in this part of the business plan.
The financial plan of the organization: This element should include your current and projected financial status, your source of income, an explanation of any financing, a list of substantial contributions or grants your organization received and your fundraising plan.
The final piece in your marketing plan is the appendix: This part should include resumes of members, your strategic plan, your annual reports and other important charts/information.
After analyzing these nonprofit business plan articles I took the knowledge I gained and applied it in order to analyze the DOW business plan. I found that the first section in the DOW business plan was in fact an executive summary, which includes the organizations mission statement, a brief mention of the history of the organization, and the programs DOW offer were also mentioned. The DOW business plan does a wonderful job of explaining the “management and organizational team” section. Within the DOW business plan there is a list of members/board advisors and this list includes their expertise as well as their roles outside of DOW. DOW also included a part concerning interns which is a great add on to this section. The segment about the services DOW plans to provide was separated into its own section; I believe this is a great way to draw attention directly to these services and programs.The marketing plan section within the DOW business plan greatly explains how the organization will reach its intended audience and also explains DOW’s nonprofit market. The DOW business plan has a great financial section which includes projected fundraising outcomes, the opportunity to hire new staff after fundraising and finally an entire financial plan. A final consideration for DOW as we move forward in completing our Business Plan is to add a more in-depth history of DOW, including our organization’s strengths and assets to the “executive summary” section. All in all, I believe the DOW business plan is well on its way!
As always thanks for reading!
*All information gathered from the article is linked/cited
Received from: Fritz, Joanne. “Why a Nonprofit Needs a Business Plan and What to Include.” The Balance Small Business, The Balance Small Business, 15 Feb. 2017, www.thebalancesmb.com/why-do-i-need-a-business-plan-for-nonprofit-2502272.