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Easily Create and Manage Your Profit and Loss Statements with Free Templates
Creating and managing a profit and loss statement is an important part of any business. It is a document that tracks the income and expenses of a company over a period of time, usually a month or quarter. It helps to identify areas where the business is making money, as well as areas where it could be losing money. Fortunately, there are free templates available that make it easy to create and manage your profit and loss statements.
What is a Profit and Loss Statement?
A profit and loss statement, also known as an income statement, is a financial document used to track the income and expenses of a business over a period of time. It includes all revenue sources such as sales, investments, interest income, etc., as well as all expenses such as costs of goods sold, operating expenses, taxes, etc. The purpose of the statement is to provide an overview of the financial performance of the business over the specified period.
Benefits of Using Free Templates
Using free templates to create your profit and loss statements can be beneficial in several ways. First, it saves time by eliminating the need to manually enter data into spreadsheets or other software programs. Second, it ensures accuracy by providing pre-formatted templates that are easy to read and understand. Finally, it allows you to quickly compare different periods or scenarios in order to make better decisions for your business.
How to Find Free Templates
Finding free templates for creating your profit and loss statements is easy. There are many websites that offer free templates for various types of financial documents including profit and loss statements. Additionally, many accounting software programs offer free templates for creating financial documents such as these. Simply search online for “free profit and loss statement template” or “free accounting software” to find what you need.
Creating and managing your own profit and loss statements can be time consuming but with free templates available online it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With these tools you can easily create accurate financial documents that will help you make better decisions for your business.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
MORE FROM ASK.COM
Free Nonprofit Business Plan Templates
By Joe Weller | September 18, 2020
In this article, we’ve rounded up the most useful list of nonprofit business plan templates, all free to download in Word, PDF, and Excel formats.
Included on this page, you’ll find a one-page nonprofit business plan template , a fill-in-the-blank nonprofit business plan template , a startup nonprofit business planning timeline template , and more. Plus, we provide helpful tips for creating your nonprofit business plan .
Nonprofit Business Plan Template
Use this customizable nonprofit business plan template to organize your nonprofit organization’s mission and goals and convey them to stakeholders. This template includes space for information about your nonprofit’s background, objectives, management team, program offerings, market analysis, promotional activities, funding sources, fundraising methods, and much more.
Download Nonprofit Business Plan Template
One-Page Business Plan for Nonprofit Template
This one-page nonprofit business plan template has a simple and scannable design to outline the key details of your organization’s strategy. This template includes space to detail your mission, vision, and purpose statements, as well as the problems you aim to solve in your community, the people who benefit from your program offerings, your key marketing activities, your financial goals, and more.
Download One-Page Business Plan for Nonprofit Template
Excel | Word | PDF
For additional resources, including an example of a one-page business plan , visit “ One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide .”
Fill-In-the-Blank Nonprofit Business Plan Template
Use this fill-in-the-blank template as the basis for building a thorough business plan for a nonprofit organization. This template includes space to describe your organization’s background, purpose, and main objectives, as well as key personnel, program and service offerings, market analysis, promotional activities, fundraising methods, and more.
Download Fill-In-the-Blank Nonprofit Business Plan Template
For additional resources that cater to a wide variety of organizations, visit “ Free Fill-In-the-Blank Business Plan Templates .”
Startup Nonprofit Business Planning Template with Timeline
Use this business planning template to organize and schedule key activities for your business. Fill in the cells according to the due dates, and color-code the cells by phase, owner, or category to provide a visual timeline of progress.
Download Startup Nonprofit Business Planning Template with Timeline
Excel | Smartsheet
Nonprofit Business Plan Template for Youth Program
Use this template as a foundation for building a powerful and attractive nonprofit business plan for youth programs and services. This template has all the core components of a nonprofit business plan. It includes room to detail the organization’s background, management team key personnel, current and future youth program offerings, promotional activities, operations plan, financial statements, and much more.
Download Nonprofit Business Plan Template for Youth Program
Word | PDF | Google Doc
Sample Nonprofit Business Plan Outline Template
You can customize this sample nonprofit business plan outline to fit the specific needs of your organization. To ensure that you don’t miss any essential details, use this outline to help you prepare and organize the elements of your plan before filling in each section.
Download Sample Nonprofit Business Plan Outline Template
Nonprofit Startup Business Planning Checklist Template
Use this customizable business planning checklist as the basis for outlining the necessary steps to get your nonprofit organization up and running. You can customize this checklist to fit your individual needs. It includes essential steps, such as conducting a SWOT analysis , fulfilling the research requirements specific to your state, conducting a risk assessment , defining roles and responsibilities, creating a portal for board members, and other tasks to keep your plan on track.
Download Nonprofit Startup Business Planning Checklist Template
Tips to Create Your Nonprofit Business Plan
Your nonprofit business plan should provide your donors, volunteers, and other key stakeholders with a clear picture of your overarching mission and objectives. Below, we share our top tips for ensuring that your plan is attractive and thorough.
- Develop a Strategy First: You must aim before you fire if you want to be effective. In other words, develop a strategic plan for your nonprofit in order to provide your team with direction and a roadmap before you build your business plan.
- Save Time with a Template: No need to start from scratch when you can use a customizable nonprofit business plan template to get started. (Download one of the options above.)
- Start with What You Have: With the exception of completing the executive summary, which you must do last, you aren’t obligated to fill in each section of the plan in order. Use the information you have on hand to begin filling in the various parts of your business plan, then conduct additional research to fill in the gaps.
- Ensure Your Information Is Credible: Back up all the details in your plan with reputable sources that stakeholders can easily reference.
- Be Realistic: Use realistic assumptions and numbers in your financial statements and forecasts. Avoid the use of overly lofty or low-lying projections, so stakeholders feel more confident about your plan.
- Strive for Scannability: Keep each section clear and concise. Use bullet points where appropriate, and avoid large walls of text.
- Use Visuals: Add tables, charts, and other graphics to draw the eye and support key points in the plan.
- Be Consistent: Keep the voice and formatting (e.g., font style and size) consistent throughout the plan to maintain a sense of continuity.
- Stay True to Your Brand: Make sure that the tone, colors, and overall style of the business plan are a true reflection of your organization’s brand.
- Proofread Before Distribution: Prior to distributing the plan to stakeholders, have a colleague proofread the rough version to check for errors and ensure that the plan is polished.
- Don’t Set It and Forget It: You should treat your nonprofit business plan as a living document that you need to review and update on a regular basis — as objectives change and your organization grows.
- Use an Effective Collaboration Tool: Use an online tool to accomplish the following: collaborate with key personnel on all components of the business plan; enable version control for all documents; and keep resources in one accessible place.
Improve Your Nonprofit Business Planning Efforts with Smartsheet
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When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time. Try Smartsheet for free, today.
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The best nonprofit business plan template in 2023
If you’re looking to start a new charity but don’t know where to start, a nonprofit business plan template can help. There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the US. While it’s awesome that there are so many charitable orgs, unfortunately, many of them struggle to keep their doors open.
Like any other business, a nonprofit needs to prepare for the unexpected. Even without a global pandemic, strategic planning is crucial for a nonprofit to succeed.
In this article, we’ll look at why a business plan is important for nonprofit organizations and what details to include in your business plan. To get you started, our versatile nonprofit business plan template is ready for you to download to turn your nonprofit dreams into a reality.
Get the template
What is a nonprofit business plan template?
A nonprofit business plan template is not that different from a regular, profit-oriented business plan template. It can even focus on financial gain — as long as it specifies how to use that excess for the greater good.
A nonprofit business plan template includes fields that cover the foundational elements of a business plan, including:
- The overarching purpose of your nonprofit
- Its long and short-term goals
- An outline of how you’ll achieve these goals
The template also controls the general layout of the business plan, like recommended headings, sub-headings, and questions. But what’s the point? Let’s dive into the benefits a business plan template offers nonprofits.
Download Excel template
Why use a nonprofit business plan template?
To get your nonprofit business plans in motion, templates can:
If you’ve decided to start a nonprofit, you’re likely driven by passion and purpose. Although nonprofits are generally mission-driven, they’re still businesses. And that means you need to have a working business model. A template will give your ideas direction and encourage you to put your strategic thinking cap on.
Help you secure funding
One of the biggest reasons for writing a nonprofit business plan is to attract investment. After all, without enough funding , it’s nearly impossible to get your business off the ground. There’s simply no business without capital investment, and that’s even more true for nonprofits that rarely sell products.
Stakeholders and potential investors will need to assess the feasibility of your nonprofit business. You can encourage them to invest by presenting them with a well-written, well-thought-out business plan with all the necessary details — and a template lays the right foundation.
Facilitate clear messaging
One of the essential characteristics of any business plan — nonprofits included — is transparency around what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. A nebulous statement with grandiose aspirations but no practical plan won’t inspire confidence.
Instead, you should create a clear and concise purpose statement that sums up your goals and planned action steps. A good template will help you maintain a strong purpose statement and use clear messaging throughout.
Of course, there are different types of nonprofit plan templates you can use, depending on the kind of business plan you want to draw up.
What are some examples of a nonprofit business plan template?
From summary nonprofit plans to all encompassing strategies, check out a few sample business plan templates for different nonprofit use cases.
Summary nonprofit business plan template
New nonprofit ventures in the early stages of development can use this business plan template. It’s created to put out feelers to see if investors are interested in your idea. For example, you may want to start an animal shelter in your community, but aren’t sure if it’s a viable option due to a lack of funds. You’d use a summary business plan template to gauge interest in your nonprofit.
Full nonprofit business plan template
In this scenario, you have already laid the foundations for your nonprofit. You’re now at a point where you need financing to get your nonprofit off the ground.
This template is much longer than a summary and includes all the sections of a nonprofit business plan including the:
- Nonprofit description
- Needs analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Management team & board
- Human resource needs
It also typically includes a variety of documents that back up your market research and financial situation.
Operational nonprofit business plan template
This type of business plan template is extremely detail-oriented and outlines your nonprofit’s daily operations. It acts as an in-depth guide for who does what, how they should do it, and when they should do it.
An operational nonprofit business plan is written for your internal team rather than external parties like investors or board members.
Convinced to give a business plan template a go? Lucky for you, our team has created the perfect option for nonprofits.
monday.com’s nonprofit business plan template
At monday.com, we understand that starting a nonprofit business can feel overwhelming — scrambling to line up investors, arranging fundraising events, filing federal forms, and more. Because we want you and your nonprofit to succeed, we’ve created a customizable template to get you started. It’s right inside our Work OS , a digital platform that helps you effectively manage every aspect of your work — from budgets and high-level plans to individual to-do lists.
Here’s what you can do on our template:
Access all your documents from one central location
Besides a business plan, starting a nonprofit requires a lot of other documentation. Supporting documents include a cash flow statement or a general financial statement, resumes of founders, and letters of support.
monday.com’s Work OS lets you store all these essential documents in one centralized location. That means you don’t need to open several tabs or run multiple programs to view your information. On monday.com, you can quickly and easily access documents and share them with potential investors and donors. Security features also help you control access to any board or document, only letting invited people or employees view or edit them. By keeping everything in one place, you save time on tracking down rogue files or statements and can focus on what really matters, such as running your nonprofit.
Turn your business plan into action
With monday.com’s nonprofit business plan template, you can seamlessly transform your plan into actionable tasks. After all, it’s going to take more than some sound strategic planning to bring your nonprofit to life.
Based on your business plan, you have the power to create interactive vision boards, calendars, timelines, cards, charts, and more. Because delegation is key, assign tasks to any of your team members from your main board. You can even set up notification automations so that everyone stays up to date with their responsibilities. Plus, to make sure the team stays on track, you can use the Progress Tracking Column that shows you the percent to completion of tasks based on the different status columns of your board.
Keep your finger on the pulse
From budgets to customer satisfaction, you need to maintain a high-level overview of your nonprofit’s key metrics.
monday.com keeps you well-informed on the status of your nonprofit’s progress, all on one platform. With customizable dashboards — for example, a real-time overview of donations received and projects completed — and visually appealing views, you can make confident decisions on how to take your nonprofit business forward.
Now that you have the template, let’s cover each section and how to fill it out correctly.
Essential sections of a nonprofit business plan template
So what exactly goes into a nonprofit business plan? Let’s take a look at the different sections you’ll find in most templates.
This is a concise summary of your business at the beginning of your plan. It should be both inspired and to the point. The executive summary is typically two pages long and dedicates about two sentences to each section of the plan.
This section gives some background on your company and summarizes the goal of your business. At the same time, it should touch on other important factors like your action plan for attracting potential external stakeholders. You can think of an organization overview as a mission statement and company description rolled into one.
Products, programs, and services
Any business exists to provide products, programs, and services — perhaps with a focus on the latter two for nonprofits. Your business plan should outline what you are bringing to your community. This will influence your target market , potential investors, and marketing strategies.
An effective marketing strategy is the cornerstone of any successful business. Your marketing plan will identify your target audience and how you plan to reach them. It deals with pricing structures while also assessing customer engagement levels.
The operational plan describes the steps a company will take over a certain period. It focuses on the day-to-day aspects of the business, like what tasks need to be done and who is responsible for what. The operational section of a business plan works closely with strategic planning.
Even nonprofits face competition from other nonprofits with similar business profiles. A market analysis looks at the strengths and weaknesses of competing businesses and where you fit in. This section should include a strategy to overtake competitors in the market. There are many formats and templates you can use here, for example, a SWOT analysis .
Your financial plan should be a holistic image of your company’s financial status and financial goals. As well as your fundraising plan , make sure to include details like cash flow, investments, insurance, debt, and savings.
Before we wrap up, we’ll address some commonly asked questions about nonprofit business plan templates.
FAQs about nonprofit business plan templates
How do you write a business plan for a nonprofit.
The best way to write a nonprofit business plan is with a template so that you don’t leave anything out. Our template has all the sections ready for you to fill in, combined with features of a cutting-edge Work OS.
For some extra tips, take a look at our advice on how to write a business plan . We’ve detailed the various elements involved in business planning processes and how these should be structured.
How many pages should a nonprofit business plan be?
Business plans don’t have to be excessively long. Remember that concise communication is optimal. As a rule of thumb — and this will vary depending on the complexity and size of your business plan — a nonprofit business plan is typically between seven and thirty pages long.
What is a nonprofit business plan called?
A nonprofit business plan is called just that — a ‘nonprofit business plan.’ You may think that its nonprofit element makes it very different from a profit-oriented plan. But it is essentially the same type of document.
What is the best business structure for a nonprofit?
The consensus is that a corporation is the most appropriate and effective structure for a nonprofit business.
How do you start a nonprofit with no money?
Creating a business plan and approaching potential investors, aka donators, is the best way to start a nonprofit business if you don’t have the funds yourself.
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How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan in 12 Steps (+ Free Template!)
The first step in starting a nonprofit is figuring out how to bring your vision into reality. If there’s any tool that can really help you hit the ground running, it’s a nonprofit business plan!
With a plan in place, you not only have a clear direction for growth, but you can also access valuable funding opportunities.
Here, we’ll explore:
- Why a business plan is so important
- The components of a business plan
- How to write a business plan for a nonprofit specifically
We also have a few great examples, as well as a free nonprofit business plan template.
Let’s get planning!
What Is a Nonprofit Business Plan?
A nonprofit business plan is the roadmap to your organization’s future. It lays out where your nonprofit currently stands in terms of organizational structure, finances and programs. Most importantly, it highlights your goals and how you aim to achieve them!
These goals should be reachable within the next 3-5 years—and flexible! Your nonprofit business plan is a living document, and should be regularly updated as priorities shift. The point of your plan is to remind you and your supporters what your organization is all about.
This document can be as short as one page if you’re just starting out, or much longer as your organization grows. As long as you have all the core elements of a business plan (which we’ll get into below!), you’re golden.
Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Business Plan
While some people might argue that a nonprofit business plan isn’t strictly necessary, it’s well worth your time to make!
Here are 5 benefits of writing a business plan:
Secure funding and grants
Did you know that businesses with a plan are far more likely to get funding than those that don’t have a plan? It’s true!
When donors, investors, foundations, granting bodies and volunteers see you have a clear plan, they’re more likely to trust you with their time and money. Plus, as you achieve the goals laid out in your plan, that trust will only grow.
Solidify your mission
In order to sell your mission, you have to know what it is. That might sound simple, but when you have big dreams and ideas, it’s easy to get lost in all of the possibilities!
Writing your business plan pushes you to express your mission in the most straightforward way possible. As the years go on and new opportunities and ideas arise, your business plan will guide you back to your original mission.
From there, you can figure out if you’ve lost the plot—or if it’s time to change the mission itself!
Set goals and milestones
The first step in achieving your goals is knowing exactly what they are. By highlighting your goals for the next 3-5 years—and naming their key milestones!—you can consistently check if you’re on track.
Nonprofit work is tough, and there will be points along the way where you wonder if you’re actually making a difference. With a nonprofit business plan in place, you can actually see how much you’ve achieved over the years.
Attract a board and volunteers
Getting volunteers and filling nonprofit board positions is essential to building out your organization’s team. Like we said before, a business plan builds trust and shows that your organization is legitimate. In fact, some boards of directors actually require a business plan in order for an organization to run!
An unfortunate truth is that many volunteers get taken advantage of . With a business plan in place, you can show that you’re coming from a place of professionalism.
Research and find opportunities
Writing a business plan requires some research!
Along the way, you’ll likely dig into information like:
- Who your ideal donor might be
- Where to find potential partners
- What your competitors are up to
- Which mentorships or grants are available for your organization
- What is the best business model for a nonprofit like yours
With this information in place, not only will you have a better nonprofit business model created—you’ll also have a more stable organization!
Free Nonprofit Business Plan Template
If you’re feeling uncertain about building a business plan from scratch, we’ve got you covered!
Here is a quick and simple free nonprofit business plan template.
Basic Format and Parts of a Business Plan
Now that you know what a business plan can do for your organization, let’s talk about what it actually contains!
Here are some key elements of a business plan:
First of all, you want to make sure your business plan follows best practices for formatting. After all, it’ll be available to your team, donors, board of directors, funding bodies and more!
Your nonprofit business plan should:
- Be consistent formatted
- Have standard margins
- Use a good sized font
- Keep the document to-the-point
- Include a page break after each section
- Be proofread
Curious about what each section of the document should look like?
Here are the essential parts of a business plan:
- Executive Summary: This is your nonprofit’s story—it’ll include your goals, as well as your mission, vision and values.
- Products, programs and services: This is where you show exactly what it is you’re doing. Highlight the programs and services you offer, and how they will benefit your community.
- Operations: This section describes your team, partnerships and all activities and requirements your day-to-day operations will include.
- Marketing : Your marketing plan will cover your market, market analyses and specific plans for how you will carry out your business plan with the public.
- Finances: This section covers an overview of your financial operations. It will include documents like your financial projections, fundraising plan , grants and more
- Appendix: Any additional useful information will be attached here.
We’ll get into these sections in more detail below!
How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan in 12 Steps
Feeling ready to put your plan into action? Here’s how to write a business plan for a nonprofit in 12 simple steps!
1. Research the market
Take a look at what’s going on in your corner of the nonprofit sector. After all, you’re not the first organization to write a business plan!
- How your competitors’ business plans are structured
- What your beneficiaries are asking for
- Potential partners you’d like to reach
- Your target donors
- What information granting bodies and loan providers require
All of this information will show you what parts of your business plan should be given extra care. Sending out donor surveys, contacting financial institutions and connecting with your beneficiaries are a few tips to get your research going.
If you’re just getting started out, this can help guide you in naming your nonprofit something relevant, eye-catching and unique!
2. Write to your audience
Your business plan will be available for a whole bunch of people, including:
- Granting bodies
- Loan providers
- Prospective and current board members
Each of these audiences will be coming from different backgrounds, and looking at your business plan for different reasons. If you keep your nonprofit business plan accessible (minimal acronyms and industry jargon), you’ll be more likely to reach everyone.
If you’d like, it’s always possible to create a one page business plan AND a more detailed one. Then, you can provide the one that feels most useful to each audience!
3. Write your mission statement
Your mission statement defines how your organization aims to make a difference in the world. In one sentence, lay out why your nonprofit exists.
Here are a few examples of nonprofit mission statements:
- Watts of Love is a global solar lighting nonprofit bringing people the power to raise themselves out of the darkness of poverty.
- CoachArt creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness.
- The Trevor Project fights to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
In a single sentence, each of these nonprofits defines exactly what it is their organization is doing, and who their work reaches. Offering this information at a glance is how you immediately hook your readers!
4. Describe your nonprofit
Now that your mission is laid out, show a little bit more about who you are and how you aim to carry out your mission. Expanding your mission statement to include your vision and values is a great way to kick this off!
Use this section to highlight:
- Your ideal vision for your community
- The guiding philosophy and values of your organization
- The purpose you were established to achieve
Don’t worry too much about the specifics here—we’ll get into those below! This description is simply meant to demonstrate the heart of your organization.
5. Outline management and organization
When you put together your business plan, you’ll want to describe the structure of your organization in the Operations section.
This will include information like:
- Team members (staff, board of directors , etc.)
- The specific type of nonprofit you’re running
If you’re already established, make a section for how you got started! This includes your origin story, your growth and the impressive nonprofit talent you’ve brought on over the years.
6. Describe programs, products and services
This information will have its own section in your nonprofit business plan—and for good reason!
It gives readers vital information about how you operate, including:
- The specifics of the work you do
- How that work helps your beneficiaries
- The resources that support the work (partnerships, facilities, volunteers, etc!)
- If you have a membership base or a subscription business model
Above all, highlight what needs your nonprofit meets and how it plans to continue meeting those needs. Really get into the details here! Emphasize the work of each and every program, and if you’re already established, note the real impact you’ve made.
Try including pictures and graphic design elements so people can feel your impact even if they’re simply skimming.
7. Create an Executive Summary
Your Executive Summary will sit right at the top of your business plan—in many ways, it’s the shining star of the document! This section serves as a concise and compelling telling of your nonprofit’s story. If it can capture your readers’ attention, they’re more likely to read through the rest of the plan.
Your Executive Summary should include:
- Your mission, vision and values
- Your goals (and their timelines!)
- Your organization’s history
- Your primary programs, products and services
- Your financing plan
- How you intend on using your funding
This section will summarize the basics of everything else in your plan. While it comes first part of your plan, we suggest writing it last! That way, you’ll already have the information on hand.
You can also edit your Executive Summary depending on your audience. For example, if you’re sending your nonprofit business plan to a loan provider, you can really focus on where the money will be going. If you’re trying to recruit a new board member, you might want to highlight goals and impact, instead.
8. Write a marketing plan
Having a nonprofit marketing plan is essential to making sure your mission reaches people—and that’s especially true for your business plan.
If your nonprofit is already up and running, detail the work you’re currently doing, as well as the specific results you’ve seen so far. If you’re new, you’ll mostly be working with projections—so make sure your data is sound!
No matter what, your Marketing Plan section should market research such as:
- Beneficiary information
- Information on your target audience/donor base
- Information on your competitors
- Names of potential partners
Data is your friend here! Make note of market analyses and tests you’ve run. Be sure to also document any outreach and campaigns you’ve previously done, as well as your outcomes.
Finally, be sure to list all past and future marketing strategies you’re planning for. This can include promotion, advertising, online marketing plans and more.
9. Create a logistics and operations plan
The Operations section of your business plan will take the organizational information you’ve gathered so far and expand the details! Highlight what the day-to-day will look like for your nonprofit, and how your funds and resources will make it possible.
Be sure to make note of:
- The titles and responsibilities of your core team
- The partners and suppliers you work with
- Insurance you will need
- Necessary licenses or certifications you’ll maintain
- The cost of services and programs
This is the what and how of your business plan. Lean into those details, and show exactly how you’ll accomplish those goals you’ve been talking about!
10. Write an Impact Plan
Your Impact Plan is a deep dive into your organization’s goals. It grounds your dreams in reality, which brings both idealists and more practically-minded folks into your corner!
Where your Executive Summary lays out your ambitions on a broader level, this plan:
- Clarifies your goals in detail
- Highlights specific objectives and their timelines
- Breaks down how you will achieve them
- Shows how you will measure your success
Your Impact Plan will have quite a few goals in it, so be sure to emphasize which ones are the most impactful on your cause. After all, social impact is just as important as financial impact!
11. Outline the Financial Plan
One of the main reasons people want to know how to write a nonprofit business plan is because of how essential it is to receiving funding. Loan providers, donors and granting bodies will want to see your numbers—and that’s where your Financial Plan comes in.
This plan should clearly lay out where your money is coming from and where it will go. If you’re just getting started, check out what similar nonprofits are doing in order to get realistic numbers. Even if you’re starting a nonprofit on a tight budget , every bit of financial information counts!
First, map out your projected (or actual) nonprofit revenue streams , such as:
- Expected membership contributions
- Significant donations
- In-kind support
- Fundraising plan
Then, do the same with your expenses:
- Startup costs
- Typical bills
- Web hosting
- Membership management software
- Costs of programs
If your nonprofit is already up and running, include your past accounting information. Otherwise, keep working with those grounded projections!
To make sure you have all of your information set, include documents like:
- Income statement
- Cash flow statement
- Balance sheet
This information comes together to show that your nonprofit can stay above water financially. Highlighting that you can comfortably cover your operational costs is essential. Plus, building this plan might help your team find funding gaps or opportunities!
12. Include an Appendix
Your appendix is for any extra pieces of useful information for your readers.
This could be documents such as:
- Academic papers about your beneficiaries
- Publications on your nonprofit’s previous success
- Board member bios
- Organizational flow chart
- Your IRS status letter
Make sure your additions contribute to your nonprofit’s story!
Examples of Business Plans for Nonprofits
Here are two great examples of nonprofit business plans. Notice how they’re different depending on the size of the organization!
Nonprofit Recording Co-op Business Plan
This sample nonprofit business plan shows what a basic plan could look like for a hobbyists’ co-op. If your nonprofit is on the smaller, more local side, this is a great reference!
What we like:
- Details on running a basic membership model
- Emphasis on what it means to specifically be a sustainable cooperative
- A list of early milestones, such as hitting their 100th member
- Clarification that all recordings will be legal
Nonprofit Youth Services Business Plan
This sample nonprofit business plan is for a much larger organization. Instead of focusing on the details of a membership model, it gets deeper into programs and services provided.
What we like
- The mission is broken down by values
- A detailed look at what each program provides
- A thorough sales plan
- Key assumptions are included for the financial plan
How to Create a Nonprofit Business Plan With Confidence
We hope this sheds some light on how creating a nonprofit business plan can help your organization moving forward! Remember: you know what you want for your organization. A business plan is simply a tool for making those dreams a reality.
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Non-Profit Business Plan Template
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Updated January 09, 2023
A non-profit business plan is a written roadmap for a non-profit organization. It serves to communicate the core purpose, funding needs, and action plan of the organization. Non-profit business plans typically describe in detail the organization’s mission and values, administrative structure, staffing, industry analysis, revenue and donations, key milestones, and other elements specific to the organization type.
Nonprofit Business Plan Template & Guide [Updated 2023]
Nonprofit business plan template.
Are you passionate about making a positive impact in your community? Are you part of a nonprofit organization or considering starting one? If so, you need a business plan and you’re in the right place to do that!
Below, we’ll guide you through the essential elements of a nonprofit business plan, sharing valuable insights and a user-friendly template to set you on the path to success.
How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan
Growthink’s nonprofit business plan template below is the result of 20+ years of research into the types of business plans that help nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to attract funding and achieve their goals.
Follow the links to each section of our nonprofit business plan template:
Nonprofit Organization Planning Resources & FAQs
Below are answers to the most common questions asked by nonprofits:
Is there a nonprofit business plan template I can download?
Yes. If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your non-profit business plan, download our non-profit business plan template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.
Where can I download a nonprofit business plan PDF?
You can download our free nonprofit business plan template PDF here . This is a sample nonprofit business plan template you can use in PDF format.
What Is a nonprofit business plan?
A non-profit business plan describes your organization as it currently exists (which could be just an idea) and presents a road map for the next three to five years. It lays out your goals, challenges, and plans for meeting your goals. Your business plan should be updated frequently, as it is not meant to be stagnant. It is particularly important to create/update your business plan annually to make sure your nonprofit remains on track towards successfully fulfilling its mission.
A nonprofit business plan template is a tool used to help your nonprofit business quickly develop a roadmap for your business.
Why do you need a business plan for your nonprofit?
A nonprofit business plan serves many purposes. Most importantly, it forces you to think through and perfect your nonprofit’s strategy, it provides a roadmap to follow to grow your nonprofit, and it provides financial and other information major donors and board members need to know before they invest in your organization. Business planning can be a challenge and business plan templates help make this task easier for your team.
What are the types of nonprofit organizations (NPOs)?
There are several types of nonprofits. These are categorized by section 500(c) by the IRS for tax exempt purposes. Listed below, are some of the frequently filed sections:
Corporations formed under Act of Congress. An example is Federal Credit Unions.
Holding corporations for tax exempt organizations. This group holds title to the property for the exempt group.
This is the most popular type of NPO. Examples include educational, literary, charitable, religious, public safety, international and national amateur sports competitions, organizations committed to the prevention of cruelty towards animals or children, etc. Organizations that fall into this category are either a private foundation or a public charity. Examples include Getty Foundation, Red Cross, Easter Seals, etc.
Examples include social welfare groups, civil leagues, employee associations, etc. This category promotes charity, community welfare and recreational/educational goals.
Horticultural, labor and agricultural organizations get classified under this section. These organizations are instructive or educational and work to improve products, working conditions and efficiency.
Examples include real estate boards, business leagues, etc. They work to ameliorate business conditions.
Recreation and social clubs that promote pleasure and activities fall into this category.
Fraternal beneficiary associations and societies belong to this section.
Voluntary Employees’ beneficiary associations which provide benefits, accidents and life payments to members are a part of this section.
When filling in your nonprofit business plan template, include the type of nonprofit business you intend to be.
What are the primary sources of funding for nonprofit business plans?
The primary funding sources for most nonprofit organizations are donors, grants and bank loans. Donors are individuals that provide capital to start and grow your nonprofit. Major donors, as the name implies, write large checks and are often instrumental in launching nonprofits. Grants are given by organizations and others to achieve specific goals and often nonprofits qualify for them. Business loans, particularly for asset purchases like buildings and equipment, are also typically used by nonprofits.
Nonprofit organizations may also sell products or services, work with investors or develop their own investments. The expertise of the non-profit staff, members and board of directors will impact funding options for a nonprofit organization. The non profits mission, resources, goals and vision will all impact the funding sources a nonprofit business will place in it’s business plan as well.
How do you write a nonprofit business plan?
To most quickly write a nonprofit business plan, start with a template that lays out the sections to complete. Answer the questions provided in the template and discuss them with your co-founders if applicable. A templated financial model will help you more easily complete your financial forecasts.
What should be included in nonprofit plans?
A nonprofit business plan should include the following information: Executive Summary, Organization Overview, Products, Programs, and Services, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team/Organizational Structure, Financial Plan and Appendix.
How do you start a nonprofit?
The key steps to starting a nonprofit are to choose the name of your organization, write your business plan, incorporate your organization, apply for your IRS and state tax exemptions and get any required licenses and permits you need to operate.
How many nonprofit organizations are in the US?
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics , there are approximately 1.54 million nonprofits registered in the United States (data pulled from registrations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)).
Does your action plan and fundraising plan belong in your plan?
Yes, both belong in your plan.
Include your action plan in the operations plan section. Your fundraising plan goes in your financial plan section. Here you will discuss how much money you must raise and from whom you plan to solicit these funds.
Where do you include your non profit mission in your plan?
Your mission statement is extremely important as it lays the foundation for and presents the vision of your nonprofit. You should clearly detail your mission statement in both the executive summary and organizational overview of your nonprofit plan.
What do you include in a nonprofit’s financial projections?
Your financial projections must include an Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement. These statements within your business plan show how much money your organization will bring in from donors and customers/clients and how much your organization will spend.
The key purpose of your financial projections is to ensure you have enough money to keep your organization operating. They also can be an important component of your nonprofit business plan template, as donors, your board of directors, and others may review to understand financial requirements of your nonprofit.
How do nonprofit owners get paid?
Nonprofits function like for-profit businesses in that they often have employees who receive salaries. As such, as the owner, founder and/or CEO of a nonprofit, you can give yourself a salary. Many nonprofit CEOs, particularly those running large health, finance and educational organizations earn millions of dollars each year.
How much does it cost to start a nonprofit business?
Nonprofits must complete Form 1023 with the IRS in order to get exemption status. The filing fee for this form is $600. If neither actual nor projected annual income for the organization exceeds $50,000, you can file form Form 1023-EZ which costs just $275.
In addition to the filing fee, there are other costs associated with starting a nonprofit organization based on the type of organization you are developing (for example, if you require buildings and equipment). Gathering information through the business planning process will help you accurately estimate costs for your nonprofit business plan template.
Where can I download a nonprofit business plan template doc?
You can download our free nonprofit business plan template DOC here . This is a nonprofit business plan template you can use in Microsoft DOC format.
Additional nonprofit resources
Below is a list of additional resources to help you get starting with your own nonprofit organization:
- National Council of Nonprofits
- Not For Profit Resources
- Nonprofit Quarterly
- The Fundraising Authority
Helpful Video Tips for Nonprofit Business Plans
Below are tips to create select sections of your nonprofit business plan:
How to Write Your Nonprofit Business Plan’s Executive Summary
Writing the management team section of your nonprofit business plan, how to write the operations plan of your nonprofit business plan, writing the customer analysis section of your nonprofit business plan, finish your non profit business plan in 1 day.
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NONPROFIT BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE
- Nonprofit Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Organization Overview
- 3. Products, Programs, and Services
- 4. Industry Analysis
- 5. Customer Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
- 10. Appendix
- Nonprofit Business Plan Summary
Nonprofit Business Plans
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If you’re looking to develop a more modern business plan, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.
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Free Example UK Non Profit Charity Business Plan Template
This free practical, charity business plan template (with examples) enables anyone to create a great charity annual business plan, with a simple checklist to enable you to ensure it will be a success. It also works for your CIC or other non profit.
Non Profit Charity Business Plan Template - 3 Steps
I've used the term charity business plan and as an example. Your business plan is what you aim to achieve in the coming year. However, this planning template and checklist will work just as well for project and other plans, and will work just as well for your CIC or other non profit
The only right way to carry out planning is whatever way works for your charity. This resource provides a simple 3 step process to use as a template and checklist to create your plan, goals, objectives and KPIs, with examples. Follow the process below to create one that will work for you. That could be anything from a one page plan in Word for a very small charity to a substantial, detailed business plan for a large UK non profit.
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Use Funding Finder , to find a huge range of grants and Help Finder to find lots of free fundraising support and also companies that make product/financial donations. There's a fundraising online health check, with 60+downloadable funder lists and Quality Mark. Quick, simple and everything is free.
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Find Funding, Free Help & Resources - Everything Is Free
To access help and resources on anything to do with running a charity, including funding, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and ask it short questions, including key words. Register, then login and the in-system AI Bunny is able to write funding bids and download 30+ charity policy templates as well.
STEP 1 - PLANNING GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Your objectives (or goals) are what you must achieve to dleiver your charity plan. These can either be long term (strategic plan)) or nearer term, such as annual business, fundraising and project plans.
Charity Business Plan Objectives - Strategic Plan
Often strategic and business, or other annual plans can be seen as quite separate, but these are not. Next year's business, or fundraising plan, is Year 1 of your strategy. Looking at your strategic plan objectives, what must you achieve in the coming year to deliver these?
Charity Business Plan Objectives - Operations
You also need to ensure that your charity continues to be well run and delivers the high quality support you want it to. Look at your operations, such as delivering services for your beneficiaries, fundraising, finance, people and other activities. What are the key activities and what must you achieve in these areas areas?
STEP 2 - KPIs (TARGETS) FOR YOU GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Trying to measure everything would take a huge amount of time and most won't really matter. Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the key targets you use to measure and monitor your progress to achieving your planning objectives.
Measuring Charity KPIs
There are really only 3 things you might want to measure - quality, quantity and time. And, these are interlinked. The public sector is particularly prone to what are called perverse outcomes. Focussing on a single KPI measure, to the exclusion of the others that nobody thought about, but which turn out to be really important.
- Increasing quality, often increases cost or takes longer to do.
- Buying higher quality fresh food and/or preparing food from scratch, rather than buying in pre-prepared.
- Increasing quantity, often increases cost and/or takes longer to achieve.
- Preparing more meals and/or extending opening times.
- Reducing time, often reduces quality and/or costs more.
- Using pre-prepared ingredients and buying more equipment/expanding kitchen capacity.
You don't need to measure all 3 for everything, if the other factors aren't important, or won't change. I've provided some examples of planning KPIs below.
How To Set Business Plan KPIs
In order to ensure you deliver your objectives, you need to be able to measure these and monitor progress.
The first step is to set KPIs for each objective using SMART – that is your KPIs are Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Timely and Relevant.
You then need to decide who will be responsible for delivering and reporting these, any milestones in terms of when activities will be delivered and how and when these will be reported.
Once you've set your KPIs, ask yourself if these are the key issues you need to monitor and manage to deliver your objective. Are there any KPIs you don't need and is there anything missing that you do? And does each KPI meet the SMART criteria above?
STEP 3 - IMPLEMENTING YOU CHARITY BUSINESS PLAN
The Charity Excellence Data Store tracks sector resilience and a key theme is a lack of realism in charity planning. Ambition is a hallmark of the sector, but 'Aspirational' is the flip side of planning to fail, if that involves committing people and resources to plans that aren't achievable. Here are my ideas to help you ensure that your business plan will succeed.
Business Plan Reality Checklist
For your business plan to work, you need to be able to confidently answer 'yes' to each of the questions below. That's about making an objective assessment of each.
- Our plan includes everything that's important to us that we want to achieve
- our objectives and targets are realistic and achievable
- We will have enough people, with the necessary skills and experience to deliver our plan
- The key risks have been identified and quantified
- We have taken adequate steps to manage these, to ensure no risk remains unacceptably high
- There is adequate funding in our budget to resource all of our business plan objectives
- Our fundraising targets are realistic and we are confident that these should be achieved
- We have contingency options to manage any unforeseen eventualities.
- For example, not launching a project until funding is secured, or having plans to scale back activity
- Our plan has been communicated to everyone who needs to know about it and it is simple, clear and will be understood by them
- The information reported focusses on the key issues and will enable us to take action in good time, if we need to
Congratulations, you have created a simple, clear and effective business plan. If you are unsure about any of the above, revisit your plana nd make any changes you need to.
Communicating Your Charity Plan And Making It A Success
The World is full of detailed and beautifully crafted plans sitting on shelves gathering dust. in any, except the smallest of charities, it is your staff and volunteers who will deliver your plan, so they need to know what you want them to do and feel motivated to do so. If you e mail a big complicated plan to everyone, it may not be read and, if it is, may not mean much to its readers.
You need to communicate your plan in a simple, clear way that engages them. It also needs to be reflected in any other plans or procedures. For example, your budget and risk plans, any project plans and, for larger charities, appraisal objectives and departmental work plans.
For reporting, sometimes reports are too 'fluffy' or nor easily understandable, or far too long and complicated. Often these can be simply rubber stamped by boards. Ensure that your reports meet your needs, focus on the key issues, are clear and understandable for trustees, and acted upon. Here's the Charity Excellence guide to making reports more effective and less work.
Access All The Free Charity Resources & Free Funding Database
A registered charity ourselves, we provide 8 online health checks, the huge information hub, Quality Mark and 3 online directories.
- Funding Finder - click through to more funders than any other grants directory, categories for Crisis Funding, Core Funding and Small Charities & Community Groups and 50+ downloadable grant lists .
- Help Finder – find advice, pro bono support and free services and products, including lots of free fundraising support and companies that make product/financial donations.
- Data Finder - finds data for funding bids, fundraising research, impact reporting, planning and campaigning.
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- Non-profit Business: Example Business Plan
Are you looking to start a non-profit? We’ve created an example business plan to help provide guidance to get it up and running.
Do you recognize a need in your community not being met? Are you inspired to make a difference and create social change? Whether you’ve decided or not, starting to write a business plan will help you narrow the details and start to assess the viability of your idea. A business plan will help you to understand costs, outline potential risks, as well as how you’ll manage cash flow for your non-profit.
To help you get started we’ve created a non-profit example business plan for the service industry. Our example focuses on an organization providing educational services to both consumers and businesses, but it will work as a framework regardless of your non-profit’s area of focus. Click the ‘Download Tool’ button to gain access to the word document.
You can also find the same example in the Business Plan Writer , our free online tool that guides you through the process of starting your business. Just select “non-profit” as your industry when you register.
Good luck and happy writing!
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