Like for-profit business ventures, nonprofits can create a business plan to describe how they will turn their mission into reality.
The business planning process involves the following steps:
- Researching the market, using a resource such as GuideStar, to see who else might be doing what the nonprofit plans to offer
- Investigating the resources the nonprofit will need to provide the service
- Devising marketing and communication strategies
- Assessing risk
- Determining ways to evaluate success - IssueLab Results is a place for foundations and nonprofits to share funded evaluations and to access the lessons of their peers and colleagues.
You can also use a business plan for a specific project or venture for a nonprofit.
To help diversify their revenue sources, for example, many nonprofits explore ways to earn income by developing their own business ventures. A classic example is Girl Scout cookies. Each year Girl Scout troops sell cookies, and the money they earn goes 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.
Selected resources below can help you learn more about creating an overall business plan for a nonprofit organization or specifically for an earned income venture.
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If you're thinking about starting a nonprofit, take Candid's course, Is Starting a Nonprofit Right for You? Take the course in person or watch the video.
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