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.

Still have questions about starting a nonprofit, finding grants or other fundraising and management queries? Chat with or email Candid's experts to get answers. Ask Us Now!

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.


Dive in to this topic with the following Candid course:


Have a question about this topic? Ask us!

Candid's Online Librarian service will answer your questions within two business days.

Ask us

Este artículo está disponible en español

See spanish version

Explore resources curated by our staff for this topic: