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Non-Profit Business Plan Template

"How To Quickly & Easily Finish Your
Non-Profit Business Plan In 8 Hours or Less"

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My Simple Business Plan Short-Cut

Non-Profit Business Plan Template

When starting a non profit organization, the suggestion to write a business plan might be considered absurd by the founder. "I'm not going into business! This is a non profit!" may be the reply. However, a business plan is just as important for a non profit organization and serves many of the same functions as a for profit business plan, with a few key differences.

What's the Purpose of a Non-Profit Business Plan?

A business plan for a non profit gives the founder the opportunity to think through the details of the non profit clearly before he or she is called upon to explain to others. This includes the clear need for the non profit's product or services, the management team required, the marketing and operations plans to deliver services to the constituents, and the financial results, or how the organization will cover its expenses with donations, earned revenue, or both. Having written this business plan, the founder will have thought through potential problems and risks that the organization may encounter and therefore be on much better footing when the non profit launches.

Secondly, if seed funding is needed to start operations, a plan may be essential. Potential funders may or may not have a formal application structure, and a business plan format is a perfect structure to cover all of the bases if one is needed. Even if grant applications are available with their own questions and requirements, a business plan will require you to develop narrative which can easily be adapted to answer many different questions about the organization, making the application process that much easier.

Key Differences Between a For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Business Plan

One key difference between a for profit and a non profit plan is the marketing section. In a for profit business, the served customers are generally those who provide the revenues needed to cover expenses and continue operations. For a non profit, often the served constituents do not provide this sustaining funding, and it must be sought from a third party - donors. This means the marketing plan must describe both how the organization will communicate its services to its service target market and how it will communicate its need for funding to its funding target market. This means detailing these two separate marketing messages and two strategies for marketing.

Another key difference is the "non profit" part of the business plan. Financial plans for a non profit do not have to show net profit, and, if they do, there must be some explanation of what those retained earnings will be used for. They cannot be distributed as dividends, as the organization is technically owned by the public and not by the directors or board. However, profits can be accumulated for the purposes of creating an endowment or capital fund for future expenditures. An accountant should be consulted for any decisions of this nature.

If you're looking to write a perfect business plan be sure to check out all the articles we have in our help center.

Related articles:

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization.
Business Plan Template: What to Include

Download Our Non-Profit Business Plan Template!

If you want to create your own business plan quickly and easily, we now offer a non-profit business plan template that allows you to develop a professional business plan in hours or days, not weeks or months.

Visit this link to learn more:

OR, We Can Develop Your Plan For You

Our professional business plan writers can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business. Over the past decade, we have created business plans for hundreds of non-profit organizations.

To speak with a Growthink business plan consultant, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.


Growthink helped birth my company. They got to know both me and my vision. They helped ‘smack me upside the head’ to help make sure I was realistic, about meeting expectations. As a result, they helped craft, draft and construct the right written presentation. As a result, I got my funding.

Jeffrey Ullman
Founder & CEO
Great Expectations

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