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How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

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

Watch this FREE Presentation to Discover
My Simple Business Plan Short-Cut

To start a non profit organization, first set your sights outwardly on the future stakeholders for the company. After analyzing these groups, you will be in a much better position to create a clear business plan for your non-profit organization and launch!


The constituents for your non profit will generally include both your customers (those whose needs will be served by the organization) and your funders (those who are driven to support the operations of your organization through donation).

You should look at the demographics and needs of the "customers" of your non profit in the same way a business would. Understand where and how they live, what they do, and the exact nature of the problem they have that is not being solved currently. You may have conceived of your non profit as a means to help a specific group you feel a connection to, determining the exact nature of their problem afterwards, or you may have thought of a method of solving a problem, only to then look for the group most in need of that solution. Either way, find documented statistics and facts on this target group and their needs. If you lack that data, find a way to create those statistics yourself through research or surveys.

The funders can be anyone with a stake in solving the problem you've identified. Understand whether this is the federal, state, or local governments, foundations, prominent individuals, other non profits, or a combination of these groups. Don't neglect the ability of the served customers themselves to support the organization to a certain extent by paying for services, even if this is below the cost of those sevices. Again, look at the specific purpose of these individuals and organizations to understand how you will have to tailor your message to convince them to partner with you.

The Plan

Your non profit business plan should document this research into your constituents in its customer analysis, and go on to describe the strategy for how you will serve a social purpose and consistently bring in donor dollars. This will include an operations plan and a marketing/fundraising plan.

Finally, show how you will evaluate your organization's results beyond the financial. Funders will be interested to know what you will consider success and what evaluation methods you will use to know how well you've don. Merely breaking even between revenues and expenses every year has no bearing on whether your organization is serving its purpose, and both funders and the government will need to see the non-financial results clearly documented.

The first step to starting a non-profit is to develop your non-profit business plan. Growthink provides products and services to help you develop a professional business plan and turn your dream into reality.

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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