Non Profit Business Plan Samples that Work | How to Develop One

A non profit business plan template can be helpful if you want to launch a new charity but are unsure where to begin.

In the US, there are more than 1.5 million recognized nonprofit organizations. Although it’s fantastic that there are so many NGOs, a lot of them, unfortunately, struggle to remain open.

Like other businesses, a nonprofit organization must be ready for the unexpected. A nonprofit’s success depends on strategic planning, even without a global pandemic.

In this post, we’ll examine the benefits of having a business plan for nonprofit organizations and the specifics you should include.

What is a Non for Profit Business Plan Template?

A typical, profit-driven business plan template and a charitable business plan template are very similar. Even financial gain can be a priority as long as it outlines how to use the additional money for the greater good.

The following fields are featured in a charity business plan template and cover the essential components of a business plan:

  • The main objective of your nonprofit
  • Long-term and short-term objectives
  • A method for how you’ll accomplish these objectives

The broad format of the business plan, including suggested headers, subheadings, and questions, is also controlled by the template. What’s the point, though? Let’s examine the advantages a sample business plan for NGOs has to offer.

How do I start a nonprofit with no money?

Starting a nonprofit organization with no money can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are a few steps you can take to get started:

  1. Develop a clear mission and vision for your organization: This will help you to communicate the purpose of your organization and attract support clearly.
  2. Research and network: Look into existing organizations that have similar goals and see how they operate, and talk to people who have experience in starting a nonprofit.
  3. Create a plan of action: Develop a detailed plan that outlines how you will achieve your mission, including specific goals and objectives.
  4. Volunteer your time and skills: Many nonprofits are run by volunteers in the beginning. You can use your own skills and talents to help your nonprofit get off the ground.
  5. Raise awareness: Spread the word about your organization and its mission through social media, networking events, and other free or low-cost methods.
  6. Seek grants and donations: Research potential sources of funding, such as grants, donations, and crowdfunding.
  7. Seek pro bono assistance: Remember that starting a nonprofit can be time-consuming and complex, especially regarding compliance and administrative requirements, so you may want to consider seeking pro bono assistance from legal, accounting, or other professionals.

Remember that starting a nonprofit with no money will require a lot of hard work, dedication, and persistence, but with a clear mission and a solid plan, it is possible to get your organization up and running.

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Importance of a Non Profit Business Plan Template

A nonprofit business plan template is important because it provides a structured format for outlining a nonprofit organization’s goals, strategies, and operational plans.

Below are reasons you should develop a business plan for your nonprofit organization.

1. Setting clear goals and objectives

A nonprofit business plan template helps to ensure that the organization’s mission and goals are clearly defined and communicated to all stakeholders.

2. Outlining strategies

The template provides a structure for outlining the specific strategies and actions that will be taken to achieve the organization’s goals.

3. Identifying and addressing potential challenges and risks:

The template helps identify and plan for potential challenges and risks that may arise, allowing the organization to proactively address them and minimize their impact.

4. Establishing a budget and financial projections

A business plan template provides a format for creating a detailed budget and financial projections, which are essential for managing the organization’s finances and securing funding from donors and investors.

5. Securing funding

A well-crafted business plan can help an secure organization funding from donors, foundations, and other funders

6. Developing a marketing and outreach plan

A business plan template helps to develop a marketing and outreach plan that will effectively promote the organization and its mission to the public.

7. Identifying and securing partnerships and collaborations.

The template provides a format for identifying potential partners and collaborators and outlining plans for working together to achieve common goals.

8. Establishing a plan for managing and staffing the organization

The template helps ensure that the organization has the proper management and staffing structure to carry out its mission effectively.

9. Establishing measurable benchmarks

A business plan template helps to establish measurable standards for success and progress tracking, allowing the organization to monitor its progress and make adjustments as needed.

10. Communicating the organization’s mission and purpose

A business plan template can be used to communicate the organization’s mission, values and aim to stakeholders, funders, and the public clearly and concisely.

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How to Develop Non Profit Business Plan

With the clear intention of helping you achieve your nonprofit organization goals, we have outlined and detailed how to develop a nonprofit business plan that works.

  1. Identify the mission and goals of your non-profit organization.
  2. Conduct a market analysis to understand the needs of your target audience and how your organization can meet those needs.
  3. Develop a marketing and outreach strategy to promote your organization and attract donors and volunteers.
  4. Create a budget that includes projected income and expenses and a fundraising plan.
  5. Develop a plan for measuring success, including specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
  6. Identify potential partnerships and collaborations that can help your organization achieve its goals.
  7. Outline the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and staff members.
  8. Please review and update the plan regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and practical.

Essential Sections of a Non Profit business Plan Template

What precisely does a non-profit business plan contain, then? Let’s look at the many sections that the majority of templates have.

Executive Summary

This is a brief description of your company at the outset of your plan. It should be both creative and direct. Each plan section receives around two sentences in the executive summary, typically two pages long.

Products, programs, and services

This section provides some background information on your firm and enumerates its objective. It should also cover other crucial topics, such as your strategy for luring possible outside stakeholders.

An organization overview can be compared to a mission statement and business description combined.

Marketing Plan

The operational plan outlines a business’s actions over a specific time frame. It focuses on the company’s day-to-day operations, such as what activities must be completed and who is in charge of what. A business plan’s operational section and strategic planning collaborate closely.

Operational Plan

Even charities must contend with opposition from other nonprofits with comparable commercial trajectories. A market analysis examines your position in the market as well as the advantages and disadvantages of rival companies.

A plan for surpassing rival businesses in the market should be included in this section. You can utilize a variety of formats and templates in this situation, such as a SWOT analysis.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should represent your business’s overall financial health and objectives. Be careful to include information about cash flow, investments, insurance, debt, and savings in addition to your fundraising plan.


Typically, you can add any other files or materials from which your business plan might benefit. This might include more charts or a list of your board of directors, for example.

Additionally, this is a beautiful area to include text or technical details that you believe to be essential to your company strategy but may be wordy or challenging to understand.

Many of your concerns about a plan’s flow and structure don’t apply to an appendix.

What are Some Examples of a Non Profit Business Plan template?

Check out a few example business plan templates for various nonprofit use cases, ranging from comprehensive strategies to executive summary nonprofit plans.

1. Summary Non Profit Business Plan Template

This business plan template can be used by brand-new charitable organizations that are still in the planning stages.

It was designed to spread the word and discover whether potential investors were interested in your proposal. For instance, you might wish to open an animal shelter in your neighborhood but are unsure if it’s a good idea because of a lack of funding.

A short business plan template would be used to determine how well-liked your nonprofit is.

2. Full Non Profit Business Plan Template

In this situation, your nonprofit already has a solid basis. You’ve reached the stage when you need funding to launch your organization.

The entirety of a charity business plan is included in this template, which is significantly lengthier than a summary and contains the following sections:

  • A succinct summary
  • Organization description
  • Needs assessment
  • Product/service
  • Marketing approach
  • Team in charge and the board
  • Demand for human resources
  • Finances

A selection of supporting materials for your market analysis and financial status are also often included.

3. Operational Nonprofit Business Plan Template

This kind of business plan template is quite specific and describes the daily activities of your nonprofit. It serves as a comprehensive manual on what should be done, when, how, and by whom.

Instead of writing for external stakeholders like investors or board members, an operational charity business plan is developed for your internal staff.

Non Profit Business Plan Samples that Work

Below are examples of non for profit business plan

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What is the Best Business Structure for a Nonprofit?

The best business structure for a nonprofit organization depends on the specific needs and goals of the organization. Some common structures for nonprofits include:

  • 501(c)(3) organizations, which are tax-exempt and can accept tax-deductible donations
  • Unincorporated associations, which are relatively informal and easy to set up
  • Trusts, which can be useful for managing assets for specific purposes
  • Cooperative a business structure that is owned and controlled by its members

It’s important to consult with legal and financial professionals to determine the best structure for your nonprofit organization. Additionally, it’s essential to understand the legal and regulatory requirements of your state and federal government.

What is an Example of a Non Profit Business?

Churches, public clinics and hospitals, public charities, public clinics and hospitals, political organizations, volunteer service organizations, labor unions, professional associations, research institutes, museums, and some governmental agencies are examples of non-profit organizations.

What is the Easiest nonprofit to start?

Starting a nonprofit organization can be rewarding experience, as it allows you to impact your community while fulfilling your passion positively. However, starting a nonprofit can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for those who have never done it before. So, what is the easiest nonprofit to start?

The easiest nonprofit to start is one that aligns with your passions and skills. It should be something that you are passionate about and have a good understanding of. This will make starting and running the nonprofit much easier, as you will be more motivated to put in the work and better understand the needs of the community you serve.

One popular type of nonprofit to start is a community service organization. These organizations typically focus on providing services to a specific community or population, such as homeless shelters, food banks, or after-school programs. These types of nonprofits are relatively easy to start, as they often have low overhead costs and can be run by volunteers.

Another option is starting an educational nonprofit. Educational nonprofits typically provide educational opportunities, such as tutoring, mentoring, or scholarship programs. These types of nonprofits can also be relatively easy to start, as they often have low overhead costs and can be run by volunteers.

In conclusion, starting a nonprofit organization can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming. The easiest nonprofit to start is one that aligns with your passions and skills, such as community service or educational nonprofit. With focus, dedication, and hard work, you can positively impact your community and help those in need.

Can I start a nonprofit by myself?

Yes, you can start a nonprofit by yourself. In the United States, to start a nonprofit, you must incorporate as a nonprofit corporation, obtain tax-exempt status from the IRS, and register with any necessary state agencies.

The process can vary depending on the state where you plan to form your nonprofit and the specific organization you want to create. It’s highly recommended to consult with an attorney or accountant with experience in nonprofit formation to ensure everything is done correctly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a nonprofit business plan and a strategic plan?

The document identifies long-term objectives and targets as well as the plans it will use to get there. In other terms, a business plan outlines a specific new project or an existing business. A strategic plan outlines the changes you wish to make to your business to help it develop or prepare for the future.

What are the components of a non-profit?

Business plans typically contain four sections that outline revenue sources/mix, operations costs, program costs, and capital structure, according to Propel Nonprofits. The anticipated sources of funding for the benevolent nonprofit’s operations are described in a business plan.

Do nonprofit owners make money?

The management of the nonprofits that they formed pays the founders. They frequently put in enormous hours and earn far less than CEOs at for-profit companies. It is fair for them to get compensation for their services when managing a non-profit is their sole source of income.

What are the 3 types of nonprofits?

There are several different types of nonprofits, but some of the most common include:
Charitable organizations, which focus on providing aid and services to those in need, such as homelessness shelters and food banks.
Social welfare organizations which work to promote the general welfare of society, such as advocacy groups and labor unions
Mutual benefit organizations, which exist primarily to benefit their members, such as trade associations and recreational clubs.


In conclusion, while non-profit organizations may have very different aims from those of normal corporations, they do share many for-profit organizations’ methods of achieving their goals.

The most excellent approach to guarantee success is having a distinct, well-defined goal and a plan for reaching key turning points along the route. A thorough, well-written business plan provides you with a resource to turn to in times of difficulty and uncertainty.



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