According to the Foundation Center's GrantSpace Knowledge Base Article on business plans, "creating a business plan can help a nonprofit organization describe how it intends to implement its mission and achieve its set of goals and objectives." It also states that business plans can be used to outline a specific venture or program, including revenue generating ventures such as the provision of goods and services for a fee. A classic example of a nonprofit business venture is Girl Scout cookies.
Here, I will provide the abstracts of some of the best publications and articles in our libraries that can assist you in developing your business plan for either purpose.
NEW! The Nonprofit Business Plan: the Leader’s Guide to Creating a Successful Business Model by David La Piana, et al. New York, NY: Turner Pub. Company, 2012. Call Number: 660 LAP NON
This book is aimed at nonprofit leaders who want a deeper understanding of the choices and consequences in pursuing their current plan or changing it. Chapters proceed from the general to the specific, and cover the definition of a business plan, design and launch of the process, assessing current business models, market research, plan development, financial projections, and using the plan for decision-making. It includes numerous case studies and a sample plan.
The One Page Business Plan: the Fastest, Easiest Way to Write a Business Plan by Jim Horan. Berkeley, CA: One Page Business Plan Company, 2007. Call Number: 660 HOR
Directed specifically to the needs of nonprofits, the book covers vision and mission statements, objectives, strategies, and action plans. Advice on implementation of a business plan is also provided. Samples of one-page plans are included.
Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A Social-Entrepreneurial Approach to Solving Social Problems by Andrew Wolk and Kelley Kreitz. Cambridge, MA: Root Cause, 2008. Call Number: 660 WOL
Provides an introduction to business planning for social impact, and gives a four-step process for creating an actionable plan. Chapters cover articulating a social impact model, developing an implementation strategy, building organizational capacity, and finalizing the plan. Includes a glossary and sample business plan.
Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations. Sarasota, FL: SCORE Foundation, 2010. Subject file: 660 Full text online
This planning guidebook gives practical advice on creating strategic and business plans, as well as feasibility studies. Other chapters discuss financial and organizational options and assessing funding sources.
"Setting Strategy: What's Your Business Plan? Can You Define It?" by Thomas McLaughin. Exempt (June-July 2011): p. 20-1. Subject File: 660
The author starts by stating that only when a strategy is in place can a nonprofit begin to formulate a business plan. He then discusses what needs to be included in an effective business plan and explains how to create one for a startup nonprofit, a nonprofit that is restructuring, or for a new program or division within an organization.
Business Plans Kit for Dummies by Steven D. Peterson, Peter Jaret, and Barbara Findlay Schenck. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Call Number: 660 PET
In addition to the theories and principles of planning, one chapter is devoted to the special situation of a nonprofit organization. Sections also deal with strategies for funding the enterprise and evaluating the plan.
For additional resources, search our Catalog of Nonprofit Literature using the phrase business plan.