If you have never done a business plan, or need to update yours, Business Planning for Nonprofits can offer some guidelines.
According to the authors most business plans have four components:
- Strategic clarity
- Strategic priority
- Resource implications
- Performance Measures
The authors walks the reader through each part using examples from the Bridgespan Group’s client base to illustrate their points.
The end product is important, but so is the process that provides the nonprofit with an opportunity to reexamine the relationship between “missions and programs, to specify the resources required to deliver those programs, and to establish performance measures.”
How can nonprofits effectively balance their mission with their budget in a changing environment? One option is to revise (and probably limit) the organization’s focus. Another is to follow the guidelines set out in Zeroing in on Impact.
Here the authors want us to look beyond the mission, to “clarify what success looks like.” Their approach is more grounded than this phrase sounds. They suggest using a process that looks at the identity, purpose and capabilities of the organization.
In the end, the organization’s leaders should have a strategy that “reflect the aspirations of the organization’s mission as well as the constraints of its bottom line.”