Foundation Business Plan

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A business plan can also take into account assumptions that exist today but may change in the future: Are there certain factors that need to be in place in order for those income streams to continue flowing?

The plan should address both the everyday costs needed to operate the organization as an entity, as well as costs that are specific to the unique programs and activities of the nonprofit.

The individual boxes refer to the four fundamental value questions in the following way: The three boxes in the top left part of the Canvas relate to value creation.

A business needs a network of suppliers and partners to make it successful because no business can possibly provide every element of a solution by itself.

Business planning is a way of answering, “What problem(s) are we trying to solve? ” but also, “Who will get us there, by when, and how much money and other resources, will it take?

” The business planning process takes into account the nonprofit’s mission and vision, the role of the board, and external environmental factors, such as the climate for fundraising.Finally, the business plan should name important assumptions, such as that the organization's reserve policy requires it to have at least six months' worth of operating cash on hand at all times.The idea is to identify the known - and take into consideration the unknown - realities of the nonprofit's operations, and propose how the nonprofit will continue to be financially healthy.” “What other nonprofits are providing similar services?” and “What services does our nonprofit deliver that are unique?The plan may include details about the need for the organization's services (a needs assessment) and about the likelihood that certain funding will be available (a feasibility study) or about changes to the organization's technology or staffing that will be needed in order to successfully advance its mission.Another potential aspect of a business plan could be a "competitive analysis" describing what other entities may be providing similar services in the nonprofit's service and mission areas.It's a "plan" after all - and the underlying assumptions may change.If they do, then having a plan can be useful during the process of identfying adjustments that need to be made to respond to changes in the nonprofit's operating environment. A business plan prepared for a bank (to support a loan application) may be different from a busines plan that board members will use to help define their priorities in recruiting new board members.What if the particular sources of income that exist today change in the future?A business plan can help the nonprofit and its board be prepared for future risks, by answering questions such as, “What is the likelihood that the planned activities will continue as usual?


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