Business Plans for Non-Profits
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Business Plans for Non-Profits


A business plan is essential for a non-profit or charity organization. While non-profit business plans differ from for-profit business plans, they are equally important.

Running a non-profit or charity organization is very different from running a for-profit business. Rules and regulations for U.S. non-profits and charities are strict at both state and Federal levels. You must be aware of the laws that govern a non-profit organization, not-for-profit business or tax-exempt charity before embarking upon such an undertaking, whether you intend to run a charitable, consumer assistance, philanthropic, research or other non-profit organization. Additionally, if you intend to provide goods or services under government contract, as many non-profits do, you and your staff will need to be intimately familiar with the regulations and requirements governing such contracts.

Since many non-profit organizations depend, at least in part, upon donations to cover operating expenses, management and staffing issues are often quite different than in a for-profit business. While most often referred to as non-profit organizations or non-profit agencies, it is best to keep firmly in mind that a non-profit entity is first and foremost a business, and must be operated as a business, if you want it to be viable and successful. To this end, it is absolutely essential to create a business plan specifically tailored to the requirements of non-profit organizations.

We link to articles that provide excellent insights into the advantages and disadvantages of forming a non-profit corporation and provide guidelines for creating a non-profit business plan. We have also included a link to a Sample Comprehensive Business Plan for a Non-Profit Organization presented by Ceo Resource. This sample non-profit business plan serves as an excellent example of business plan requirements for a non-profit organization. To create a non-profit business plan, we highly recommend Business Plan Pro Social Enterprise Edition. Registered non-profits receive a substantial discount.


Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 29 December 2003, updated 5 November 2006.


Follow links to the right to learn more about business plans for non-profit and charity organizations. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to business and business-related resources.

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