Nonprofit business plan template

Success doesn’t just happen—it’s planned. Stay focused on the work that supports your nonprofit’s mission with a business plan template.

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Like any business, nonprofits rely on business plans to get funding and stay on mission. But even though they often operate like a traditional for-profit organization, nonprofits need their business plans to highlight slightly different aspects of their organization. Showing cash spend becomes very important when you’re a nonprofit, so donors, board members, and government agencies recognize that you’re putting your money where your mission is. Here, we’ll show you what to include in your own custom nonprofit template, and how to use it to move your mission forward. 

[Product ui] Nonprofit business plan project in Asana, spreadsheet-style project view (List)

What is a nonprofit business plan template

A nonprofit business plan template provides a strategic overview of your nonprofit. It’s a breakdown of all higher-level information about your organization, such as the board of directors and your core mission. Use your nonprofit business plan template to give your staff, the board, potential donors, and government funding agencies an overview of your mission and strategies.

Nonprofit business plan vs. strategic plan template

Your nonprofit business plan template will differ slightly from your strategic plan template. The main difference is that your nonprofit business plan template is more action-oriented, while your strategic plan template is purposefully more general. You’ll use your strategic plan template to create public-facing strategic plans that show your organization’s overall approach for pursuing your mission—for example, an overarching strategy listed on your website. 

Both business and strategic plan templates share certain sections, such as your core mission. However, your nonprofit business plan template should also include relevant action plans, such as your fundraising plan and marketing strategy. Normally, you share your business plan with internal and partner stakeholders as opposed to the general public. Think of your nonprofit business plan as a roadmap or higher-level operational plan—it tells you what you’re currently doing to pursue your mission, and the steps you’re taking to go even further.

Free strategic plan for nonprofit template

Why nonprofit business plan templates are important 

Nonprofits know how to do more with less—a nonprofit business plan template will outline how. There are many benefits to creating your own, including:

  • Transparency. Visibility is a crucial piece of engaging with donors and board members. Nonprofit business plans showcase the work you’re doing and why others should care.

  • Reduce work about work. Nonprofits don’t always have the same resources as for-profit companies. As a result, freeing up time for your employees to work on their highest-impact tasks is critical—not just for your bottom line, but for your overall mission. 

  • One source of truth. As a nonprofit, you’re constantly fielding requests for information about your finances, mission, and structure. When compiled with project management software, you can create and share your nonprofit business plan template with anyone who asks, without any additional work on your end.

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How to create your non-profit business plan template

Your nonprofit business plan template should include all relevant information about how your organization operates. If you’re using a digital tool, such as project management software, be sure to attach relevant documents and projects. Your template is essentially your nonprofit business plan outline that you’ll fill in during your planning process. 

As you’re going through your nonprofit business plan template, make sure to include the following sections so you can get the most from your template.

Non-profit description

Describe the basics of your organizational structure. Include:

What we do

List any items related to what you do as an organization, including reports that demonstrate results. For example, you can include: 

  • Core problem we solve

  • Demographics we reach

  • Past results

  • Business model

  • Goals

Marketing plan

This is a space for your marketing strategy (the methods you'll use to reach your target audience) and the analyses you used to build that strategy. Here, you can attach: 

  • Target market research 

  • Target audience and social media messaging 

  • Market analysis (including a competitive analysis)

  • Your positioning (on hot button issues related to your mission)

  • Outreach plan

Financial plan

Nonprofits need to be very clear with how they spend money. Being transparent with your financial statements restores confidence for potential donors, so you can hit your fundraising goals and boost financial projections. Here’s what to include in this section:

  • Budget

  • Income statements

  • Cash flow statements

  • Grant management plan

  • Fundraising plan and projections

Integrated features

  • List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.

  • Goals. Goals in Asana directly connect to the work you’re doing to hit them, making it easy for team members to see what they’re working towards. More often than not, our goals live separate from the work that goes into achieving them. By connecting your team and company goals to the work that supports them, team members have real-time insight and clarity into how their work directly contributes to your team—and company—success. As a result, team members can make better decisions. If necessary, they can identify the projects that support the company’s strategy and prioritize work that delivers measurable results.

  • Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.

  • Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.

Recommended apps

  • Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

  • OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

  • Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.

  • Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.

FAQ

How do you write a nonprofit business plan template?

First, create your template including sections for your executive summary, mission statement and purpose, marketing plans, and finances. Then when you’re ready to write your nonprofit business plan, fill in the blanks and customize it to fit your organization.

Do nonprofits have business plans?

Yes, nonprofits often have business plans. Nonprofit business plans provide a structured overview of your nonprofit strategies, and can be used to share your accomplishments and goals with stakeholders. You only have to create your nonprofit business plan template once—then you can reuse it every time you need to create a new nonprofit business plan.

How do nonprofit business plans help corporations get involved in nonprofit organizations?

Nonprofit business plans show corporations your organization’s impact, including how you’re spending any potential money they donate to you. Often, corporations want to see the numbers before they decide to invest in a nonprofit, and a nonprofit business plan can help you share that information.

What should be in a nonprofit business plan template?

Include all higher-level summaries of your nonprofit, plus actionable plans like your executive summary, mission and purpose, marketing strategy, and financial plans.

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