Lesson 10 in the course How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan
The bulk of the work is complete! You’ve addressed all of the major components of your nonprofit business plan. You know your nonprofit’s business model, you’ve assessed the need, you know what you’re going to do to address the need, and you know how you will measure your nonprofit’s impact. You are well on your way to creating a nonprofit you can be proud of that will really make a positive difference. Great job! The last step is to put together all of the supporting material you used to write the rest of the nonprofit business plan.
Importance of supporting material
Your nonprofit business plan is just a big guess if you don’t have the research and other supporting material that back up your assumptions. The information you include in this section will serve as the foundation for the system you are building. Not only does the material give you insight into what strategies should be implemented, it also gives readers of your nonprofit business plan evidence that you have done your due diligence. That is to say, it proves you are not “shooting from the hip,” and that you have thoroughly considered the various elements of the nonprofit you are launching. This alone can help secure donations from people who want their money to go to a good cause, but are cautious about giving it to a nonprofit startup.
The appendices are essentially the last sections of the nonprofit business plan. Although they will be quite lengthy, you don’t write most of what you put in the appendices. Here, you can include any research you used to formulate strategies elsewhere in the plan. Do you have statistical surveys? Do you have population data? Do you have information on other organizations that serve a similar cause? You can include all of those things in this section.
Gather and arrange any charts or exhibits so that they can paint the picture you want your reader to see. If there is a graphical way to represent a point you make or some data you lean on elsewhere in the plan, make sure to include it. If you have examples to support any claims you made within the nonprofit business plan, include those here as well. These can be photos, legal agreements, newspaper or Internet articles (or links), and other documentation that support your decisions.
Keeping in mind that people give because they believe in a cause or because they believe in you, make sure to include anything that would help you gain the social credit you need to attract these people. Have you received any endorsements from well-known or well-thought-of folks in your community? Do you have certifications or authorizations that are important for what you are hoping to accomplish? Include those and any other items that will help you build social credit.
You’re nearly there! Gathering and making sure you have all of your supporting material is the icing on the cake, without it you’ll have nothing to back your assumptions. Check out this link and catch some great tips on creating an appendix for your business plan as well as other important support materials. Also, here is a sample business plan for your reference. Use it as an example when pulling everything together.
Congratulations, you’re done!
Once you put the finishing touches on your nonprofit business plan by organizing your appendices, your nonprofit business plan is complete! Don’t just put it on the shelf and let it collect dust. Refer to it often, make changes, and keep working for your cause. What you are doing is a noble thing. You are going to change the world to make it a better place.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, contact me or the Aplos team, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can. Here’s to making nonprofits simple!