When starting your nonpprofit, it’s best to keep things simple and concise so you can move quickly and get things done. Parts of the nonprofit world are known for strategic planning processes that can be brain-numbingly complex and ineffective. They can also be time consuming and expensive, providing little to no return on investment for both donors and the organization itself.
But, what if you captured your nonprofit business plan on just one piece of paper? Imagine one simple document that was easy to understand, easy to communicate, and actionable.
The key to planning – and executing – is simplicity. And the key to simplicity is focus.
Enter Jim Horan, the author of the One Page Business Plan for Nonprofit Organizations.
Horan’s book links vision to strategy, strategy to execution, and execution to results.
It’s focus on simple strategic planning also forces a team to focus and prioritize, greasing the wheels of implementation.
To give you an idea of Jim Horan and his approach, here’s an excerpt from the book:
“If your nonprofit is struggling with its planning process…it is highly likely you have made too big of a project out of it…instead of documenting everything you know about your organization and all the decisions have already been made…get focused on the issues and opportunities that have the potential to move your organization forward…and monitor progress and results religiously.”
What is a One Page Nonprofit Business Plan?
The One-Page Business Plan is an innovative approach to business planning that captures the essence of any organization, project, or program on a single page using keywords and short phrases.
Here’s an example template.
Most nonprofits use this process to create not only the organization’s overall plan, but to create a plan for each supporting department, project, and program.
The flexible methodology and standard format make it simple for managers and teams to each have a plan and be able to review and understand each other’s plans.
The One Page Plan works because:
- Plans get documented
- Plans are understandable
- Plans are easy to write and update
- Everyone manager and team has one
This process creates:
There are many ways to use a One Page Nonprofit Business Plan
One of the biggest advantages of this plan is that it can be used effectively for multiple things, so you can use one effective resource to plan the priorities of your entire nonprofit organization. Here are a few examples:
- Annual Planning process
- Complete plan for small nonprofits and an executive summary for large organizations
- Project and program development
- Framework for compensation systems
- External Presentations
- Fund development
- Volunteer recruitment
- Strategic alliance development
- Research and Development
- Initial draft for new programs
- Proforma for mergers and acquisitions
- Framework for potential expansion
- Process & Performance Management
- Clear structure for measuring outcomes
- Benchmark to measure progress against priorities
- Improve cross-functional communication
Take advantage of clear business terminology
You may have noticed that depending on where you’re from, what companies or organizations you’ve worked for, or maybe even what school you went to that you have a certain business terminology, which may not be the same as other people’s.
To test this, Google the terms vision, mission, objectives, strategies, or plans and see what you get back. It’s likely you’ll have an entire slew of opinions as to what these all mean.
The varied definitions and ideas on how to go about creating them inevitably create conflict and barriers to even getting started on your a business plan.
The One Page Nonprofit Business Plan solves this problem by translating these standard business plan elements into simple and universal questions:
- Vision – What are you building?
- Mission – Why does this nonprofit exist?
- Objectives – What results will you measure?
- Strategies – How will you build this nonprofit
- Plans -What is the work to be done?
This simplification takes the guesswork out and allows your teams to create clear, concise plans that they can execute on.
Simply put, a One Page Nonprofit Business Plan is an incredibly effective tool for teams and organizations to achieve results, because it can help rally donors, staff and other stakeholders around the organization’s core values and initiatives.
The One Page Business Plan for Nonprofit Organizations is the simple solution to a complex challenge. It’s widely recognized for helping directors, boards, management, and volunteers clearly define, communicate and achieve their goals at the organizational, departmental, project and program levels.
This work is particularly great for:
- New nonprofit organizations
- Strategic planning
- Expansion or new undertakings of established nonprofits
- Project management
- Social enterprise planning
Thousands of nonprofits have successfully written and implemented One Page Plans with this simple and effective planning methodology. We highly recommend that you check out the One Page Business Plan for Nonprofit Organizations and here’s a free, fillable PDF template to jumpstart it!
Cheers to your successful planning future.
Jacqui Long | Yippiekiyay