Many people assume that because an organization is called a “nonprofit”, it doesn’t have to worry about a business plan, but that could not be further from the truth. While a nonprofit is structured differently than for-profit companies, especially when it comes to their finances, nonprofits still face many of the same challenges as other companies, including staffing and marketing.
Having said that, there are also some key differences between business planning for nonprofits and business planning for a for-profit organization. So, whether you’ve just started your nonprofit or you’re thinking of starting one, here are some tips you can use to start business planning for your nonprofit.
Set Your Priorities
Set Up Your Systems and Processes
If you’re just starting out, you need to identify and implement the best systems and processes to keep your nonprofit running smoothly. This includes everything from promoting and raising money for your nonprofit to recruiting and training staff and volunteers.
If your nonprofit organization has been in business for a while, it’s always a good idea to go over the systems and processes you already have in place and take a look at what’s benefiting you and what is no longer serving the organization. Which systems/processes could be improved? Which ones need to be replaced? What new systems/processes could you implement that would make running your nonprofit organization that much easier and more effective?
Measure Your Results
Whether you’re starting a new nonprofit or restrategizing an existing nonprofit, it’s always a good idea to have a Strategy Rockstar on your side. Helping people with their business planning for nonprofits is not only one of my strong suits, it’s also one of my passions. If you’d like to hear more about how I help nonprofit organizations get the most out of their resources, schedule a call now so we can chat.
Attending a retreat can often sound like a luxury. After all, the term “retreat” implies you’re getting away from your business, not working on your business, right?
Yes, a retreat can be an opportunity to “get away from it all”, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be working on your business. On the contrary, sometimes our best work happens when we take some time away from the office because it gives us a perspective we can’t get when we’re in the office day in and day out.
So, to help you understand that attending a retreat can be an investment in your business, just like any other investment, here are some returns you can expect to enjoy after you’ve made that investment (and put in the work required by the retreat).
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs and small business owners making is failing to create a plan for their business. Or maybe they create a plan when they first start out, but then they shove it in a drawer somewhere and forget to check in with it to make sure they’re achieving the goals they set out to achieve.
Trying to run a business without a plan is a great way to waste time, energy, and resources. When you don’t have a goal with a solid plan attached to it, you’re more likely to get pulled in all different directions instead of identifying a plan of action to achieve your goal and sticking to it.
Business retreats are a great opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and small business owners. Many business-oriented retreats provide a time specifically for networking, but even if they don’t, just being in a room with other entrepreneurs and small business owners can be a great opportunity to connect with them and bounce ideas off of them, which brings me to my next point:
If you’ve never been on a business retreat before, or if you have but it’s been a while, my next Quarterly Retreat might be just what you need. Take some time to identify what went well this past quarter and what could have gone better, then map out a plan of action for making the last quarter of 2021 your best quarter yet, all while networking with other, like-minded entrepreneurs. You can find out more about the retreat and buy your tickets here.
There are a lot of ways you can raise money for your nonprofit, but one of the most effective (and fun) is to host an event. But planning a nonprofit fundraising event is easier said than done. The bigger the event, the more money you can bring in, but it also means more work for you and your staff, so you need to maintain a balance between bringing in enough money to fund your nonprofit without biting off more than you can chew.
Having said that, there are ways to simplify the process of planning a nonprofit fundraising event, regardless of how large or small it ends up being. You just need to follow these steps:
Set a Goal Before You Start Planning a Nonprofit Fundraising Event
Decide on the Type of Nonprofit Fundraising Event
This is where you need to decide how big your nonprofit fundraising event is going to be, but you also need to make sure it’s a fun event that people will want to pay money to attend. If you’re a large, well-known organization, you can host a ball (or get a volunteer or donor to host it for you), or a charity luncheon. If you’re smaller and more community focused, maybe you host an event in one of your local parks.
When deciding on the type of event, you should also determine how big you want it to be. Can you handle a room (or park) with hundreds of people? Or should you try to keep it to a few dozen? If you’re selling tickets for the event, make sure you cap the ticket sales at whatever your upper limit of attendees ends up being because you don’t want to end up with more people than your space can accommodate.
Get Your Space and Your Supplies
Once you know the type of nonprofit fundraising event you’re going to host and how many people you’re going to have, it’s time to start looking for spaces where you can host the event. If you want to host it outside in a park, be sure to get a permit from the city/village, and you might want to consider a backup venue in case the weather turns against you. If you’re hosting it inside, see if you can get someone to donate the space for you.
You’ll also probably need seating, food and drinks, and maybe items to raffle off if you’re doing a raffle to raise money. Most, if not all of those things can be donated by local companies or individuals, so ask around and see who would be willing to help you out. Anyone who donates should have an opportunity to promote their business at the event, which leads nicely into my next tip:
Ask Businesses to Sponsor Your Nonprofit Fundraising Event
Promote Your Nonprofit Fundraising Event
Rinse and Repeat
After your event, it’s important to take stock. How did it go? Did you reach your fundraising goal? Did people enjoy themselves? Would they come again if you hosted another nonprofit fundraising event? You need to take stock of what went well and what could have been done better before you start planning your next nonprofit fundraising event.
Whether you’re planning a nonprofit fundraising event, or looking for other ways to raise money for your organization, it can help to have a Strategy Rockstar on your team. Helping nonprofits run a better organization is one of my specialties, as well as one of my passions. You can schedule a call now to see how I can help you plan a better nonprofit fundraising event.
Please tell me how you found me