Business planning is an integral part of the successful organization. It defines the primary goals, marketing and management strategies for their accomplishment as well as financial schemes for their realization.
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Strategic planning is the most efficient way of the organization as far as it presupposes the analysis of the problematic aspects, and employment of the systemic approach (Allison & Kaye, 2015). Business plans under consideration belong to the nonprofit organizations. They focus on the long-term strategic planning due to the nature of their activity and an estimated level of development.
Nonprofit establishments provide services or goods, which are not governmental or private. There is a kind of discrepancy concerning the term “nonprofit”. The organizations of this type usually have revenues. They distribute income to facilitate other services while the shareholders or owners receive profit from private companies (Vaughan & Arsenault, 2013).
The Catering for Kids is the initiative of the Bright Future Youth and Family Services organization. It is a part of the Chambers School and Career Centre program. The Chambers School is one of ten nonprofit tax-free programs of the Bright Future Youth. Catering for Kids presupposes the commencement and further development of the catering services including the delivery of the lunch boxes.
The aim of the initiative is to receive necessary funding for the successful implementation of the alternative educational programs for unprotected youth. These programs assist the young residents from Springfield and Eugene area (Lane County) to acquire at least minimum knowledge and working skills. The Chambers School produces various curriculums. The last one was the training of the culinary.
The students of this course are expected to become employees of Catering for Kids. The successful outcomes of the courses prove the need to increase funding. The program requires initial funding otherwise the rising of revenue will be impossible. As a result, the main problems concern the expansion of working area (kitchen), hiring new employees, and buying equipment for the establishment of the catering business.
The core objectives of the Catering for Kids program contain the formation of the broad client base that will lead to the growing financial support and will allow Chambers School and Career Centre to provide students with more studying opportunities (Catering Business Plan, n.d.).
The other organization is Helping Hand. It is a nonprofit and free of taxes food bank. Helping Hand provides food for people who suffer from hunger in Johnson County. The organization has already established similar programs. Charitable associations, residents of the county support Helping Hand financially. Almost the fourth part of all population needs assistance. Helping Hand gives food for families with law-incomes, especially for children.
Currently, the program functions successfully as far as it receives donations from local shops, markets, and directly from people who grow food. However, it is expected that more citizens will need food in the following five years. Helping Hand emphasizes the fact that the problem of hunger concerns everyone otherwise it will negatively impact the health and crime conditions in the county. The objectives of the Helping Hand are more precise than those of the Catering for Kids.
According to the business plan, the program should gather $200 000 with the help of charity or governmental contributions and $100 000 with the help of fundraising strategies. It has to save approximately five million pounds of products during the twelve months and establish a farm where young people would be engaged in food growing (Nonprofit Food Bank Business Plan, n.d.).
Catering business plan aims at the expansion of the working place and increasing of general revenue in the next five years. The employees of the Catering for Kids will cook fresh and healthy lunches for customers. The program prefers offering its services for other not-for-profit organizations. The major strengths of the Catering for Kids business plan are the approach to marketing, website launching, and financial plan.
Catering for Kids has chosen its marketing strategy wisely, taking into consideration the most suitable form of business in the region. Small businesses function actively in the area. Catering for Kids has made an investigation of the level of satisfaction with catering services among other nonprofit organizations. The next efficient step was the segmentation of the market and the potential customers. Catering for Kids described three main groups of clients.
Catering for Kids managed to analyze market trends. The organization found out that the consumers were becoming more concerned about their health, giving preference to sugar-free, organic, or vegetarian products. One more fact was that a growing number of families favored an already cooked food which meant that more employees would come to work without lunches. The last significant thing was the identification of the main competitors.
Catering for Kids analyzed the prices and general performance of its contestants. All of these assisted the program in evaluating the potential development and choosing a target audience. The second strength of the Catering for Kids business plan is the web plan. The program intends to launch a web page presenting the general information about Catering for Kids and the full menu. There is no need to create a new online resource.
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Technical employees will add one more page to the Bright Future website. Initially, there will be no option for online ordering, but it may become possible with the growth of the business. Catering of Kids web strategy embraces the printing of the address of the web resource on any printed materials, menus, or lunch boxes. Customers will have the opportunity to become familiar with all changes in the menu.
Besides, they will read the stories of life and employment of the students who have been studying cooking at Charmers School and Career Centre. Catering for Kids will hire designers to create their logo and the outlook of the site. The launching of the website is of great significance for the successful business development. According to Spann (2014), every business should have a web page that fulfills the needs of the customer.
The impact of the website should not be underestimated. Most people prefer using the Internet for searching. It helps them to form their personal impression about the services or goods rather than listen to somebody else. The third strength is the method of financing. Employees realize that the financial growth may be slow. Their expectations are not exaggerated. The financial plan is based on the well-considered assumptions.
Thus, Catering for Kids expects a slow financial growth, the same governmental granting, and the increasing interest in the program among other students. The financial plan is designed for three years. The program will focus on internal clients during the first year. One more significant thing concerns the break-even analysis. The nonprofit organization acknowledges the gradual progress and is ready to face challenges.
All payroll costs are calculated. The expenses for products will be minimized to guarantee the safe financial functioning of the program. The application of the break-even analysis exemplifies the control method. Such an approach to financing is a great advantage of the nonprofit organization. Economic growth of Catering for Kids cannot be rapid due to the nature of their activity. It is astute to comprehend this and plan development without excessive positive expectations.
Nonprofit Food Bank provides the most urgent assistance — food. Volunteers bring emergency boxes to the families who live in poverty. It is of great significance to know the exact number of potential people who will need help. The business plan presents a deep investigation of the market. That is the first major strength. Helping Hand counted that 120 000 people may need food assistance. Almost fifty percent are children, and they have priority among others. The percentage of children from poor families will be above fifty percent in five years.
That explains the necessity to develop the program. However, Helping Hand conducts more precise market segmentation. Helping Hand examines service geographics, demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. Service geographics has studied the location of low-income families. Demographics deals with major age groups in the area.
Helping Hand has created an image of the family that needs assistance by means of psychographics. Service behavior concerns the methods of food distribution with the help of the advanced volunteer base. According to Weinstein (2013), a profound market segmentation has proved its efficiency in target marketing. The advantage of it is that the organization gets closer to the potential clients, analyzes them and finds the most suitable approach to help them.
The second strength of this business plan is the fundraising strategy. Helping Hand aims at gathering donations from local unions, banks, and voluntary contributions. The program realizes that cash flow will not be steady. It is estimated that summer months will bring the least donations. The prevailing point in funding strategy refers to the employing of various programs for food and funds collection. There are five major programs, and each of them has its target audience.
For instance, Fill the Bucket program works will banks and credit centers while Food Rescue Express looks for help from local restaurants. This diversity increases the possibility of receiving a sufficient amount of money and food. The third strength is the personnel plan.
Helping Hand identifies its staff in details. It will consist of five coordinators, executive director, and the board of directors during the three years. Helping Hand has calculated the total payroll. These computations introduce the overall expenses. Such a method of control makes it easier to distribute existing funds and promote the further development. A detailed personnel plan displays the opportunities and possible challenges of the program (Nonprofit Food Bank Business Plan, n.d.).
The weakest points of Catering for Kids business plan include the strategy pyramid, some aspects of management approach, and fundraising forecast. Strategy pyramid of the Catering for Kids emphasizes the importance of the broadening of the client base. The organization intends to do the following to achieve this goal: to make more clients aware of the program and supply them with healthy food.
The clients will receive thank-you notes and informational cards in their lunch boxes. The other variant is to send students to the external clients. In my opinion, this cannot be enough for making the program popular. At the initial stages of its development, Catering for Kids should organize an event that will attract many residents from the area. It is better to send letters offering their services to potential clients rather than wait that a thank-you note will lead to the desirable effect.
The second weakness concerns the fundraising strategy of the program. The clientele should increase the budget of the program. In my opinion, Catering for Kids’ value proposition is not adequate for sufficient changes in funding. It presupposes that clients will be eager to buy products because of the charitable aim. I find this is not enough to form a large client base. Catering for Kids makes its fundraising assumptions taking into consideration the previous programs.
According to the business plan, the organization is very optimistic about possible outcomes. The business plan should ascertain all possible difficulties and not create an impression that everything will be trouble-free. The third weakness refers to a few aspects of the management approach. The working group of Catering for Kids comprises of the director, teacher of cooking, and business manager. Students who will prepare food belong to the “additional staff” group.
The personnel plan in not satisfactory. It describes the salaries only of students and the instructor. However, students and the instructor cannot execute all necessary functions. There should be employees responsible for lunch boxes distribution, marketing, website development, and funding control. I assume that program executives will face more challenges when they realize that there is a need in hiring more employees (Catering Business Plan, n.d.).
The lack of the detailed description of the legal entity, some gaps in management strategy, and the absence of web plan are three weaknesses of the second business plan. A profound description of the legal entity is an integral part of the professional business plan.
There is only one sentence in the Nonprofit Food Bank business plan concerning legal entity. It states that Helping Hand is a nonprofit organization. Legal entity should define the form of business in details, provide information about its services, aims, methods, and legal activity (Barksdale, 2011).
Though Food Bank has a good personnel plan, it lacks the description of everyone’s responsibilities. I assume that it is better when a personnel plan includes a basic overview of the employment history and achievements of the directors or senior employees. The third weakness of the plan is the absence of the web page. The website can be of great assistance for the Food Bank to accomplish its primary goal — to become visible to as many clients as possible.
Both business plans embrace a comprehensive executive and organizational summaries. The key goals include the development of the client bases and the financial increasing.
Catering for Kids and Nonprofit Food Bank business plans have efficient marketing strategies. Some gaps in management strategy are typical for both plans as well the absence of short-term strategic decisions. The first business plan has a web plan and a detailed legal entity description while the second one lacks it. They are also dissimilar in the selected fundraising strategies.
I recommend for both organizations to pay more attention to their personnel plans. It is advisable to define all types of work and distribute the responsibilities between the employees. I suggest that Catering for Kids should not be too optimistic about the potential financing. It is better to be prepared for more difficult situations. Nonprofit Food Bank should include the launching of the website to its business plan.
I have faced several challenges while comparing these business plans. I found it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing, management, fundraising, or financial strategies. I used logical thinking to overcome some problems. For instance, I have come to the conclusion that being too optimistic about future plans is not a good feature on my own. However, there were cases when I looked for help in additional materials.
Consequently, I defined strengths and weaknesses of business plans with the help of the peer-reviewed resources. I believe that I have demonstrated the competencies for business plans analysis and comparison to a sufficient extent. I have learned the following five lessons about business planning:
- Strategic planning is the best approach for creating a coherent and efficient plan and short-term decisions should comprise it;
- Every business plan should contain a profound description of its legal entity;
- Business planning is not about being too optimistic, it is about being realistic;
- A successful business plan includes a detailed investigation of the target clientele;
- The choice of the marketing and management strategies should correspond to the goals and enhance the possibility of their accomplishment.
The way to success commences from the business plan. It is a starting point for the further development. An adequate strategic planning with elements of short-term planning assists in setting the right goals and finding the most suitable methods of their realization.
Allison, M., & Kaye, J. (2015). Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations. New-Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Barksdale, K. (2011). DigiTools: Communication, Information, and Technology Skills. Boston, USA: Cengage Learning.
Catering Business Plan. (n.d.)
Spann, L. (2014). Owner’s Guide to a Small Business Website. Paris, France: Hachette.
Vaughan, S., & Arsenault, S. (2013). Managing Nonprofit Organization in a Policy World. Washington, DC, USA: CQ Press.
Weinstein, A. (2013). Handbook of Market Segmentation. London, United Kingdom: Routledge