Business Planning

So you have a strategy,

but how are you going to achieve it? Producing a business plan will make you think, quantitatively and qualitatively, about why, what and how you are to proceed. It can be a daunting task so contact us if you want help, support or guidance in any way.

The extent of your business plan will depend on the size and nature of your charity but a typical business plan structure for a charity will be:

Executive Summary
  • A compelling summary of the plan, including:
    • The key points and conclusions from each of the sections that follow.


  • An overall feel for what it is you are trying to accomplish and a more detailed look at your vision, including:
    • History – what led to your idea and mission?
    • Mission Statement – what are you aiming to achieve?
    • Goals and Objectives – what are you aiming for in the next year, and in the longer term?
    • Constitution – what are your governance arrangements?
    • Location – what facilities will you use?


  • A description of what you are providing to your users and what makes you different or unique, including:
    • What are your services?
    • How will you acquire or provide those services?
    • Why will your potential users go to you rather than someone else to meet their needs?
    • How do you expect your services to develop over the next one to five years?


  • A summary of who you are intending to provide services to and an analysis of their need, and whether you are able to meet that need in a sustainable way.
  • To address these points, you will need to conduct some market research to enable you to have an evidence based proposition.
Marketing Strategy
  • The data from your needs analysis can now be used to formulate your marketing strategy, including:
    • What are the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats you face?
    • Are there any competitors?
    • Will you charge your users for the service or how else will you fund them?
    • How will you brand and promote your charity and your services?
Operational Infrastructure
  • What do you need to run the charity on a day to day basis, including:
    • Premises
    • Equipment
    • Computers
Management Team Summary
  • An overview of the main people contributing to the day-to-day management of the charity, including:
    • How does your background help with the charity?
    • Who will be on the management team?
    • What is your management philosophy?
    • What are your weaknesses and how can you compensate for them?
    • What are their duties, and are they clearly defined?
    • Do you have any staff needs, and how will you address them?
Financial Plan
  • Some simple or complex set of numbers which tell you whether or not what you intend to do will be sustainable, including:
    • Start-up funds (for a new charity or project)
    • Operating budget – how will you spend your money during the year?
    • Financial assumptions – what are you basing your projected numbers on?
    • Dependence – how much do you rely on a single funder or source of income?
    • Cash flow projection – what income and expenditure do you project and are you sustainable?

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