When you go to a business school, you learn to plan a business well: you need to know how much capital you have, so you carefully fashion a business plan so that you cover all aspects of the business, including marketing, selling, and other techniques that will allow you to make a profit. You might also include an exit plan, which will allow you to recoup your savings or still keep your money even if the business fails. However, is there actually a way to plan out a non-profit organization, and are there schools that teach this type of business planning?
There are many different schools that actually teach how you can plan out a non-profit organization, and a business plan is actually the right format to go about it. A business plan will describe your venture in great detail: is it an organization, will it give away products, will it be donating to specific organizations? What are the benefits and advantages of having such an organization? A non-profit organization needs donors who are business people, and these donors will be looking for a plan that provides enough evidence to show that the non-profit organization is sustainable. Moreover, donors want to know that their money is being put to good use, so a business plan is always in order when non-profit organizations are built.
Most business plans will also have research to back them up. For instance, for companies that are up and coming, and that are offering products that are new to the market, a business plan might include descriptions of research results showing how good the product is or how effective it can be, as well as research showing how much the product is needed in the market. In a non-profit organization, the research might show how the non-profit organization is needed, say to donate products, offer services, or even broker knowledge. Research is not just something that is confined to laboratories or academics: it is something that is needed to show how effective or required a business can be.
When searching for a school that will help you put up your non-profit organization, look for schools that have faculty members that are experienced in either running non-profit organizations, or being a part of such organizations. Better yet, look for schools that are involved with non-profit organizations, so that you may be able to get an internship or work more closely with such organizations and thereby get a clearer and better idea of how a non-profit organization operates and how it should be run.
There are other things that you may want to consider when you are planning out your non-profit organization. Simply keep in mind that your efforts are akin to applying for a grant: you need to convince your donors that you need the money and that the money is going to a good cause. Your grant proposal may include aspects such as details on how you will get the word out on the non-profit organization; how you will staff it and how much your staff will receive in compensation; how your staff will be managed; how your finances will be managed, such as your costs of operation and your overall budget; and a description of your credentials and those of your partners’, if any.
When looking for such a business school, be on the lookout for people who might help you in the future. As you build that non-profit organization, you will find that the people in your past can help you make a better organization that will last for a longer time.