Different NGO business plans may be needed depending on the objectives of each plan and the people for whom it is prepared. An NGO, or non-governmental organization, that is starting up needs to prepare a business plan for the people who will be supplying funds or loaning money, including the public, businesses, banks or, possibly, the government. An NGO that is already established may need to prepare another type of business plan if it intends to expand the scope of its work, to show potential lenders and investors how their money will be spent. NGO business plans may need to be drawn up for internal purposes, to enable the management to plan ahead, focusing mainly on financial projections and forecasts. Another type of internal business plan would be a strategic plan, emphasizing the medium- and long-term goals and expansion plans rather than financial forecasts.
The business plan of a start-up NGO will need to give some information on the aims and objectives of the organization. This section of the plan should normally describe the nature of the organization, its skills and specialization. It also should describe the problem the NGO aims to solve and the methods by which it will provide the solution to the problem. The plan should describe its customers and its target market, how these people are to be reached and why the organization can do the work better than other organizations. Depending on the type of NGO, this section may describe the cost of the services offered and how the NGO will earn money or go about fundraising.
NGO business plans may be necessary when an organization is preparing for growth. The NGO may be intending to expand its services. For example, if it is providing microfinance in rural areas, then it may intend to reach more businesses and operate over a wider geographical area. An NGO providing services to a particular group may be aiming to improve the quality of its services rather than the quantity of people it is serving. The growth plan will need to show the amount of extra money required, what it will be spent on and what will be achieved.
NGO business plans also may be required for internal management purposes. This may be a plan involving projections of income and expenditures going forward, and how money is to be raised. This should show the management when extra funds will be needed and include some plans as to how the money is to be raised. If an NGO is reviewing its future strategy, then a different type of internal plan will be needed, outlining the new objectives and putting forward the strategy that can achieve the goals.