It happened again. Today. In 2004, not 1977 or 1983. A nonprofit board member said to me: "Oh, we don't feel that business planning for new grants is appropriate. We're a charity." I bit my tongue and asked him, "So you don't feel that things that are created or intended for business should be used by a charities?"
"Absolutely not. It's not appropriate." he answered. I has SO hoped we were beyond this....
I thought about being nice, and decided, for the benefit of the underprivileged children his organization serves, I would be rude. "Soooo..." I started off, "Then you don't use phones, or computers, or staplers, or copiers, or faxes? Those were all designed for for-profit businesses....."
"Well", he huffed, "those are different. You just don't get it."
Perhaps not. But I do know this. NOT using an available and helpful resource in pursuit of mission is bad stewardship. The business planning resource is one of those that many charitable groups ignore, sometimes because they don't know how to use it, sometimes because it slows down their enthusiastic pursuit of mission.
You can use a business plan for a new service, a big expansion of service or an expansion of a service to a new group of people or new location. Check out my free business planning template. While you are at the FreeStuff part of my website, you can also see other free tools.
And remember, just because business invented it, doesn't mean it's bad.