Before Starting, Key Questions to Ask
• What does success look like?
• What are the goals to achieve this success (short and long term)
This section should summarize the entire management plan and emphasize its high points, including:
• What is the vision for success?
• What is the purpose of this plan?
• How much money are we raising, in what form, and for what purposes?
• What is the potential of our product/service or the goal of the project?
• What are its significant features?
• What are our development milestones?
• What significant outcomes/impacts do we anticipate?
I. Management Plan Elements
• What are our organizational goals?
• What is the governance structure to meet those goals?
o Who set priorities?
o How are decisions made?
o Who makes budget decisions and at what level?
o Who manages staff? (hiring/releasing, work plans, goals, performance reviews)
o What is the incentive structure/model for achieving these goals? (academic vs. business model)
o Who’s accountable and to whom are they accountable?
• What are the products/services we will develop to meet those goals?
• What are the principal areas of operation or spheres of influence?
o How might these change and how would decisions be made?
• What are the specific applications and needs for our vision/service/tools?
o Who is our target audience and vehicle for meeting our goals?
• What is our distinctive competence (i.e., what are the chief factors that will account for our success?)?
o Why would donors give to us over all other like projects?
o What is our core competency?
• What are our strengths and weaknesses?
II. Sector Analysis
• What nonprofit sector are we in? Can it be defined?
• How big is it now? How big will it be in five years? Ten years?
• What are its chief characteristics?
• Who are or will be the major constituents/stakeholders/influentials?
• What are or will be the major applications?
• What are the major trends in the sector?
B. Target Needs
• What are the major sectors we will need to consider for adoption of the approach?
• For each major adoption, what are the following:
o Requirements by the customer/client/stakeholder/regulatory agency?
o Current ways of filling these requirements?
o Habits of the customer/user/stakeholder/funder?
o Impact on the customer of using our
product/service/vision (e.g., how much will it save him per year; what
return on investment will he get, will he have to change his way of
doing things, buy other equipment, change work habits, or modify
organizations/institutions/efforts are we competing with or duplicating
efforts with? Are their strategic collaborations we can pursue?
• How does NatCap compare with other similar efforts?
• How does our vision/product/service compare with
others, especially through the eyes of our key donors and stakeholders?
• What is the “market share” of each existing
competitors/potential collaborators? (e.g. Moore Foundation is
supporting Costanza group; USFS supporting their own efforts)
• How best to partner with competitors to achieve
goals more efficiently? Who best to partner with? How to make these
D. Reaction from specific prospective customers/stakeholders/decision makers/funders
• What prospective donors/customer/stakeholders have we talked to?
• What was their reaction to the vision and effort?
E. Marketing/outreach activities
• What is our marketing/communications/outreach strategy?
o For fundraising
o For key influentials and decision makers
o For adoption of ecosystem service valuation into resource decision-making?
• What are our plans for
o Distribution and dissemination
o Geographical distribution
o Demonstration site implementation
o Setting priorities among fundraising, research and
development, testing and implementation, and marketing and
F. Marketing and communications activities
level of marketing and communication effort will we have? How important
will it be to achieving our goals?
• Who will be responsible for the marketing and communications of NatCap
o How to ensure key messages are adhered to
• Who will identify the target audiences for our approach?
o Decision makers
• How will we decide whom to contact and in what order?
• Who will be responsible for making and maintaining the contacts?
• What will is the scale of influence/buy-in we would like to achieve amongst the variance target audiences?
• What is the incentive structure for staff?
III. Technology: Research and Development
• What is the essence and status of our current technology (idea, prototype, small production run, etc.)?
• What new technologies or scientific approaches
exist that may become practical in the next five years? What factors
limit the development or acceptance?
• What are the key research and development activities and related milestones?
• What are the major risks associated with the mapping and valuation technology?
• How will we develop a staffing and approach to meet changing site needs and changing market needs?
• Are there any regulatory or approval requirements
for the adoption of a mapping and valuation approach in decision
making? Under what context?
• How will we accomplish with existing staff? How much will we do internally and by what methods?
• How much through subcontracts, both initially and after several years?
• What is our present capacity for meeting our current goals? How can this be expanded?
• Who are our key managers?
• How much decision making authority/responsibility do they have?
• How do we intend to attract and compensate key people?
• What are their skills and, particularly, their
experience, and how does this relate to the success requirements of the
• What has their track record been, and how does this relate to the organization's requirements?
VI. Organization and Personnel
• What staff additions do we plan, when and with what
required qualifications? Who makes the staffing decisions?
• Who will be on the board of directors? To serve what purpose?
• Will there be an executive committee? Who will be on it? To serve what purpose?
• How many people will we need by expertise?
• What compensation method will be used by expertise?
• What will be the organizational structure for formative years and thereafter?
VII. Funds Required, Their Uses and Their Management
• How much money do we require now?
• How much will we require over the next five years, and when will it be required?
• How will these funds be used?
• Who will be responsible for raising the funds? How will fund raising responsibility be allocated?
• Where will the funds be kept? Under what type of management?
• Who makes fund disbursement decision and at what level?
VIII. Financial Data
• We will need real financial statements and projects for the next three to five years, including
o Balance sheets at the end of each year.
o Cash budgets
o Capital budgets for equipment
• What key assumptions have been made and how good are these assumptions?
IX. Administrative Considerations
• Has the organization's name been researched for trademark, etc? Do we have the rights to use the name?