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  Sample Nonprofit Management Plan
Before Starting, Key Questions to Ask

•    What does success look like?
•    What are the goals to achieve this success (short and long term)

Executive Summary

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

A. Sector
•    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 organizational structure?)

C. Competition
•    What 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 decisions? Criteria?

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    Collaboration
o    Promotion
o    Geographical distribution
o    Demonstration site implementation
o    Setting priorities among fundraising, research and development, testing and implementation, and marketing and communications activities?

F. Marketing and communications activities
•    What 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    Stakeholders
o    Decision makers
o    Financiers
o    Funders/donors
•    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?

IV. Operations

•    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?

V. Management

•    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 organization?
•    What has their track record been, and how does this relate to the organization's requirements?
•    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?

VI. Organization and Personnel

•    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?