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Nonprofit Organizations Essay

2129 words - 9 pages

Nonprofit Organizations

I. Introduction: Why do Nonprofit organizations exist and what do they do.
II. Planning in Nonprofit organizations
1. The importance of planning
2. Steps in planning
a. setting goals
b. identifying the needs of those whom the goals will serve
c. developing and defining specific role and mission of organization
d. specific organizational objectives
e. setting priorities
f. measuring results
III. Budgeting Nonprofit organizations
1. Importance of budgeting
2. Steps in budget process
a.defining mission objectives
b.projecting expenditures based on available revenues
c.reporting and control
IV. Funding ...view middle of the document...

Essential to all non-profit organizations are four functions: planning, budgeting, funding and management.

Strategic planning is "a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decision and actions that shape and guide what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does it" (Herman, The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 155)

A non-profit organization cannot be effectively managed if it is not effectively planned. One of the challenges facing non-profit organizations has been long range, strategic planning. Long range, strategic planning in the non-profit sector is essential to the success of an organization. Long range, strategic planning encompasses broad policy and direction setting, internal and external assessments, attention to key stakeholders, the identification of key issues, development of strategies to deal with each issue, decision making, action and the continuous monitoring of results. (Herman, The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 154) While it is important to deal with the short term planning and activities of non-profits, managers or directors must consider the future of their organizations. Successful planning should be comprehensive, integrating all areas of responsibility of an organization.

There are several steps involved in the planning for a non-profit. The first step, or key factor in planning for non-profit organizations is the clear definition of the goals of the organization. Who will those goals will serve, and will those goals likely remain the same in the next 5-10 years? This is important for the organization because it provides those involved (namely the board members) with a framework in which to base their decisions about the organization. The needs of those who the goals of the organization will serve is the next step in the planning process. Will the services of the organization be needed by those who they serve in the coming years? Developing and defining a specific statement of the role and mission is key. Some statements tend to be too broad in definition therefore leaving a "window" for interpretation in the future. These steps establish long term goals for an organization and should be realistic and attainable.

Specific organizational objectives should then be developed to support the long range goals of the organization. This should be specific, measurable and also attainable. The planning process also involves setting priorities of it's stated objectives. What is going to be done first, and how is it going to be achieved? Involved in any planning process should be measurable results. The body of an organization should know what is working and what is not for the organization. If something is not working into the plan of the organization it should be re-worked or abandoned. For that reason, it is important that the long range plans are reviewed and revised annually if need be.

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