• By Lisa Manyon www.writeoncreative.com

    This question has been posed to me by many colleagues who are baffled that I regularly donate an insane amount of time to my favorite non-profit organizations. Make no mistake, there is profit in non-profits. Those profits are merely funneled back into the programs to benefit the particular cause and as the awareness of the need increases, support increases, cash flow increases and the programs grow.

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    Here’s a perfect example. For the past three years I’ve served as board chairperson for Willow Center for Grieving Children www.willow-center.org. The organization began in 2000 and was relatively unknown when I came on board. A fantastic group of heart-based people were involved doing great work with the children but the board needed help focusing on the business aspects of running a non-profit. Because I love a challenge and am very passionate about the cause, I rolled up my sleeves and dived in. For the past three years, I’ve donated a minimum of 40 hours per quarter to help the organization. Utilizing my advertising agency and marketing savvy, I worked with local media contacts to create broadcast public service announcements aired on radio and television, a new brochure ( a special thanks goes to Northwest Media for production and design of my concepts) and encouraged Chamber membership to tap into the economic pulse of our community. We eventually became a member of Twin County United Way http://www.tcuw.org/ and this is a MUST for all non-profits if you’re looking for community support and exposure. You can find your local United Way here http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/

    Because I believe in the work that Willow Center does, I knew in my heart how important it was to build a solid foundation for the future. As with most non-profit organizations, the marriage between heart based individuals doing the work directly with participants and business minded board members doing the administrative tasks, can be challenging. So, when I jumped in and created a comprehensive strategic marketing plan, brochure.jpgmy big picture vision took some getting used to and the marketing approach was new. Drawing on my advertising and marketing background, the plan included a complete SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and seemed overwhelming to some. I was speaking a language that was unfamiliar.

    Then I happened upon Jim Horan and his One Page Business Plan system. Horan has developed an easy to follow, no fluff approach to planning and it worked perfectly for what I was trying to accomplish. I took my own experience and instincts, including the POWER Planning Process, plus methods from his book and was able to take Willow Center to new levels of success. Needless to say, I didn’t overwhelm anyone with pages of SWOT analysis again. Instead, I created a one page business plan and used it as a personal roadmap.

    When Jim contacted me to let me know he was creating a new version of his book specifically for non-profits and invited me to review the advance copy of the book, I was delighted. In fact, there are new tools, assessments and exercises specifically for non-profits that will be extremely useful. So useful, that I’m going to present the new Executive Director of Willow Center with a copy to help with future planning. Did I mention Willow Center for Grieving Children was able to hire the first ever paid staff person? Perfect timing since I’ve stepped down as board chairperson and it makes sense to pay someone to keep us on track.

    Okay, so back to my point about profit for non-profits. I haven’t profited monetarily from my involvement but the satisfaction of knowing my time and talents have helped build a future for Willow Center for Grieving Children is priceless. Plus during my stint as board chairperson, income has tripled and great things have happened. I look forward to seeing where our Executive Director leads us next and have no doubt that The One Page Business Plan for Non-Profit Organizations will help pave the way to the future.
    You can check the book out here. This is the one I started with.

    The One Page Business Plan for Creative Entrepreneurs

    And now, I recommend this version for all non-profits.

    The One Page Business Plan for Non-Profit Organizations

    Good luck and let me know what you think of the books.

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog

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