Grand Business Plan
Professional Business Writer

How to Write a Charity Business Plan

How to Write a Charity Business Plan

Nonprofit organizations working on a worthy cause may need a business plan to show the donors or Government funders what it does and how it helps the cause.

The basic elements of the business plans for charity will be the same as if you write a business plan for any profitable organization.

These elements start with Executive Summary, Description of Charity its objectives and key activities, Market analysis, Competitors who run a similar charity, operational plan, and financial forecasts.


Then it gets into details.

Below is a sample of a charity involved in Homelessness in Ireland.

Homelessness Charity is a start-up not for profit social service agency providing shelter or temporary accommodation for the people in need. The organization was founded by Mr. Joe who has both the practical experience and the education to lead the organization.

For thousands of people in Ireland, including people from working households, homelessness is a frightening reality.

People become homeless for a wide range of complex reasons. That involves pressures from their personal circumstances such as relationship breakdown combined with structural factors such as high housing costs, poverty, and welfare policies. Their experience of homelessness can take many forms, including rough sleeping, living in a hostel, living in temporary accommodation, or ‘sofa-surfing’ with friends and family.

Many people who have experienced homelessness want to work and see working as the best way out of homelessness. However, many face significant barriers to work. Unstable housing makes it difficult to hold down a job, but more subtle barriers remain for people even once they have stable accommodation.

Homelessness Ireland provides shelter which will be an excellent opportunity for homeless individuals to think about their lives, get back up, and once again start living independently.

County Councils, churches, as well as NGOs are the sole owners of many of the facilities around Ireland.


The primary role of Homelessness Ireland is to provide temporary shelter or housing for families as well as individuals who currently are not in a position to lease their inherent apartments. Concisely, they bestow armament to the singletons from the harsh outdoor conditions, especially during wintery wet and cold months.

Keys to Success

  • Build a strong, active Board of Trustees.
  • Ensure that the offered services satisfy market needs.
  • Design and implement strict financial controls and accountability.
  • Secure sufficient funding, both start up and operational.
  • Create a women’s-only transitional housing facility that provides housing and a variety of empowering skills.
  • Develop a strong Board of Trustees that can offer guidance, help with fundraising efforts, and oversee the smooth operation of the organization.


  • Rough sleeping is the only form of homelessness
  • Homelessness affects a specific type of person
  • Homelessness is a result of poor life choices
  • Homelessness is inevitable and a social problem that can’t be solved.


  • Homelessness can take many forms, including rough sleeping, living in a hostel, living in temporary accommodation or ‘sofa-surfing’ with friends and family.
  • Some groups are at greater risk of homelessness than others. Income, race, sexual orientation, age and time spent in state sponsored institutions, including prisons and the care system, all factor into a person’s risk status. People experiencing social disadvantages are less likely to have the resources – financial, social, health-related – to obtain and maintain stable housing.
  • Homelessness is caused by structural issues, such as a lack of affordable housing, wage stagnation and cuts to social welfare programmes which can push people into a variety of insecure housing situations – and personal factors such as relationship breakdown, job loss, bereavement or health problems.

Fund raising skills and close connections with Donors in the community

Commitments of Trustees /Founders

Knowledge in particular area of shelter homes.

Only organization in the area that provides these types of services, no direct competition

  • Community trust in the initial stages of operations
  • Cash flow problems/Low reserves
  • Lack of volunteers
  • Lack of experience
  • Positive relations with funders
  • Diversification of services
  • Strong links with government bodies
  • Expertise in welfare reform
  • More established NGOs working already in society
  • Change in government regulations
  • Acceptance of the cause in society

Competitors Analysis

Competition among charities for donor income has increased in recent years. Charities compete against each other for cause-related marketing contracts with commercial enterprises and sponsorship deals and must bid competitively for government grants. There is competition for support from foundations, corporations, and individual donors, with many organizations, compete for grants. Investing in fundraising capacity and talent is seen as a strategic response to the struggle for donations, and for salaries for proven development professionals to continue to rise. Still, competition for funding is driven by an odd combination of performance, reputation, and personal relationships.

The competitive market for Homelessness Ireland is divided as per below,

 Direct CompetitorsSubstitutable CompetitorsIndirect Competitors
Those organizations with the same market focus: they provide the same services / programs as Homelessness Ireland do within the same geographic area, for the same types of beneficiaries.Those organizations that meet the same needs as Homelessness Ireland but in a different way.Those organizations that do not compete with Homelessness Ireland for beneficiaries, but do compete for other resources: funding, board members, staff, etc.

Competitive advantage

Homelessness Ireland will have below advantage which will help to grow and serve the community,

  • Ability to raise funds
  • Rapid service delivery
  • People friendly
  • Quick response time to crises
  • Strong publicity campaign
  • Loyal donors

Target Market

All the people in the surrounding of Mayo will be part of Homelessness Ireland’s service program with a special focus on the homeless.

Total Market Valuation

The Charity sector in Ireland has an annual turnover of over €14.5bn, employs over 190,000 staff, benefits from the voluntary work of over 50,000 volunteer board members/directors and the work of over half a million “operational” volunteers, (valued by the Central Statistics Office at around €2bn per year). Indecon Economic Consultants estimate (in a report published by the Charities Regulator in 2018) that the total direct, indirect, and induced value of the impact of the work of Ireland’s charities exceed 24bn Euro.

As per the charity regulator report, 2,165 charities reported annual income of over €250,000 in 2019, 875 of the categories had income in excess of €1million. This is up from 855 in 2018.

52% of charities on the Register had an income of more than €100,000, 32% had an income of between €10,000 and €100,000, and 16% had an income of less than €10,000.

72% of charities on the Register had fewer than 20 volunteers. 43% of charities had no employees.  42% reported having between 1-19 employees, 8% had between 20-49, 5% had 50-249 while 2% had between 250-499 (Source:

Market Growth

Nonprofit organizations directly employ 189,000 people and are supported by 300,000 volunteers.

A report by Indecon International Economic Consultants, commissioned by the Charities Regulator, shows that registered Irish charities have a direct, indirect and induced expenditure of €24.98 billion and support 289,000 employees which shows charities are already an established sector in Ireland.

Based on the number of volunteers and the donations collected, it is clear that the future of charities is very bright in Ireland and these are supposed to serve better in future

Market Trends

Below are the fund-raising trends which are common in the charities sector,

  • Donor spend big but less often
  • Value and trust
  • Digital technology is the new growth engine
  • Slight fall in public donations

Marketing and Sales

Homelessness Ireland marketing and communication section will consist of below,

  • Number of views on the website page
  • Material downloaded from the website
  • Social media activity
  • Media placement and press coverage
  • Newsletter distribution and subscription

Social Media Ads on Facebook and Instagram

Social media will be our hub for connecting with donors in order to develop a personalized relationships and to keep them involved in the events. Here again, the power of word of mouth will be utilized and people will be convinced via the testimonials our trust will receive from the satisfied beneficiaries.

Social media has been the enabler and has motivated many trends to hold a place in the market. Social media has been driving our lives according to the needs of the market as what we see affects a lot of our needs.

Trust has a dedicated website that is hosting all the information about our services and donors will be able to donate from the same platform.

Print Media

Trust will advertise its services in the social and community section of local magazines and newspapers. Also, the trust will distribute its own customized broachers with details of services mentioned over them.

a) Market Positioning

Homelessness Ireland will position itself as the leading charity trust in the surroundings of Mayo.

Homelessness Ireland will distinguish itself from other charities in the following ways,

  • Strong purpose and vision
  • Loyal and recurring donors
  • The increased donor growth rate
  • Ability to raise funds quickly

Income sources

Homelessness Ireland will run its activities by the donations given by the donors. Below will be the source of funding for Homelessness Ireland,

  • Membership dues
  • Private donations
  • A grant from other NGOs
  • Government funding
  • Funding from corporations

Sales strategy

Charity will approach donors by following ways/activities:

  • Organizing awareness and fund-raising events
  • Use of social media to reach the donors and spread the message by creating social media groups/Fundraising appeal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Telethons
  • Directly approaching the donors for the donations/Direct mailing the donors
  • Placing donation boxes
  • Online donations through the website
  • Fundraising through training, seminars, and conferences


The general membership fee for a life time period will be 250 euros for one person. Homelessness Ireland will be very transparent and informative in its pricing plans. Trust will encourage its members to contribute to specific events organized for the fulfillment of objectives.


The executive council of Homelessness Ireland will consist of below seven positions,

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • And three executive members.

Trust has developed a complete process to grant membership to any individual and pre-set criteria have to be fulfilled in order to get a membership. Along with honorary memberships will also be granted.

Moreover, initially, trust has assigned below positions to the respective persons,

  • Secretory: Mr. AAA
  • President: Mr. BBB
  • Member: Mr. CCC
Role of Founders
  • Responsible for providing direction of Homelessness Ireland and its services.
  • Creates, communicates, and implements his vision, mission, and overall direction
  • Responsible for the day to day running of the Homelessness Ireland.
  • Responsible for fixing fees and activities in consultation with staff and feedback by beneficiaries and donors.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of Homelessness Ireland.
  • Evaluates the success of the Homelessness Ireland.