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Sunday, January 21, 2018

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Nonprofit Revenue Plan
Nell Edgington

May, 2011

In our ongoing effort to develop tools to make nonprofit organizations more effective, more financially sustainable and ultimately able to create more social impact, we are releasing today our Revenue Plan Guide. This step-by-step guide provides nonprofit staff and boards a clear, systematic approach to creating a revenue plan for their organization.

A revenue plan, unlike a traditional fundraising plan, is an integrated, thoughtful, and strategic way to help a nonprofit achieve social impact in a more sustainable way. The revenue plan is a key element of a nonprofit’s strategic plan. It is critical that an organization understand the cost of achieving the goals set out in the strategic plan (expenses) and how the organization will pay for them (revenue). Fundraising, raising money from private sources (individuals, foundations, and corporations), is just one revenue option available to nonprofits. Additional options include: earned income (selling a product or service), government grants, fee for service, and corporate sponsorships, just to name a few.

A revenue plan differs from a fundraising plan in a number of ways. Unlike a fundraising plan, a revenue plan:

  • Includes ALL activities that bring money in the door in a fully integrated strategy and execution plan.
  • Supports the short AND long term goals of the organization.
  • Funds the programs AND infrastructure of the organization.
  • Employs money-securing activities that are in line with the core competencies of the organization.

With a clear revenue plan, your nonprofit will bring more money in the door, in a more sustainable way, ultimately achieving greater social impact.

This 10-page guide is designed to help you build a revenue plan for your nonprofit. It is divided into 6 parts and can be completed in a couple of hours, if you have all of the necessary information in front of you. If you would like to include board and staff in the process, you can pause between sections and work through it over a few weeks. The sections of the revenue guide are:

Part 1: Analyzing Revenue Sources
Part 2: Assessing Fundraising Infrastructure
Part 3: Determining Infrastructure Costs
Part 4: Drafting the Revenue Plan
Part 5: Brainstorming Road Blocks
Part 6: Monitoring the Plan

As part of your purchase of this guide, after you have created a draft of your revenue plan, a Social Velocity consultant can provide a 30-minute consultation to review and provide feedback on your plan.

To learn more about the revenue guide, click here.

As always, let us know what you think of our tools and what additional tools you would like to see.

About the Author: Nell Edgington is President of Social Velocity (, a management consulting firm leading nonprofits to greater social impact and financial sustainability. Social Velocity helps nonprofits grow their programs, bring more money in the door, and use resources more effectively. For more information, check out Social Velocity services and clients.



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