Business Planning to Transform Your Organization

To diversify funding sources, health and social service organizations are finding that they can secure funds from nontraditional private sources—companies, professional investors, and individuals—for innovations in their social programs. A well-crafted business plan can often open the door to the foundations and corporate giving programs engaged in philanthropy or social investing.

A business plan can bridge the gap between the world of social mission and the business world. It is a results-oriented format that health and social service managers can use to demonstrate to a socially minded funder the link between their proposed product or service and a social return. Through funded business plans, organizations can gain a competitive edge in the expanding field of organizations seeking funds from new sources. Over time, these organizations can apply businesslike thinking, used to develop such plans, to their operations and even become market innovators in health and social welfare for their region.

This issue of The Manager offers health and social service managers the business plan as a way to communicate their needs and competencies to potential funders. To illustrate this way of thinking, the issue walks readers through the format of a persuasive business plan and suggests to managers who want to further their skills how they might assess resources for developing rigorous business plans.