Operating Plan

by Cynthia M. Adams, CEO, GrantStation.com

Two or three months before the beginning of your fiscal year you should begin developing the operating plan and budget for the next year.

An operating plan is a schedule of events and responsibilities that details the actions to be taken in order to accomplish a set of goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are often developed via a strategic planning process that includes both staff and board.

An organization should have an annual operating plan that corresponds to its fiscal year. If your organization has more than one department, you should develop an operating plan for each department.

If you are a brand new organization then the operating plan is critical to securing seed money for your organization. This exercise will help you develop a solid budget for the first year or two of operations.

The plan ensures that everyone knows what needs to get done, coordinates their efforts when getting it done, and keeps close track of whether and how it got done.

There are three important attributes that make up an operating plan:

  • an appropriate...
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