No matter what their size, all organisations need to plan. Doing so will highlight both opportunities and challenges. Planning should be about two important aspects: priorities and people.

Writing a business plan

Taking time to write a formal business plan can help your organisation establish aims and objective and make it more effective in achieving them. Find out about what’s required of you depending on your legal structure and charitable status.

Risk analysis & management

Any business planning exercise needs to consider the risks of the planned activity, including the financial risks. Evaluating the risks and taking appropriate action will put your organisation in a stronger position.


Consider appropriate arrangements for financial reserves for your organisation and understand the impact of large reserves.

Monitoring, evaluation & review

Discover how monitoring, evaluation and review can play an important role in your business planning, helping to ensure the effectiveness of your organisation.

Mergers & collaborations

There are many different ways in which voluntary organisations can work together, both informally and more formally. Find out about mergers and collaborations and how they might help you.

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  • Defining our terms
  • The terms ‘business plan’, ‘organisation and development plan’ and ‘strategic plan’ are all used to describe the long term planning an organisation will do to reach goals or objectives. In practice the use of one term rather than another reflects the purpose of an organisation in drawing up its plan. The terms are often used interchangeably, so if an outside organisation, eg OSCR or a funder, asks for anyone of them, it is important to clarify what they want.