Strengthen your non-profit – build a great sustainability plan


Creating a sustainability plan is essential nowadays because people started focusing on the devastating effects of greenhouse gases and too much waste. Especially in the case of non-profit organizations, sustainability planning could lead to maximizing the company’s chances to survive in the long run, considering the pressures of the business industry regarding this topic. Moreover, with a good sustainability plan, a non-profit has all chances to gather more investors and donors to support their cause.

Tailoring a message so that the cause is catchy and sustained is an absolute must. In order to start building this plan, it’s crucial to establish the non-profit’s goals and purposes for the future period. Is this project in relation with what your non-profit is doing? Will it help the community you serve? Will it involve the target audience you set? Ask yourself all these questions, answer them thoroughly and then focus on these steps:

Planning process

The initial step you need to take for transforming your non-profit in a sustainable one has to do with the mission of the company. Articulating the company’s purpose and setting strict goals for the future years is the key. You have to keep the non-profit consistent if you start your journey to becoming sustainable. After setting a clear goal, focus on the dynamic nature of the actions you are going to take. Ask for everyone’s opinion about your initiative of changing things around and see if you obtain the support you need. Once you’ve done that, you can start plan things as supposed.

The planning process will start with finding ideas that can maximize the effectiveness of the actions taken with the purpose of accomplishing the previously-set goals. This means you should determine your non-profit’s current situation and the potential outcome you’d want to obtain. This involves noticing whether the company makes good use of its resources or not.

Actions that relate to decreasing the company’s carbon footprint, recycling, reusing, reducing the amount of paper consumed and so on, should be part of your sustainability plan. Regardless of the size of the sustainability practices you want to involve in the plan, they will make a difference in the long run and might attract a larger number of investors that want to improve their image and results by collaborating with a sustainable non-profit.

The cause you are aiming for

The next step is building your cause. First, select a cause that is somehow related to the niche of your non-profit. Think about how your prospective donors are going to perceive the cause you sustain. Protecting the environment is a sensitive topic at the moment, so there is no wonder why all projects that are somehow related to becoming eco-friendly are always in the center of attention. Whenever you set up your next move, think about how your target audience will react. Appeal to emotion and logic when composing your plan, as this is the safest bet to obtain the support of people.

Next, you need to learn how to put your cause in a good light and present it to the world. Besides describing your cause properly, you have to find a manageable solution for it and convincingly sustain it. The plan should bring strong reasons why your non-profit is the best for applying a viable solution for the cause. In order to do that, don’t forget to include in your plan your past successes. Numbers are quite important at this moment, and you need the support of the community, so don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials.

Sustainability vision

Your long-term vision on becoming sustainable has to be shared with the world. This vision has to be impactful and contain facts that prove your support commitment for the cause. Improving your offered services so that they become environmentally friendly, explaining how you are going to assess potential problems that may appear on the way and giving the prospective donor a strong reason why he would invest into this cause are just a few of the things that you may include in your non-profit’s vision presentation. Don’t forget to bring in the numbers – the potential expenses that are required for sustaining the cause and how the budget is going to be managed in the future.

In your vision, make sure to include your goal to decrease the environmental footprint that your business has while increasing the shareholder value of it. Go ahead and analyze the strengths and the weaknesses of your non-profit in terms of developing a good sustainability plan, compare your plan with another company’s. Take an incremental approach to calculate and report the numbers. This will help you follow the process on a longer period of time, and you can state whether applying the plan works or not.  

Finding and establishing collaborations

After you made your cause popular and presented your non-profit’s vision related to sustainability, you can look for collaboration opportunities. Here’s what you need to focus on:

  • Potential partners

Many companies, regardless of their type, are now trying to become eco-friendly. Some of them are trying to sustain companies that seem to present interest in this field. For instance, there are many businesses that offer solutions which refer to recycling for different industries. A partnership with one of those could help you achieve the goals you set much faster and in a more effective manner. Partnerships are a great way to advance rapidly and succeed in becoming a sustainable non-profit, so put effort into attracting potential investors or companies with the same vision.

  • Outlining the benefits of a collaboration

Businesses that involve mutual benefits for each other can engage in long-term collaborations. In order to keep these collaborations active, your non-profit has to bring major benefits to the table. Try to outline the benefits of the collaboration you have with your partners for both sides. This way, you make sure that the opportunity is going to last for a while and help you fulfill the purpose you stated in the first place.