Program Planning and Management (Business and Nonprofit)

Sections of This Topic Include

What's a Program?
Feasibility Study for New Program
Basic Guidelines for For-Profit (Business) Program Planning and Management
Basic Guidelines for Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing
Program Evaluation (for-profit or nonprofit)

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In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Program Planning and Management. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Nonprofit Capacity Building Blog


What's a Program?

Varying Uses of the Term "Program"

A program is 1) an ongoing process, such as a quality control program, or 2) an activity to manage a series of multiple projects together. (In some countries, the term "program" refers to a software tool and the term "programme" can mean a TV or radio show.) This is in contrast to the term project, which is a one-time effort that produces a specific result, for example, a building or a major new computer system (see Project Management). Nonprofits usually refer to programs as ongoing, major services to clients, for example, a Transportation Program, Housing Program, etc.

Feasibility Study for New Program

If you plan to start a new, major program in your organization, you should consider many of the same questions for starting a new business venture. The following feasibility study will guide you through these critical questions.
Preparation for Planning a Business Venture

Basic Guidelines for For-Profit Program Planning and Management

Basic Guidelines for For-Profit Program Planning and Management
Program Management Essentials

Basic Guidelines for Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing

Basic Guidelines for Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing
Various Approaches to Build Nonprofit Programs
What's a Nonprofit "Program"? Really?
Research Project: YMCA Camp Surf

Program Evaluation

Basic Guidelines to Program Evaluation

Various Other Perspectives

Program Management Articles
Program Management: Different from Project Management
Increasing Revenues while Minimizing Risk – Growing without Betting the Farm

Additional Resources

Program Management
The International Association of Project and Program Management


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For the Category of Program Management:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

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Recommended Books

For-profits and nonprofits tends to use the term "program" differently. Nonprofits often refer to programs as the various different sets of services they provide to meet community needs. For-profits often use the term to refer to a highly organized set of activities to accomplish a certain -- often internal -- goal, for example, Employee Assistance Program to help employees in crisis or a quality management program. However, the guidelines to carefully plan, operate and evaluate programs actually pertain to both types of organizations.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. There are few books, if any, that explain how to carefully plan, organize and develop a nonprofit program. Also, too many books completely separate the highly integrated activities of planning, marketing and evaluating programs. This book integrates all three into a comprehensive, straightforward approach that anyone can follow in order to provide high-quality programs with strong appeal to funders. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library topic are adapted from this book.


Also See

Capacity Building (Nonprofits) -- Recommended Books

Evaluation (Including Program Evaluation) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Product Development -- Recommended Books




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