Business Model Canvas – a version for non-profits
A few weeks back, Shawn Callahan of Australian narrative-knowledge consultancy Anecdote asked me to help in devising a modified version of Alex Osterwalder‘s Business Model Canvas. The aim was to produce a business-model tool, suitable for one of Anecdote’s clients – a large non-profit organisation – who were undertaking a major strategic review.
Our challenge was to keep the same structure as the original Canvas – so as to be able to use it with the Business Model Generation book – but adapt it for the somewhat different needs of a non-profit context.
Alex kindly checked our work – thanks Alex! – hence in accordance with the original Creative Commons license, we’re publishing the end-results here.
Using Alex’s original Business Model Canvas poster as a base, we amended only the text, so as to keep as close to the original as possible:
The full-sized poster (6ftx4ft, 182.88×121.92cm) is here [PDF, 432kb].
For our purposes, in a non-profit context, we needed to change four of the segment-headings:
- Customer Segments to Co-creators
- Customer Relationships to Relations
- Cost Structure to Value-streams – outlay and costs
- Revenue Streams to Value-streams – returns
The reason for changing the Customer Segments heading was that we’re not dealing with a simple supplier-to-customer relationship: there may be many different groupings who may have ‘customer-like’ relationships to the organisation, but often in radically different roles. After quite a bit of casting-around, we finally settled on CK Prahalad’s term ‘Co-creators‘ as a generic for all of these relationships and roles.
The change to the Customer Relationships heading followed directly from the above: since we were dealing with a much broader range of relationship-type than solely those of customers, we used ‘Relations’ as the generic.
We changed the Cost Structure and Revenue Streams headings to reflect the fact that we were likely to be dealing with a much broader range of value-costs and value-returns than solely in monetary terms. For example, an action in breach of the organisation’s vision or values might well be considered a higher ‘cost’ than than that of a monetary cost; and likewise ‘value-return’ would typically need to be monitored and measured primarily in terms of the organisations vision and values. In effect, money is simply one specific case of a generic class of ‘value’, and – in a non-profit context – should not be treated separately from any of the other relevant forms of value.
We changed quite a bit of the detail-text to reflect this overall difference in definition of ‘customer’ and ‘value’ or ‘cost’ – see the poster for the exact details. We aimed to make the text as generic as possible, though in a few places it does reflect that specific client’s needs. Even so, we believe it should be usable as a base-template as a Canvas for other non-profits – or even for the non-financial aspects of for-profit business-models.
Over to you, anyway: Share and Enjoy?