Business Models represent the sum total of aligned component processes, assets, and resources needed for a business to compete in its desired industry. As a result the business model for a nonprofit will different from a for-profit. Similarly the business model for a law firm will differ from a retail store. The difference is not just in the components themselves but also the goals, values, and competencies needed to leverage those business components. A fundraising model canvas provides a business model for fundraising organizations, or departments, focused on realizing fundraising related goals.

A generic fundraising model canvas can be developed to guide the marketing, promotional, and stakeholder engagement strategies. This is depicted below.

Fundraising Model Canvas

Similar to many logic or process maps the fundraising model canvas distinguishes between inputs, assets/strategies, outputs, and goals. The fundraising model canvas inputs will vary depending on goals and industry but these common elements remain shared across fundraising platforms. For example – The fundraising model canvas can be further refined to differentiate fundraising focused on domestic services versus those focused on purchasing and donating supplies on the international stage.

The information needed for each domain of the fundraising model canvas is depicted in the completed example below.

Fundraising Model Canvas

Having all of these components included in your organization’s fundraising plan is not enough. They must be aligned and insure the same values, message, and ‘call to action’ is carried throughout. Failing to incorporate any of these components into an organization’s (aligned) fundraising efforts can result in mixed messages, damaged organizational branding and image, and an inadequate ‘call to action.’ Focusing on a common language, colour pallet, logo placement, font, and emphasizing the visibility of the organization’s mission, vision, and values is just the beginning. Planning your fundraiser with the included canvas should bring your organization considerably closer to having all of the pieces necessary to facilitate a successful event.

How is your organization structuring its fundraising efforts? Leave your comments below.