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Business model

Questions you might ask yourself

  • Have we identified all possible sources of income?

  • Do we know who our potential funders are and what their objectives are?

  • Do we have the appropriate skills and enough time to fundraise?

  • Do we know what our yields are?

  • How do they compare to similar organisations?

  • Are we confident that our income projections are realistic and based on evidence?

  • Can we extract greater value from any of our assets?

  • Can we share facilities/skills with others to increase efficiency?

  • Do we have appropriate control over our costs?

  • How do they compare with similar organisations?

  • Do we know what comparable organisations charge for their work?

  • Is our charging/pricing structure a barrier to diversity amongst our audience and participants?

What success looks like

  • Our business model is appropriate for our artistic aspirations and audience development plans.

  • We keep up to date with information about potential funders.

  • We invest an appropriate amuont of time and energy into fundraising.

  • We are appropriately entrepreneurial.

  • We understand what contribution each aspect of our activity makes to our overall business.

  • We charge appropriately for our work.



The AMA is the national umbrella body for arts marketers and audience development workers, with a membership of around 1,900. It offers professional development opportunities, publications and networking. Parts of the site are available to members only, while some content, including downloadable material, is offered free.

  • The AMA offers a free download of 'The Thinking Big Essay' by Stephen Cashman, which explores strategy and how to develop it, before going on to examine marketing strategy and planning.

Mission Models Money

Mission Models Money is an independent, sector-led initiative addressing the challenges faced by individual arts and cultural organisations and their funders in developing mission-led, organisationally and financially resilient businesses. It aims to test ideas for responding and adapting to the numerous and complex trends affecting non-profit distributing arts and cultural organisations.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is an organisation which "gives voice and support to civil society" by supporting the voluntary and community sectors with advice and information.

Proven Models

Proven Models is a database of management models grouped under headings including leadership and management, communication, strategic management, personnel management, etc. Content is free, but you can register and join the site's online community.

Strategy and Impact website (NCVO)

The Strategy and Impact website is run by the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) and aims to help you to "know where you are going and how well you are doing, grow, by achieving even more for your users or cause, and show your successes and communicate your plans".

  • 12 strategic planning tools which can help to assess the economic situation, including PEST, SWOT, Cash Benefit Analysis, etc. Each is briefly described. A full report on strategic planning tools in the voluntary sector is available for download.