Charity opportunity canvas

Charity Opportunity Canvas

Get projects for your charity focused on solving problems and achieving outcomes

The charity opportunity canvas is a free tool to help project teams align their work to be user-centred and outcome-focused

Why use the charity opportunity canvas

Facilitate project alignment and communication by having all the important information in one place.

Put the people the projects seeks to help at the centre of designing solutions.

Understand how problems and the barriers they cause, and solutions and the outcomes they create.

Charity opportunity canvas

Who should use the charity opportunity canvas

Digital teams

Connected thinking – Show how being user-centred helps to create better solutions for people who need them.

Product managers

Create quickly and maintain easily – Provides a single view of the current validated knowledge for any project.


Provide clarity – Help teams get a clear and coherent view of the problems they are solving.

Running an opportunity canvas session

Get set

  • Download the canvas.
  • Upload it to any online whiteboard.
  • Add post-it notes.

Work fast

  • Users – be specific about who you are trying to help.
  • Problems – describe all the problems those people face, even if you can’t solve them all.
  • Barriers – understand the barriers that prevent people from solving the problems themselves.
  • Solutions- list ideas for solutions that could work.
  • Outcomes – show the world you’re trying to create, what people will be able to do when the solution is working.
  • Other sections – as the project progresses, get into the details of the logistics.

Reflect change

  • Update regularly – go back to the canvas each time assumptions are validated and hypothesis proven
  • Share openly – the canvas works best when it gets people talking and asking questions.

Go next level

  • Colour code the post-it notes to show how well validated the knowledge on the canvas is.
  • Join up the barriers to problems to user to solutions to outcomes to create system maps.
  • Balance to two sides so every problem has a solution and every outcome overcomes a barrier.

⚠️ Warning: Do not approach this canvas on your own ⚠️

Canvassing is a team exercise. Download the canvas and do it together.

Feedback welcome – message me on Twitter with any questions, comments or ideas for improving the charity opportunity canvas.

Charity Opportunity Canvas is distributed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 licence.
Inspired by the Opportunity Canvas by Jeff Patton and the Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder.