Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Business Model Cycle

For profit organizations invest money in the beginning of their venture to allow them to sell their products or services. Non-profits don't draw revenues from offering their services. They depend on fundraising to operate. Both types of organizations need to know the costs necessary for the operation of their venture. In this case it is necessary to define the functions necessary to deliver the services. These functions define the core unit of the organization and allow to set the costs involved in providing the services. It is necessary to define each unit of services if the organization provides different types of services. Once one or several units are defined it is necessary to calculate the costs and revenues associated with the operation of this unit or these units. For non-profits there are no calculations of revenues involved. That is the case for Open Popular University that doesn't draw any revenues from offering its services. In this post I will focus on costs only.

Definition of the unit

I have defined two units in Open Popular University: providing access to open courses from the site and teaching courses. I hold off teaching courses and concentrate on designing the model for providing access to open courses from the site and improving this model. I have spent some time thinking and reading about the functions related to this unit. There are certainly different types of models of functions applicable to each type of organization. But an organization needs to focus on a model based on the nature of services provided. Based  on this concept I have created a set of administrative functions based on open courseware.

Calculation of the costs and fund raising

Based on the functions of the unit I have set a budget for the operation of the unit. The costs are certainly related to the personnel salaries, physical location and materials necessary to operate this unit. A certain amount of money is needed to finance these costs. This is where it is getting tough. You have to identify the different sources of funding and this takes a lot of time and research. Receiving the amount of funds necessary for operating is another tough thing. I advise anyone reading this post to go to the site of Open Popular University and click on the donations link on the right side bar. Your contributions and advice will be appreciated. In spite of the great amount of effort I made in order to find the support for this endevour but no one and no organization haven't provided their support. I am the only one fulfilling the administrative, research and technological functions of Open Popular University.


The costs of operations are known but funds are needed to cover them. The fundraising depends on the good will of people and organizations willing to support a noble cause. I appeal to these people and organizations to provide their support. My focus now is finding a fundraiser who can raise funds. I will appreciate a good referral. I  am certainly interested in other type of support such as volunteering, partnership, etc necessary for the operation of Open Popular University.


No comments:

Post a Comment