Models of Impact

Developing tools to lower the barrier of entry to business-design.

Design Strategy

Models of Impact is a branded service of verynice that allows people to create innovative business models for social, environmental, or personal impact.

How can products and services contribute to the development of sustainable impact in our communities? What models exist that can drive impact and social change beyond traditional grants and private donations? What role does philanthropy play now that consumers are more aware of the social impact behind their consumption? In the past 10 years, most intensely, we’ve seen so many businesses shift to a mindset in which profit is not the only measurement of success, but also “people” and “planet.” This new criteria for success has informed a new wave of products and services that have giving back at the core of what they do.




Through an initial in-depth study into the trends and accomplishments amongst hundreds of different social enterprises, we developed a resource that aims to record (almost) every thriving model of impact. The was developed to serve as a tool for businesses interested in finding the right model for their product/service/industry that is both within reach and enables them to create a meaningful impact. After receiving significant media attention for this project resulting in over 10,000 entrepreneurs leveraging our map, we decided to expand upon the project by transforming it into a toolkit.




By developing this toolkit, our mission is to promote legacy and entrepreneurship in the social impact community by developing tools and resources that make it easy (and fun!) to design disruptive business models. Our method is comprised of a simple 4-step process: Learn, Invent, Program, and Report. Our toolkit is designed for Educators, Entrepreneurs, Designers, and Non-Profits, and is available on a “Pay-What-You-Want” basis for immediate download. This .zip file contains a series of game-based workshop curricula and brainstorm activities, a comprehensive glossary that documents 101 business models, a series of 3 maps, and a library of 98 icons.



Our methodology is broken into 4 distinct segments: Learn, Invent, Program, and Report. After taking a deep-dive into the landscape of existing business models that are relevant to your areas of interest/operation, users engage in a cross-pollination of ideas that serve as the catalyst for a new product, service, or program.


The “secret sauce” of the Models of Impact methodology is a game-based experience that creates the space for spontaneous discovery in order to challenge ideas and help you think BIG. By exploring a range of ideas in an unbiased manner, you are able to understand the edges of your opportunity for impact. Some use-cases have included:

  • helping to re-launch Architecture for Humanity’s AFH Chapter Network (now known as Open Architecture Collaborative) via business-design consulting
  • working with 80 entrepreneurs at the 2015 Singularity University Graduate Studies Program to teach them the method and design business models that benefit billions of people
  • collaborating with the Strelka Institute in Moscow in order to design an online course and deliver a workshop and public lecture to local entrepreneurs in Russia
  • integrating the method into the curriculum of General Assembly in Los Angeles, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Design MBA at California College of the Arts, and more.
  • consulting for various startups and organizations on business-design including EA and Mattel on Corporate Social Responsibility ideation, Learn to Be and BrainItch on Social Enterprise, and American Heart Association on Value Proposition Design, by leveraging the method




The toolkit is packed with everything that you need to engage with the methodology. To download a copy of our toolkit, head over to our GumRoad page, pay what ever you think it’s worth, and create a model of impact. In addition to the game-based workshop curricula and brainstorm activities, the toolkit also includes a comprehensive glossary that documents 101 unique business models, a set of 3 maps, worksheets, a library of 98 icons, and even paper cut-out die (yup).



Creative Direction, Author:
Matthew Manos

Kate Manos, Jessica Zhang


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