Activity Model - understanding your portfolio
Big Business
Activity Model - understanding your portfolio
Activity Model - understanding your portfolio
Sole Trader

Activity Model - understanding your portfolio
Assessing your portfolio of activity

The big idea

This tool provides an approach to ensuring that your creative vision and financial goals are fully integrated so that their relative strengths are understood. The Matrix Map (Bell, Masaoka, & Zimmerman, 2010)helps you to look at your whole portfolio – all the things you do, from the basis of contribution to your mission and financial impact. Initially created for non-profit organisations, the model could also be useful if you are running a commercial business that is driven by artistic aspirations and products.


This tool helps you look at your portfolio of activities – programming, products, services, and so on – to determine the financial contribution each activity makes. The purpose of the approach is to determine where best to invest resources in future and how you might want to manage specific aspects of your activity portfolio, for example, in the language of the Matrix Map (Figure 1), how you might move hearts to stars. This approach is based on recognising the ‘dual bottom’ line that many creative and cultural organisations have to operate by, being mission driven and having to generate a financial return.

The Tool

This tool encourages you to assess your various activities. How well are they contributing to you mission and your financial bottom line? You can use it whether you are a sole trader or a large business. If you have a team, it is helpful to look at it as a group. It may take several hours to complete.