Pro Bono Strategy and Planning Projects

See client testimonials, sample engagements and examples of work products at

The projects are delivered by Jim Johnson, Co-founder of ActionMap Inc., a consultancy and software provider based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Jim’s career includes over 40 years of:

– IT development, management, support and sales
– Tier 1 consulting business development and account management
– IT performance management and compliance
– Professional meeting facilitation.

Jim has a B.S. in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, where he served as student body president. 

“I love doing business planning with non-profits, because of the opportunity to bring benefit to so many lives.  I also have a passion for helping groups achieve strong shared understanding, as a way of making breakthrough progress toward their goals.”

For more details about Jim see Jim’s LinkedIn profile here:


Over the past three years I have contributed to over 30 pro bono projects for non-profits, primarily aimed at business plans and strategy.

I focus on creating detailed business models of current and planned operations.

These business model takes the form of business operations diagrams (“what you do today, or want to do tomorrow”) with comments and evaluations (goals, issues and ideas) about the diagram.

Examples can be found below on this page.

The models can usually be created in two 2-hour online workshops. The resulting work products are exported in PowerPoint and Excel.

In a third workshop, these work products can then be turned into detailed action plans, which can be organized into a higher level (e.g. strategic) activity plan.

These work products contain or point to all the information needed to create the remaining detailed documents for a project (e.g. business plans, standard operating procedures, grant proposals, etc. 

PLEASE NOTE: I provide planning support and coaching for detailed final document creation, not the creation of those documents. 

The key is creating strong shared understanding of organization operations and plans to improve and expand them. That understanding and the work products can be applied to a wide range of non-profit needs, including:
– business plans
– grant writing and fund raising
– process improvement
– Board and volunteer engagement

How does it work?

An initial conversation will cover:
– The assumption that strategic development will mostly be extending what your organization is doing now.
– Agreement on who should attend the workshops.
  – Could be just one person, or a group of up to about 12.
– Who will be the broader audience for the work products and how they would be able to receive, review and comment on the work products.
– How the work products will support final document creation (e.g. a detailed business plan) and/or your specific planning goals.

Benefits of this approach:
– Produces:
  – Strong shared understanding among stakeholders of the current overall operation (this is useful for many other purposes),
   – Supported by high quality work products that can be used for many purposes
– Low overhead (just schedule the workshops, no prep or training required)
– Fast results: “Hours and days instead of weeks and months”
– Workshops can include other volunteer consultants, and results can be shared with and accelerate their work.



Detailed Work Product Example

The amount of information in the Map and List directly below would typically be captured, organized, formatted and shared in approximately three hours of online workshop time.

(This is a generalized example taken different real client engagements; examples from specific engagements are provided at These examples have been exported to PowerPoint and Excel.)

The “List” captures goals, issues, notes and change ideas associated with the map parts. Some of these comments are highlighted in the example below.

To have an initial discussion about your non-profit project, please schedule a time using this link: 

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