The Business Model Canvas, developed by Alexander Osterwalder, is a framework that helps you to nail down what your idea / startup is about, and maps the ecosystem necessary for your startup to thrive.
The Business Model Canvas is a framework that helps you map the 'ecosystem' of your startup.
This analytical approach applies to non-profit initiatives just as well! It really helps to see the bigger picture of your startup.
Nevertheless if your idea doesn't seem to in at first sight, don't panic. The canvas is just a start to analyse, visualise, and then innovate your business model.