Funding! Funding! Funding!
The time has come for lift off. So you have started your social venture, proved the concept, told friends and family about it and now it’s ready to go to market. The biggest thing you need now is funding - the ever-elusive element that all businesses need to kick off.
In all cases reaching success in fundraising requires a clear map of the vision, timelines, goals, financials and desired impact.
Fortunately, in addition to the traditional funding mechanisms such as angel investing, a social venture has the advantage that it can tap into other sources. However, the way to approach these sources of funding are often misunderstood by the fundee.
Understanding in detail how these alternative funding methods can be leveraged by your social venture will lead to improved results during your fundraising journey. We know this is no easy feat and gathered these pointers.
The craze where you can raise amounts of money over the internet from potentially thousands of different people is often viewed as an easy way to raise money. News outlets are inundated with articles showing incredible success stories - no reason yours can’t be next, but this will take work. This form of funding has raised €28 billion in 2020. Check out crowdfunding sites that match your social venture, create an engaging campaign and market relentlessly on social media channels.
Grants are a great way to drive the growth of your social venture, because they not only provide funds for its success but also involves deeply qualified strategic partners who understand the impact you want to reach. They are often perceived as a free pot of money that are accessible simply by writing an application and waiting for a positive response… Ching ching!. This could not be further from the truth and the better we all understand the motivations, goals and processes of grant giving organizations the better the chances of reaching joint goals. Start by researching organizations whose mission and mandate match yours, follow closely their stated processes and clearly map how their social investment in your venture enables the impact they wish to reach and how you will measure it.
An underappreciated means of funding, corporates usually have a corporate social responsibility budget and are a great means to accelerate your venture. These budgets are normally deployed via more formal means such as incubator competitions but occasionally these are directly dispersed to beneficiaries via a sponsorship. Successfully engaging corporates means being aware of their budget restrictions, timing, and the departments responsible for allocation and decision making. Have a look at corporates in your field, their websites and their annual reports.