Many founders launch social enterprises, rather than other similar models like B Corporations, so that they can operate transformative programming alongside their business. They may see the opportunity to generate contributed revenue as a “bonus.” Rarely do founders launch social enterprises because they believe that fundraising itself has as much intrinsic value as other activities in the business plan. Instead, fundraising is seen as a side gig, a temporary activity that will occur on the margins until the enterprises generate enough revenue to sustain the ecosystem.
We have designed the following pages to support ESEs in centering your fundraising activities as intrinsically valuable within your business model. You will witness our desire to build out your fundraising infrastructure and strategy, rather than hide it as a symptom of a less-than-optimal earned revenue strategy. Why?
Fundraising allows you to build a movement around your organization. The act of giving generously can be transformational to individuals and institutions. Fundraisers alone have the power to build generosity within our culture. The degree of generosity in a community is arguably correlated to that community’s ability to thrive.
All Fundraising Resources
This session builds on the Government Funding & ESEs 101 session by going deeper into the impacts (both positive and negative) government funding can have on an ESE’s business model and impact goals. This session was part of the Fall 2023 Raising Capital & Increasing Revenue CE Week.
In this workshop we'll evaluate the effectiveness of current proposals and discuss the key features of effective proposals. We will also hear from ESEs who are working to strengthen their proposal writing. This session was part of the Fall 2023 Raising Capital & Increasing Revenue CE Week.
In this session we will discuss the different types of government funding available to ESEs from federal, state, and local government agencies, and options for pursuing these funding resources. We will also hear from a REDF Community ESE about their experience seeking and executing government contracts. This session was part of the Fall 2023 Raising Capital & Increasing Revenue CE Week.
REDF has compiled a list of ideal components of a website. Take a look and check off what you already have on your website. For components that you don't have yet, use the two last pages of this document to note what's missing and start an implementation plan
It has become increasingly important that we be able to understand not simply that a program is a “good cause,” but rather that its social returns argue for increasing our investments in their work.
The strategic purpose of corporate sponsorship fundraising is to activate corporate responsibility through meaningful value propositions. Corporate Sponsorship is a common choice for ESEs as the business will already have corporate partners.
The strategic purpose of grant fundraising is to activate institutional generosity. Grants are a common choice for ESEs as workforce development is a priority of many grantmakers.
With such widespread use and increasing impact on consumption habits, leveraging social media platforms should be a component of your social enterprise’s marketing efforts.
Devising an external communications plan that aligns with your organizational goals will help you reach your target audiences where they are, present them with information that resonates, and move them to take action.
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, or you’ve been in business for one year or several decades, having a strong brand creates credibility, distinguishes you from your competition, builds trust, and helps your customers remember you.