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Raising Capital & Fundraising

Many founders launch social enterprises 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 raising capital itself has as much intrinsic value as other activities in the business plan. Instead, raising capital 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 capital-raising 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?

Raising capital 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 a thriving community.

We recognize that each ESE will have a different approach to raising capital. Some may be fundraising through grant writing or inviting major donors to give philanthropic gifts. Some may be seeking impact investors or other types of competitive financing. Some may be contracting with government agencies to provide employment services. Across all of these activities we see a common denominator–someone on your team makes an ask. It is within these proposals, pitches, applications, or appeal letters that your team does the work of raising capital. We have designed the resources in this section to support both the art and science required.

All Fundraising Resources

Showing 1 to 10 of 22 posts
Growth Planning | Grow a Social Enterprise

Continuing Education Series: Fundraising Strategy

This session is designed to equip you to evaluate the viability of each strategy as if you were your own consultant: grants, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, events, and annual giving. You will consider each strategy through a matrix that ranks: sustainability, return on investment, return horizon, scalability, and needed infrastructure.
Business Planning | Manage a Social Enterprise

Continuing Education Series: Raising Capital Through Mission-Aligned Loans

If you're exploring financing options, or considering debt, this session will equip you with the knowledge to make strategic decisions about how to finance cash flow and working capital needs. This session was part of the Fall 2023 Raising Capital & Increasing Revenue CE Week.
Business Planning | Manage a Social Enterprise

Continuing Education Series: Crafting a Winning Proposal

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.
Business Planning | Manage a Social Enterprise

Continuing Education Series: Government Funding & ESEs 101 | Getting to Know Each Other

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.
7 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Website Checklist

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
5 minutes | Employee Success Program | Grow a Social Enterprise

Social Return on Investment (SROI) Analysis

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.
10 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Grow a Social Enterprise

Corporate Sponsorship Overview

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.
11 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Grow a Social Enterprise

Grants Overview

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.
11 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Social Media Overview

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. 
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