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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 11 to 20 of 21 posts
11 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Brand Strategy Overview

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. 
4 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Marketing Assets Overview

Investing in the development of a few strong, core marketing assets will ultimately save you and your team time as you connect with new audiences, as well as deliver a strong, reputable first impression of your business. 
11 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Manage a Social Enterprise

Development Infrastructure Overview

Development operations or development infrastructure are the systems and practices that function behind the scenes on a fundraising team. They are things like clarifying your team’s division of labor, prospect research, gift processing, gift acknowledgment, and data administration. 
19 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Grow a Social Enterprise

Major Gifts Overview

The strategic purpose of major gifts is to activate generosity through personal, high-touch donor relationships. 
8 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Grow a Social Enterprise

Event Fundraising Overview

The strategic purpose of event fundraising is to activate generosity through curated experiences.
14 minutes | Raising Capital & Fundraising | Grow a Social Enterprise

Annual Giving Overview

The strategic purpose of annual giving is to activate generosity through compelling content. Annual giving is probably the most common strategy in fundraising.
9 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Website Overview

Your social enterprise’s website is an integral part of running your business and a key marketing asset.
7 minutes | Marketing | Manage a Social Enterprise

Storytelling Overview

Storytelling is one of your social enterprise’s most powerful marketing tools. Sharing the stories of your employees and leadership, as well as your business’ impact on the world, creates an emotional connection to your work - and sets you apart from your competitors.
41 minutes | Business Planning | Grow a Social Enterprise

Employment Social Enterprise Glossary

This is a helpful resource for those seeking to better understand the terminology and concepts related to Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs) and the broader field of social entrepreneurship.