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
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.
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.
The strategic purpose of major gifts is to activate generosity through personal, high-touch donor relationships.
The strategic purpose of event fundraising is to activate generosity through curated experiences.
The strategic purpose of annual giving is to activate generosity through compelling content. Annual giving is probably the most common strategy in fundraising.
Your social enterprise’s website is an integral part of running your business and a key marketing asset.
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.
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.
There are five broad strategies in fundraising and, depending on the organization, one or all five of these strategies can be chosen.
The following overview offers guidance on the types of messages that convert audiences and customers into lifelong donors.