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.