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K.I.S.S.: Raising Money Made Simple

Updated on June 15, 2010

Getting Started Raising Money

Though it will make a big difference whether you're a proft seeking venture or a charitable, nonprofit organization in time, the basics of raising money apply both to for profit and nonprofit ventures.

For example, either way, you need a solid list of prospects, the right message to communicate and a well organized, but flexible plan for approaching your prospects and bringing in investments.

I use the word investments, and I think it's the right word regardless of whether you are rasing money for profit or for a charitable purpose.  For a nonprofit, part of the message you should strive to communicate is that anyone giving to your mission is making an investment in something they can believe in. 

The return on that investment is different than it is a profit based company, but there are a variety of ways of measuring the return, and the payoff should ultimately mean as much or more to the investor than the appreciation in stock prices s/he may gain in a for profit investment. 

And let's be honest - donors like to be treated like investors.  They know they are giving their money away and won't see the money again, but they like it when the charities they support, give them a nice annual report, show their appreciation for gifts, and actually take the time to write, call and visit the people who give to them. 

Truly, this is red carpet treatment, compared to most for profit situations.  But in a for profit company, a good manager will always take the time to visit and keep the most important investors up-to-date on progress toward goals. 

Thinking in terms of investment is critical.  So are the specific items I listed:  your list of prospects, message and plan of attack. 

We've taken a brief look at how a nonproft can benefit from employing a for profit mindset, but are there also ways a for profit venture will benefit from borrowing any of the best practices of a well-managed nonprofit operation? 

Our next edition delves into this question with what might be some surprising answers.  Check back soon to see what we've learned and want to share with you in helping you succeed in raising the money you need to make your business succeed.




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