Nonprofit Fundraising: Venture Philanthropy

Venture philanthropy institutions are less averse to risks than typical foundations. This can give nonprofits more freedom to be open about their challenges and test whether or not their model is working. Having a venture philanthropist as a funder typically requires a heavy time investment including frequent calls, intensive support, and questioning. Be sure this is what they’re looking for. You should have criteria to determine which grants are right for you. How much time do you want to invest? Do you want a one time grant or a partnership? Venture philanthropy is not simply transactional funding.

Sometimes referred to as social entrepreneurialism, philanthropists may choose to provide start-up capital and loans to organizations that provide a social service and kick back revenue to pay for the investment. They usually have a mission focus. They then often use the investment payback to fund more projects in the community and are often non-profits themselves.

Tipping Point is one example of this type of investment. Since 2005, Tipping Point has raised more than $150 million to educate, employ, house and support those in need in the Bay Area. Last year alone, we helped put 23,000 people on a path out of poverty.

Source: Lessons from Funders

10 Random, but Interesting Stats About Online Donors Worldwide

1. The top three causes supported by liberal-leaning online donors are human and civil rights, animals, and children and youth.

2. The top three causes supported by conservative-leaning online donors are religious services and faith, children and youth, and human services.

3. Online donors are predominately inspired to give by social media and email.

4. Of those inspired to give by social media, Facebook triggers 4X as many online donations as Twitter and 7X as many online donations as Instagram.

5. 60% of online donors donate more money during religious holidays.

6. 47% of online donors donate to nonprofits, charities, and NGOs based outside of their country of origin.

7. 62% of online donors have also volunteered at a nonprofit, charity, or NGO within the last 12 months.

8. Online donors are primarily motivated to give by empathy and altruism. Fear and anxiety have the least impact on online donors.

9. The .org, .edu, and .ngo domains are the most trusted by online donors. The .net and .com domains are the least trusted domains.

10. 73% are of online donors worldwide are female.

The inaugural edition of the Global Trends in Giving Report will be released on September 4, 2017. The report is the only annual research project dedicated to studying how and why donors worldwide give to their favorite causes and charitable organizations.

Facebook fundraising for 501 (c)(3) organizations

This post clearly outlines how to use the Facebook fundraising page that is available; it does require that you are a 501 (c) (3) and uses GuideStar’s listing as confirmation. It also offers the chance for your donors to opt in to your email list and allow your supporters to fundraise on the market’s behalf.  For some markets, this feature may be the answer to their fundraising needs for now.

As is mentioned in the post, the key to this is to make sure that your GuideStar page is up to date.

Facebook’s New Fundraising Tools

Local currency helps communities decide “Who tells your story”

This story is from one of my mentor think tanks,  the Schumacher Center for a New Economics on their community’s robust currency system:

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced a plan to redesign the $5, $10, and $20 to be more inclusive. Too bad we have to wait until 2020 to start spending money that reflects the diversity of our country… or do we? Residents of the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts can already walk around with a diverse history of their region in their pockets – the local currency BerkShares celebrate some of the most important figures associated with the area.

One fan of BerkShares was inspired by the opening song from Hamilton to write his own introduction, in verse, for the woman that we celebrate on the 10! Thanks to Scott Grimm-Lyon for sharing his version of the story of Robyn Van En:

The ten BerkShare female farmer with just a prayer,
saw land controlled by the millionaire,
considered the general welfare,
knew food should not be grown elsewhere,
went into the town square,
preached against local laissez-faire,
and started the world’s first farm share.

Source: Local currency helps communities decide “Who tells your story”

Market Metrics: Measuring and Communicating the Health Impacts of Farmers Markets

Show some support to Farmers Market Coalition and this necessary project:

America’s 8,000 farmers markets are bringing huge health benefits to their communities, often with little cost, structure, or support. Collecting accurate data on these grassroots organizations is imperative if we’re to maximize their impacts.

News Challenge

Ben and Jerry’s Foundation accepting new applicants for their Social Change Program

Another great foundation to work your magic on, folks….
Purpose: The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports non-profit grassroots, constituent-led organizations across the country that are using direct action, grassroots community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. We consider proposals that are aligned with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Although we appreciate the value of direct service programs in meeting individual and family needs, we do not fund such programs.

Process: The process starts with the Letter of Interest (LOI). We fund organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less. Grant awards are up to $20,000 for a one-year period.

We have three funding cycles per year: two for new applicants and one for Renewals.

The next deadline for new applicants is September 13th, 2013 for consideration in our 1st Quarter 2014 grant cycle.

What We Do | Ben and Jerry's Foundation.

How to Win Grants from Private Foundations


  • 2:00 pm EST
  • DURATION: 60 minutes


As governments cut back and donors get more selective, more and more nonprofits are turning to private foundations for support.

But attracting private foundation money is very different than seeking corporate aid or federal and state grants.

To learn how you can stand out from the competition and understand what foundations are seeking, join The Chronicle of Philanthropy for a Webinar that features insights from a veteran program officer who has reviewed thousands of proposals over the last decade. Tobi Printz-Platnick of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation will offer practical advice for increasing your odds of success, shed light on how foundations make their decisions, and show you how to talk about your organization’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.

You’ll also hear from a fundraising consultant and author, John Hicks, who will explain how to build strong ties to program officers, demonstrate that your work aligns with a foundation’s mission, and set your organization apart from the competition.

What Will You Learn?
  • Tips for ensuring you give foundations the information they want.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for your next grant proposal
  • Strategies for improving your odds of winning support
Who Should Attend?
  • Grant-proposal writers
  • Chief development officers, development directors, and fundraisers
  • Executive directors and board members

Tobi  Printz-Platnick

Program Officer

Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

John  Hicks


J.C. Geever, Inc.