6 Rules For Reaching Out To Funders. One Size Does Not Fit All

Written by Dana Sanchez

When it comes to raising funds for a social-impact startup, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

The co-founder of Fast Forward, Shannon Farley invests in entrepreneurs who are using technology to accelerate social impact. Her advice to founders of social change startups?

“You should be reaching out to enough people to hear at least one ‘no’ every single day,” she said.

That approach didn’t work for Morgan DeBaun, CEO and founder of Blavity. Debaun found that the most productive connections for her and the people she met were those that had been facilitated by advocates in her network.

“I don’t believe in the scale game of 500 cold emails and meetings,” DeBaun told New Media Ventures. “For me as a black female founder, that’s a waste of my time. I need people to opt in before they even meet me. That’s my reality.”

Monique Woodard, former Venture Partner at 500 Startups, recommends yet another approach: invest time in developing a deep relationship with two or three funders you think are a really good fit, and cast your net as wide (but well-targeted) as possible for other connections.

New Media Ventures, a seed fund and network of angel investors supporting media and tech startups, put together an infographic with some rules for building relationships with early funders.

New Media’s mission is to find, support, and finance organizations that are telling new stories, building advocacy movements, and catalyzing civic engagement. It seeks to invest in startups that disrupt politics and catalyze progressive change.

Funders and founders interviewed for this article include Debaun, Woodard, Farley, Josh Stearns (Associate Director of the Public Square Program at The Democracy Fund), Morgan Simon (Managing Director of Candide Group), Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman (Founder of SumOfUs.org) and Jennifer Brandel (CEO and Founder of Hearken).

funders
Infographic source: New Media Ventures

Read more here: 6 Rules For Reaching Out To Funders.

This infographic is reposted here with the permission of New Media Ventures.

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About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubail Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.