The Future of Funding


The plight of many groups, both for profit and non, is funding. How is money acquired, who is it acquired from and what do they have to do to keep it? I’m not very well versed here so I can’t really elaborate, but I do get the sense that organizations are looking for new ways to raise capital. Here are some of the models some groups are considering. Given the current state of the economy, multiple strategies seem like winning methods of fundraising going forward.

1) Stock Donations or Social Investment

As described in this post from, adopting for-profit business tactics could be an asset. One gain is the potential to raise large amounts of capital in exchange for investment returns.There are now conferences like Social Capital Markets in (Sept 1-3, 2009 in San Francisco) dedicated to promoting this general philosophy.

2) Online Donations

Of course, the biggest emerging trend in fundraising is through online platforms. Here’s an interesting take on the donation concept from the Wall Street Journal:

Networks such as and offer electronic gift cards you can give as presents. Recipients can go online to donate the money in the cards to charities of their choice; more than 1.5 million local, national and international groups accept the cards. (The cards carry a setup fee, between $5 and $10.)

3) Charitable Funds

Already, well in practice, the practice of building up a fund that is allotted later has been common practice for years. I suppose a platform that enabled groups of individuals to do the same will eventually emerge, if it hasn’t already.

4) Gifting

Whether it’s carbon credits, tickets to the theatre, computers or trips. Philanthropic individuals might willingly donate things that aren’t necessarily tax deductible to nonprofit groups that need them. The beneficiary organizations themselves could use the items or to raise money through auctions or as prizes in contests.

5) Business Development and Incubation

Companies like Good Capital have adopted the method of not just making investments, but by also providing ‘human capital’ who help organizations flesh out strategies for success in a very hands-on way. In other words they take the venture capitalists approach to social investments.

I’m probably missing a lot here, any Research teams or NGOs want to offer some insight?

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About the author: Jonathan Gosier is a UI designer, software developer and writer. He currently lives in Kampala, Uganda where he incubates and invests in East African entrepreneurs as the CEO of Appfrica Labs. He's also a TED Fellow.
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