Donor Investments

Investor Update

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One of the great rewards that comes with investing in a Kickstarter project is that the updates from the project mangers are frequent, creative, meaningful, and typically deliver clarity about the impact of my investment.  I think this model provides a template for many social sector organizations.  I am often struck that a $50 investment in Kickstarter project provides me with a behind the scenes looks as the projects develops.  It is not always pretty but you see inventors and creators sharing their journey.  Compare this to a $500 contribution to a nonprofit that may get me a form letter recognizing my donation and perhaps mention in the annual report.  Which one do you think a philanthropically minded investor is most likely to recall when it comes time to reinvest?

Bringing the Outside In

Larry Johnson of M.E. Grace & Associates was a presenter at the ClearRock Capital Conference I attended as a panelist yesterday.  He shared an advertisement that ran in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal showing USC (University of Southern California) had raised $100 million in contributions from non-USC alumni.  This was the outcome of a strategic initiative put into place years ago to share the success of the university with those who might be compelled to invest, regardless of their personal ties to the school.  Do you understand the motivations of those in your donor universe?  Are you thinking as far-a-field as USC (i.e. non-alumni)?  Are there members beyond your community or region from whom your enterprise might be a very compelling investment opportunity?