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Building Social Capital: A Call for Action

Many failed enterprises and organizations will attest that, more than anything else, the inability to raise funds is what spells certain doom, even for the worthiest of causes. And so, while many of us would like to believe that money does not make the world go 'round, in reality, it does.

This was what compelled me to make the switch in my marketing practice, leaving the corporate world to focus on helping nonprofit agencies and social entrepreneurs. And over time, I have discovered that many tools honed in the private sector offer real value to changemakers, especially for purposes of fundraising.

An interesting fact: a recent study in the US revealed that, although most jobs in large nonprofits and charities are held by women, leadership positions tend to be cornered by men. The figures for the fundraising field are even more dismal. (See articles at http://goo.gl/vFW3 and http://goo.gl/knMk.)

Exchanging Best Practices: Women in Fundraising
Meanwhile, a quick look at the PulseWire Resource Exchange proves that there is no shortage of funding needs or offers in women-led organizations. Perhaps, there is space for specialists that could help bridge certain gaps between funders and fundraisers. If so, will it not be useful to develop a “training the trainers” online program to help create a new breed of changemakers focused solely on fundraising?

I will be more than happy to contribute in such an endeavor and, surely, many experts in PulseWire and other organizations will be willing to share their know-how through videos, Webinars, podcasts, or similar facilities. In fact, this year’s SOCAP10 event (San Francisco, October 4-6) showcased the accomplishments of women leaders in the fundraising field like Emily Bolton (Social Finance), Justina Lai (The Rockefeller Foundation), Nora Sobolov (Community Forward Fund), Kim Scheinberg (Presumed Abundance), Monica Brand (ACCION), and Gwen Edwards (Golden Seeds).

Philanthropy 2.0: Matching Funders and Fundraisers through Technology
Equally exciting is the rise of micro fundraising solutions that leverage Web 2.0 tools, in order to establish social capital markets at the community level. Such emerging technologies help bring donors closer to their target beneficiaries.

Kiva.org is one such site, whose mission is “to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty”. Facebook Causes, a module in the world’s most popular social networking site, is another online platform used to raise funds for pet advocacies.

Twitter also lists a wide range of promising technology-driven solutions for micro fundraising: @MissionMarkets promotes a “private investment exchange” for social and environmental organizations; @SlowMoney connects investors, donors, and farmers in order to establish “local food economies”; @tippingbucket advocates for “micro-crowdfunding for great ideas”; @MicroPlace works to address poverty by “enabling everyday people to make investments in the world’s working poor”; Froggy Fundraising (@Froggyfr) markets green products for fundraising.

It is high time for more women to get involved in fundraising. Empower and be empowered!

Comments

everlyrose's picture

Empowering

You have a trunk load of wonderful ideas, so many women in World Pulse will definitely use this information to further their cause.

Take care

everly

Solvitur ambulando
(it is solved by walking)

aarsenal's picture

RE: Empowering

Hi, Everly! Thanks for commenting on my post. I intend to populate my journal with some resources and advice about fundraising and so, I do hope other PulseWire readers will find them useful. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

olutosin's picture

Thanks so much for this!

We need the knowledge in order to go far, we are incapacitated by cash constraints, many laudable projects adn dream die because of finances, i will appreciate if there if something is done in this regard here, yes we can do it, may be create a classroom for it and we learn. Online resources is another thing, I have some resources online and you can just send some more and work on that with everyone interested.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

aarsenal's picture

RE: Thanks so much for this!

Hi, Olutosin! Thanks for your feedback. Indeed, I have come across many organizations that have their heart in the right place and a talented team of people behind their mission but, unfortunately, they are often saddled by financial difficulty. In some cases, especially for smaller agencies, because of stiff competition, grants may not be the ideal way to go; that is where micro fundraising strategies can come in.

I hope to share some of my own experiences and findings from my research regarding fundraising, to help guide other practitioners, nonprofit specialists, and social entrepreneurs in PulseWire. I will keep you posted. Thanks again.

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

Eleush's picture

great essay

I agree, a lot of change must come through use and control of funding, it's the way the world works right now. She who controls the capital! Please keep up the good and important work!

Eleush

aarsenal's picture

RE: great essay

Hi, Eleush! Thanks for your encouraging feedback. You're right; we have to deal with the fact that s/he who holds the purse strings runs the show. Perhaps, by learning more about the fundraising landscape, cause-oriented organizations will be able to leverage their resources better, in order to achieve their objectives. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

jadefrank's picture

brilliant!

Dear Anna,

Thank you for sharing your excellent ideas in connecting women around the world to promote fundraising and support of grassroots projects and women leaders.

I have shared your ideas with the rest of the World Pulse team, and we are noting your ideas and suggestions!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade

aarsenal's picture

RE: brilliant!

Hi, Jade! Thanks for the feedback. If there's anything I can contribute, do let me know. I will be happy to share material about fundraising, do interviews with women experts, and even extend assistance to other PulseWire members with their resource management issues. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

jadefrank's picture

Love it!

Hi Anna,

Thank you for this wonder and generous offer! Fundraising is something that I think all organizations struggle with, especially small grassroots orgs that many women in our community are running and struggling to finance. I'd love to discuss your fantastic idea more in-depth and brainstorm ways to facilitate it on PulseWire. I will be in touch via private message soon!

In gratitude,
Jade

aarsenal's picture

RE: Love it!

Hi Jade! Looking forward to working with you on this. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

frederica Maima David Gibson's picture

Oh yes!

what would the world has been with out women like you? This is awake up call for all off us, who messy up, i learm from this ,and will work on it together with my community girls, thanks a million., Frederica,

Y'ello,
This my new email address freddiegibs@yahoo.com
note that freddygibs is no longer my email address as it was hacked,
Frederica,

aarsenal's picture

RE: Oh yes!

Hi, Frederica, I will share tons of resources about fundraising on Resource Exchange and in my journal. I will keep you posted and hope you will find use for the information. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

frederica Maima David Gibson's picture

Thanks!

Anna, WIll be looking up for your journal, we need it, Good day Frederica,

Y'ello,
This my new email address freddiegibs@yahoo.com
note that freddygibs is no longer my email address as it was hacked,
Frederica,

ck's picture

good ideas

Hi aarsenal,

You have a clear, focused idea of something that needs to happen and a lot of creative ideas for how to do it. Bravo!

Carol

ck

aarsenal's picture

RE: good ideas

Hi, Carol! Thanks for your comment. We do need more women in this field, especially at the community level, and so, I will continue to share fundraising resources to other PulseWire members and contribute in any way I can. Cheers!

Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

cbenkov's picture

You are right

I hate to say it, but you are right, Anna! So much of the struggle is in funding, but this needs to be partnered with strong leaders, strong communities and strong ideas. Money doesn't solve all problems.

Best wishes,
carly

aarsenal's picture

RE: You are right

Thanks so much for this, Carly! A strong organization and all the accompanying elements are indeed essential. Without these, any campaign to build social capital will be futile--a "virtuous cycle", some might call it.

Certainly, many cases will show that throwing money at problems will not necessarily produce a proper solution. We see some giant nonprofits enjoying full donor support but still not fulfilling their mission as well as they should. Meanwhile, there are those smaller agencies that may not have much to spend but strive to be efficient, effective, and accountable. At the end of the day, social solutions are still about PEOPLE, right?

Looking at trends in the fundraising landscape, I believe micro strategies--especially, mobilizing resources from within our own communities, both online and offline--will generate much success for us smaller players. What is your experience?

Cheers!
Anna

_______________________________________________________________________
Life is how you Design it.

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