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How can charities become “investment-ready”? On today’s podcast, Narinder, Managing Partner at Marigold Capital, shares with us what impact investors, grantors, and other funders, are looking for when choosing charity partners, and how charities can assess whether an investor or funder is the right fit for them.
Myths that Narinder wants us to walk away
We have to fit a program into funders’ objectives. If you are tweaking a program so much to fit funders’ objectives to the extent that it does not align with your organization's mission and vision anymore, you have to pause and ask yourself what is the long term value that this funding will bring to your organization.
Never say no to money. It takes courage for the leaders of a nonprofit to assess any given funding is aligned with their mission and vision. Be very clear of what your vision is. If there is no alignment, it is ok to walk away.
Narinder’s tips on becoming investment ready:
Do your research on similar charities in the space and highlight your unique value proposition. Your understanding on who else is doing similar work as your charity and rationale for why your organization’s work is different, unique or needed will show to the funders that you have a deep understanding of the space you’re in and what your organization’s role in the space is.
Celebrate your leadership team’s lived experience. More and more, funders and impact investors are just valuing the leadership team’s professional experience. They also assess the lived experience of the board and staff to get a sense of their potential community expertise and perspective.
Have a clear vision on how the investment will fit into your strategy, not the other way around. Constantly inventing programs to fit a funding requirement not going to work. Impact investors care about the sustainability of your organization’s business model. They would be less likely to invest in your organization if they don’t see themselves adding value to your work in the long term.
Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
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“Asking a simple question of who else is doing what you're doing and how is your approach different sometimes is the most revealing. If what your organization is doing is unique that no one is coming close to what you're doing, but you don't have a sense of your neighbor who's doing a similar program, that tells me a lot about the actual work that you're engaging in and potentially the why.”
“As a funder, I most appreciate when the executive directors say - this is my strategy, and this is your funding bucket and this is how it fits into my strategy that I've already defined. That way you're not unintentionally getting into mission drift and find yourself creating many different programs that may or may not drive value for the organization.”
Resources from this Episode