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Reprinted from startupweekend.org. See original post here.
By Lior Levin
Many people find it attractive to start projects that work toward the good of the less fortunate. Social good enterprises raise money to help others, and you can become involved with your own efforts to build and fund an enterprise. Here are 5 things you can do in order to be more effective in your efforts:
1. Start with Your Passions
When starting a social good enterprise, you need to look for something that interests you. Find a cause that resonates with you and your values. You want to be able to bring your passion to your work. Otherwise, you might not be able to keep things moving. Any start up requires hard work, long days and even longer nights. If you aren’t involved with something that you are interested in, chances are that you won’t stick with it, and it will peter out.
Plus, your enthusiasm is obvious when you are involved with something you are passionate about. If you want to raise funds for your social good enterprise, you need to be emotionally invested. Donors can sense your dedication, and they’ll be more willing to give.
2. Start Small
Don’t expect to bring in $1 million over the course of a single weekend. Think about what you can accomplish now, and build on that. Ask for small donations to accomplish one small task. Even if it’s asking for $10 from your friends and family to help you put together hygiene kits, that small action can get you started in your enterprise. As you accomplish the small tasks, you will find yourself able to raise more money, and your visible efforts will bring in more donations from others so that you can start accomplishing loftier goals.
3. Define Your Purpose
Your social good enterprise should be identifiable. There should be a purpose to your efforts. Figure out what you want to accomplish, and then articulate it to others. Your efforts should focus on that purpose. Don’t just brand yourself as a “non-profit” organization. Instead, use active language to define your purpose, and to help guide your actions. Not only will your purpose keep you on track, but it will also let others see what you are doing. Being able to clearly define what you do will encourage others to donate, and will aid in fundraising efforts.
4. Be Involved in Your Community
Don’t forget to be involved in your community. You can raise grassroots support in your local community, as well as provide help to others in your community. Starting with a solid base is important, and it will help you meet others. People are interested in donating their time and their money to social good enterprises when they can see the effects. Show some effect in your community first, and then branch out to other geographic areas.
5. Leverage Your Networks
One of the best ways to get the word out about your social good enterprise is to leverage your networks. Use Facebook, Twitter and other online social media to make connections and spread the word. You can also use your offline networks as well. Look for ways to involve your networks in fundraising, and you see things start to take off and snow ball. The power of networking can also put you in touch with advisers and others who can help your effort succeed.
If you want to do good by starting an enterprise designed to help people, you have to start small and leverage your network. It’s hard work, but if you focus on something that’s important to you, define your purpose and recognize that you will have better success if you start small, you will find yourself growing at a fine pace and doing a great deal of good.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a css company and, who also consults for a company that provides to do list applications for businesses and individuals.
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