The end of fundraising; raise more money by selling your impact

publication date: Jan 26, 2012
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
"Here's the good news," writes Jason Saul. "Someone wants to buy what you have." In The End of Fundraising, Saul teaches nonprofits how to capture the impact of day-to-day activities and translate that impact into powerful value propositions that the market can relate to.

According to Saul, to raise funds in today's "enlightened" economy, nonprofits must embrace the fact that social change is a fundamental part of creating economic value. Furthermore, it is imperative that charities use their energy and creativity to forge social outcomes into economic currency.

The rise of the social capital market

You need only reference recent headlines from business journalism found in the Wall Street Journal to see that manifestations of today's social capital market are everywhere. As Saul points out, "what is particularly noteworthy is that it's not just that social issues are more visible, it's that they're more valuable." Because of this, Saul argues that there is greater emphasis on measuring social outcomes.

So what does this mean to the work of the nonprofit sector?  Here is a sampling of Saul's list of "high-level" implications:

1.       It's okay to expect an economic return from doing good.

Donors can use websites like or to make microloans to poor entrepreneurs and get their money back with interest.

2.       Measurement is no longer optional.

Because such a high value is now being placed on solving social problems and on outcomes (not just activities), people actually need to know whether nonprofits are really producing change or just trying to.

3.       Everyone must be a social entrepreneur.

Living off of the table scraps of our economy is becoming increasingly difficult. To survive, nonprofits are going to have to reclaim control of their own fate. The best way to do that is to find ways of advancing the social agenda and create value in the economy.

Jason Saul is the CEO of Mission Measurement, a social impact consulting firm, and serves on the faculty of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Click here to purchase his book, The End of Fundraising.





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