New World Foundation is pioneering an effort to seek alternatives sources of income for community based social justice organizations. By testing different fundraising methods and spearheading national initiatives to raise funds by alternative means, New World hopes to be able to help community groups across America become more sustainable.
Foundation and donor support is hard to come by for community based social justice organizations (although this is where they traditionally draw 80-90% of their funds). Their leaders are adept at doing very much with little money, but in order to achieve stability and growth, they need to devise independent fundraising strategies, and perhaps even look to quasi-commercial ventures to explore new revenue streams.
New World’s Resource Lab aims to help community organizations develop new means of funding themselves beyond a small number of local supporters. Bake sales and events are tried and tested methods of local fundraising, but we are looking for innovative ways to provide higher returns on fundraising efforts.
The Resource Lab is a source of grantmaking funds, of capital for investment in creating new sources of funds, a technical assistance provider, and the the nexus of strategic nonprofit and for profit partnerships.
Some of the ideas we are exploring are:
- Profit-sharing arrangements with online retailers, that could help generate new sources of revenue over the internet.
- Collaborations with credit unions, credit card providers, mobile phone operators, and remittances systems, are untapped sources of income for the sector.
- Using foundation assets to secure mortgages, that can help secure overhead costs, and in some cases create rental income to offset budget demands.
- Reaching out to local college campuses, and particularly to two-year colleges, so organizations can leverage support from students and alumni.
- Increasing the visibility of community organizations in local and national media, so it will be easier for them to fundraise from individual donors and foundations.
Among other things we aim to provide:
- A Micro-lending Fund, which will make small unsecured loans and mini-grants to groups to help fuel new fundraising schemes.
- A Small Grants Fund to allow local organizations and intermediaries to follow through on their own projects or develop projects initiated through the Resource Lab.
New World expects over time to be at the center of a growing network of partners. The Resource Lab is a leap beyond socially responsible investing and philanthropic grantmaking. It provides an important next step in helping to consolidate and expand an organizing sector that is crucial to the creation of a new progressive majority in the United States.
For more information, contact Noah Bernstein.
Ideas for Developing Financial Resources
In this short video, we introduce a new report commissioned by the Resource Lab, "Ideas for Developing Financial Resources".