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The Blueprint

Why does raising money for nonprofits have to be so complicated? What if reducing complexity built nonprofits’ financial strength—and the whole sector’s impact?

These questions underscore the fact that capital is the fuel that drives the operations and growth of an enterprise, whether structured for profit or social benefit. But the capital markets that serve social enterprises differ from other markets in how they invest, and those differences often undercut the nonprofit sector’s financial strength and resilience.

 

Blueprint for Enterprise Capital describes the challenges that nonprofits face when they seek funding and describes the value of a crucial best practice— providing “enterprise-level capital,” or philanthropic equity—in transforming how nonprofits get and deploy funds. It lays out a product design and program-delivery structure for funders and investors ready to embrace this approach. Finally, it calls for modernizing nonprofit capital markets to recognize enterprise capital as a powerful tool for amplifying philanthropy’s ability to meet the needs of this unprecedented moment.

 

Case studies of four nonprofits showcase these lessons, illustrating nonprofits’ unique capital challenges and successes; demonstrating the impact of enterprise capital for both start-up and growing organizations; and highlighting the costs of not having access to this type of funding.