Thursday, July 05, 2007

Madonna and the Angels

Paul Graham has done it again with his "Hacker's Guide to Investors"

For the social entrepreneurs out there, here is a hint on decoding the essay and making it into the "Social Entrepreneurs Guide to New Donors." When you read "angels", think of the new generation of donors you are trying to attract to fund your organization. When you read "VC" think about more traditional foundations. When you read "Investor", think "Donor."

If a picture helps you process, think about what Burton Snowboards and JDK did to Madonna's Sex book (look at page 26). Just print out Mr. Graham's essay, cross out the incorrect term and replace it from the key above. What we call a "heuristic device."

There, in just a few pages, you have learned more about fundraising than you could have imagined. And, if you followed the "Sex" link, more about Madonna and her "snowboard" than you ever wanted to know.

Quiz: who is going to be a better source of funding for your social enterprise? The angel investor who you meet at the local Habitat build or Nature Conservancy meeting, or those new style Social VC funds that are starting to hang out at the Skoll and SVN conferences.

Hint: Madonna is not the correct answer. Pay attention.

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