Fundraising for Your Innovation a Peer to Peer Master Class with Adway Gopakumar

March 26, 2021 | The Hatchery | Ben Garrett

Fundraising: it is one of the most mysterious and intimidating aspects of any kind of innovation work. Whether you are trying to ask individual donors for contributions to support your work or making a case to institutional investors, few things can bring on stage fright like making the ask. Given these hurdles, The Hatchery was thrilled to be joined by Adway Gopakumar (23BS) as he shared from his experience raising funds for Liberation Through Education, the nonprofit he founded to help address educational disparities in India. Having scaled to 4 countries, Adway has had to learn on the fly how to secure the necessary funds to sustain and grow the work of LTE.

He shared a good deal of his wisdom at this week's Peer to Peer Master Class, powered by The Hatchery, Emory Center for Innovation. One of the counter-intuitive points Adway made was the incredible usefulness of email. Using a simple listserv (see how to build one in Outlook here), fundraisers can quickly reach out to dozens of potential funders with personalized, low-pressure asks and achieve traction relatively quickly. Adway also gave practical tips on how to best leverage social media to amplify your project's message. He encouraged using combinations of bright imagery with key facts around an initiative. A crucial point was the importance of knowing your why, what is the thing about this initiative that really matters to you. This will help you through the ups and downs of fundraising, but will also help you identify partners by matching your why to their why.

Adway was generous with his experience and shared plenty of practical pointers like those above. If you missed the presentation you can view a recording here. To see upcoming Hatchery programs, subscribe to their newsletter.   

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