Survey Shows a “Dramatic Decline” in Fundraising Due to Global Pandemic

By Adriaan Brits Friday, June 19, 2020

According to Jeff Martin, Senior Director as EAB, front-line fundraisers are reported to be “...having trouble getting new prospects to take meetings. They’re having trouble opening up the conversation about giving with people who they don’t have established relationships with.” While this study focuses primarily on university fundraising, the same decline can be seen in the business world.

For a business in its startup stage, fundraising campaigns are like the chicken and the egg: entrepreneurs require investor money for their production and to get customers in return, but they also need the built-up product and customers to get investor money.

Some entrepreneurs make common mistakes while asking for investments and may sometimes have incorrect assumptions about doing so. This guide aims to address those misconceptions and help confused entrepreneurs have successful fundraising campaigns for their business.

3D declining graph.

Make a Deck for Your Fundraising

A "deck" is a detailed written document with primary information about your startup that you send to the investor. The deck has the answers to all the basic questions: 

  • Who are you? 
  • What team do you have? 
  • What is the problem you will work on? 
  • How are you going to solve that problem? 
  • Is there any technical aspect? 
  • What size of the market are you will work on? 
  • What is the strategy to penetrate and compete in the market? 
  • What is the required duration?

Some startups think they don’t need a deck because their product is good enough. Others may believe that the investor should trust the startups verbally and not require a deck. Some hesitate to send the deck initially before meeting with the investor and send it after the meeting. These are all critical mistakes.

The investors may not need you, but you probably need them. Because of this, you need to follow the investor’s rules, and the first one is sending the deck to the investor. Your deck will give investors the ability to decide whether or not they want to continue the conversation.

Don’t waste your time thinking of making a deck or not, and start searching for an expert copywriter or designer to get a productive deck.

Avoid sending cold emails

People experienced in fundraising or investing will tell you that you don’t need a cold email to attract investors. As a tactic, it is not effective and is of no use in involving the investor with your startup idea. 

Instead, it’s better to meet an investor through a friend or any portfolio CEO. You can get help through LinkedIn and similar networks to know who can help you to get such an introduction. Finding a mutual contact that can introduce you to an investor allows you to have a warm introduction that is enough to direct the investor’s attention toward your startup.

Research Potential Investors Thoroughly

Choosing a relevant and potential investor is necessary before asking the investor for fundraising. For this, you need to know the earlier investments of the investor. Do they invest in startups like yours? Do they invest at the startup stage? Do they have an investment in your direct competitors?

For this step, just checking the website of the investor will not work. Do some deeper research to get the details of their recent investments, and talk to previous CEOs and previous investees.

Determine the Best Time to Raise Capital

Raising capital is like giving oxygen to your business when it needs it the most. Raising capital at the wrong time is one of the huge mistakes. The earlier you ask for fundraising, the more you lose the authority with your potential investors. Make sure that you have a clear vision for your startup, as well as a solid fundraising plan.

Communicate Your Idea Simply

As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Avoid superlatives or industry buzzwords in the hope of looking smart. Deliver your idea in a transparent, simple, and focused way. Acknowledge any potential challenges as well as how you will overcome them. 

Fundraising is a mandatory startup element, so work on the things that will work out best for your business, save your time, and save your money. For further research, we recommend checking out the book Grantwriting, Fundraising, and Partnerships: Strategies That Work!

About the Author

Headshot for author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

Related Articles