11 Processes For Organizing Your Team’s Fundraising Systems
Fundraising, likes Sales, has more to do with process than persuasion. This is a great secret. The common conception of the fundraiser is the one with the silver tongue, or the one with undeniable metrics. But the measure of a fundraiser is an ability to raise money when it is difficult to articulate the pitch and when metrics are lackluster.
With Invisible Technologies we do the process work for you, so you can focus on talking to as many people as possible — until you find the ones who believe.
Before you fundraise, of course, you set your price and terms. Even if you’re open to a lead investor setting different terms, you at least have a sense for the amount of capital you want to raise, and the use of proceeds. Your S.I. will ask you a set of questions to begin the raise. Based on your answers, we’ll help you prepare materials and begin a parallel legal process to prepare documents, if necessary.
As soon as you start a fundraising process, your S.I. will begin working with you on your pitch. Until you’re delighted by your own words, we’ll encourage you to keep drafting. After every draft, we can even run a feedback process. The more drafts you write, the more directions you explore — the more likely you are to ultimately arrive at a pitch that captures the essential opportunity.
One size does not fit all pitch opportunities. Sometimes you’ll need a one pager. Sometimes you’ll need a paragraph or even a sentence. If you’d like, your S.I. can work with you to adapt your pitch to any number of length formats.
Whereas a pitch captures the essential opportunity, the executive summary outlines every aspect of the business, so that an investor can comprehend all of its fundamentals. Your S.I. will suggest various section headers, and work with you through various drafts until you arrive at something you’re proud of sharing.
Demos require coordination. You’ve usually got to bring together assets from designers, engineers and sometimes even photographers or videographers into a final package. If you want to hire a producer, that can be arranged. If you want to produce it yourself, your S.I. can help you focus, project manage across one or more sprints, and bring the assets and the people together when necessary.
Dogs bark. Investors ask for decks. Your S.I. will help you repackage your pitch, summary and demo into a deck that brings it all together into slide by slide format. Your S.I. will suggest a standard presentation order, and help you iterate, get feedback, upgrade and distribute your deck.
6. Due Diligence
Fundraising relies on a number of integrations with processes from other capabilities. The more organized your contacts and the more robust your scheduling, for example, the easier it will be for you to draft a template and send a blast to solicit help from relationships you have already built.
Access is important. Once you identify prospects outside your network, you need warm intros to them.
So is marketing. In addition to your pitch, summary and deck — your website and other materials will help you tell the story.
Every investor wants to see metrics and testimonials. For the right investor, your vision, mission and other narratives are also important, as is your decisionmaking framework, strategy and update trajectory.
Your S.I. can bring these all together for you into due diligence package. At a word from you, we’ll just send over a link to a folder — with everything they could possibly want to see. Even the most veteran investor cannot help but be deeply impressed.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
When an investor asks a question you’ve never answered before, they’ve given you a weapon. Normally you’d never take the time to capture your response and turn it into an FAQ asset. But we can do the work.
Who do you know, that knows someone that you need to know? Until you know everyone you need to know, your prospecting job is not done yet. Let your S.I. do the hundreds of hours of legwork necessary to pull from Google, LinkedIn, AngelList, Crunchbase and other databases; identifying targets based on a set of criteria defined by you. Once you’ve got the names, ask for intros.
Every prospect should be tracked from outreach through to closing. This takes hours, but without it — you have no idea who you’re supposed to be talking to, when; or even how promising your conversion rate is. We’re good at funnels, and can keep it simple or build something extremely robust, depending on what you need.
Taking notes in meetings and following up on time? Have an AngelList profile you want to keep up to date? Reaching out to journalists to publicize your round? Need to consult a fundraising expert? Want to hire an M&A firm to sell your company? Looking to build an advisory relationship with a leading scientist, to bolster your credibility?
There are unlimited ways to improve your fundraising position. Standing by to build processes at your command, the only real limit is the scale of your ambition.