Guest Blogger's blog

How Equity Crowdfunding Stands to Help Women in Business

By Clark Buckner

Female entrepreneurs face certain obstacles that their male counterparts may never have to consider. For instance, according to Ventureneer Founder and President Geri Stengel, women in business typically “start with about half of the capital” that male entrepreneurs do. In her upcoming report on equity crowdfunding for women in business, Stengel hopes to reverse that trend.

Rewards-Based Crowdfunding vs. Equity Crowdfinding
Stengel notes the differences between the most well-known crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, and equity crowdfunding platforms. Kickstarter is a rewards-based platform where a user typically receives a product or service when they back a project. On the other hand, equity-based crowdfunding platforms, like EarlyShares or AngelList, offer shares of a company, similar to what a person would buy on the stock market. They won’t receive a product or service, but they may receive financial rewards in the long-term.

A Roadmap for Public Equity Crowdfunding
Because of recent changes to Title II of the Jobs Act, companies can now publicly ask for equity funding, which has led to a rise in crowdfunding equity platforms. However, Ventureneer’s research has shown that female entrepreneurs tend to ask for funding privately more often than they do publicly. Stengel’s upcoming report aims to offer these businesswomen a roadmap for how they can effectively use public appeals through social media, email newsletters, and other public marketing strategies to raise more money for their respective companies and entrepreneurial pursuits. Even for smaller companies just starting out, technology solutions like marketing automation make it possible to efficiently connect with large groups of people through these mediums and grow those relationships over time.

Stengel noted that such strategies are “critical in helping you reach out, whether it's email or social media, making it easier for you to do the outreach to the people you already know.” In other words, entrepreneurs should learn how to use the many tools of digital connection at their disposal in order to maximize their potential crowdfunding results.

Vist the “Crowdfunding Report” page at Ventureneer.com to learn more about their forays into crowdfunding, or connect with them on Twitter @ventureneer. Lastly, visit PlumAlley in early January 2015 to support or follow along with Stengel’s crowdfunded report on crowdfunding. 

To hear more about how women in business can best utilize equity crowdfunding, listen to the full TechnologyAdvice interview.

This interview was conducted by Clark Buckner of TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting the buyers and sellers of business technology. Clark hosts the TechnologyAdvice Podcast, and also keeps tabs on news and events in the company’s tech conference calendar. Tweet him a hello or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Overwork, binge working, and when to say "go home"

By Carrie Winans

“It took about 200 years for unions to get us a 40 hour work week and it took smartphones about 5 years to completely take them away” – Bob Sullivan, NBC Nightly News.

What do the United States, Argentina, and Sudan have in common? Surprisingly, it’s overworked employees. With no required time off each week, these nations share a chronic overwork epidemic.

Board Leadership Matters: 2013 reflections

By Michael Daivdson

Several experiences in 2013 stand out as examples of how the personal leadership of board members can result in significant change for the organizations they serve.

Putting it in practice: Enabling diversity in impact investing

By Bonnie Foley-Wong

Have you ever started an investment company, from scratch? That’s exactly what I’m doing and it is challenging, exhilarating, and one of the most purposeful and intentional things I have ever done. I developed and practice Integrated Investing, an impactful approach to investing which starts with integrating information from analysis, emotion, intuition, and body into our investment decisions.  Integrated Investing is what gets me out of bed every morning.  I eat, sleep, and breathe Integrated Investing and I love it.

Investment vs. Expense: How Do You Categorize Your Communications Costs?

By Janet Falk

At a certain small bank dealing exclusively with consumers, opening a new account in the system requires an input: How did you hear about us?

This is a company that calculates its Public Relations, Marketing and Communications dollars as an investment, and not an expense, unlike others.

By tracking the HOW question over time, and in six locations, the bank fine tunes its activity in SEO, media outreach, outdoor advertising and other platforms.

New Year's Resolutions To Make Your Finances Fit for 2014

By Paul Konigstein

A new calendar year, which for many organizations is the start of their fiscal year, is an excellent time to review a number of accounting and financial practices to ensure your organization is ready to handle whatever may come its way over the next 12 months.

Convincing the Nonprofit Board: A For-Profit Adventure

By Jessica Melton

According to a Nonprofit Finance Fund survey, 41 percent of nonprofit organizations ran a deficit in 2012. Many NPOs are turning toward a hybrid business model--adding for-profit ventures--to provide consistent revenue streams. In fact, over 50 percent of NPOs currently operate under a hybrid business model.

Janna Finch, Nonprofit Analyst from Software Advice (a website that compares nonprofit software) wanted to learn more about how to make this transition. Finch offers the following advice; in particular, how to persuade your board of directors to support your for-profit endeavor, including:

How to Use Google+ to Promote Your Nonprofit Organization

By Brittany Klontz

Though it may have taken a little while to find its sea legs, Google+ is now the second largest social networking site in the world. While Facebook and Twitter tend to draw more personal users, Google+ draws a crowd that likes to mix business and pleasure, engaging both with their friends and with their favorite brands. That means one thing for nonprofits looking to promote themselves and grow their organization: Google+ is a must-do.

But where to start on this powerful platform, which differs in so many ways from its predecessors? First, I recommend starting with this excellent G+ resource, which will take you through all of the essentials so you can hit the ground running. Here, too, are our 5 top suggestions for mastering the platform.

Something to Tweet About: how to make social media work for your charity

By: Carlos Miranda, Founder, Social Misfits Media 

Social media is the number one reason we use the internet. More than a quarter of the time you and I spend online is spent on a social media site – this is more than we spend emailing, online shopping, or on anything else. And it's worth noting that social media is not a fad. Individual platforms come and go (when was the last time you logged on to your MySpace page?) but the hyper-connectivity and functionality common to all popular platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) are a fixture of modern life.

Working Boards: Who is governing whom?

By Michael Davidson

The Challenge
Establishing a workable distinction between the governance responsibilities of the board and the management responsibilities of the staff is a continual challenge for every nonprofit organization. 

Resolving this is made additionally complex when there is minimal or no staff; when board members deliver the programs and are at the same time responsible for the policy direction and oversight of the programs. The board members are, in effect, overseeing themselves.



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