Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Seed Funding Solution for Social Ventures

Springboard Innovation, a Portland, Oregon, nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the number of individuals involved in leading and supporting social change, has introduced an innovative social capital marketplace called the changeXchange. This program seeks to provide a solution to the biggest problem facing social entrepreneurs: the acquisition of seed funding. I can attest to how challenging it is to find the initial resources for faith venture start-ups.

The changeXchange web site provides a platform for interested donors to explore different social venture start-ups grouped around affinities like economic stability, improved housing, and vibrant neighborhoods. Individuals then invest in social change shares in the organization that they like.

Over the years, I have been a big admirer of the social capital marketplace innovator Kiva.org and the faith-based performance philanthropy Geneva Global. I’ve dreamed of ways to combine the two. The secular changeXchange seems to be one possible approach. My hope is that a faith based intermediary would catch a similar vision for faith venture start-ups.

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