5 key fundraising lessons

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5 key fundraising lessonsAfter raising funds for two startups – Freeallmedia.com and Playallgood.com – Jordan Glatt has amassed a treasure trove of best practices, among them, the importance of communicating your passion.

“Like all of us in life, investors don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” says Glatt, who joined YPO in 1994. He shares five tips to help position you for success during the fundraising process.

1. The Story Matters
Investors want to know the genesis of the idea, how you got involved and why. It is during the telling of the story that the investor is gaging your passion; if you are not enthused why should they be?
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2. Ask for Advice Not Money
Initial meetings with investors are easier if you engage them based on their knowledge and not simply as a checkbook. In my experience, when you ask for advice, you get money and when you ask for money, you get advice.

3. The Company You Keep
Your first investor is your most important. The better their reputation and track record the easier it is to attract other investors. No one wants to be alone in a deal; investors want to feel like part of the club.
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4. Temper Expectations
If there was ever a time not to over-estimate success, this would be it. You can have a perfectly successful start-up but when expectations are missed, everyone’s attitude towards the deal begins to sour. It is more fun to beat the plan than to miss the plan.

5. Communication is Key
Be careful to not just send the good news; an honest appraisal of the good and bad will gain credibility. Every investor knows success is never a straight line, so don’t claim it is. Instead, explain how you have dealt with the challenges you’re facing and remember that most investors are investing in management first, ideas second.
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This article was brought to you by YPO’s Deal Network

(YPO is a global community of chief executives dedicated to becoming Better Leaders through Lifelong Learning and Idea ExchangeTM. The YPO platform provides more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.ypo.org.)