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This is a guest blog post from Bright Funds
About Bright Funds:
Bright Funds is a better way to give. Individuals and employees at companies with gift matching programs create personalized giving portfolios and contribute to thoroughly researched funds of highly effective nonprofits, all working to address the greatest challenges of our time. In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of a secure, cloud-based platform with centralized contributions, integrated matching, and simple tax reporting.

There are signs of a shift in the nonprofit fundraising paradigm.  Nonprofits are taking advantage of the developments in social franchising and adopting the best practices from the for-profit world in branding and marketing to improve the efficiency with which they raise funds.
While funding was once an unpopular topic to bring up with friends who work for nonprofits (as the subject tended to elicit discussion of the grant-writing process’ tribulations and slow pace), it is now a discussion point for creativity and excitement.
Drafting proposals for projects can be painstakingly slow and will often reap little, if any benefit if the proposal is not one of the select few chosen to receive funding.  Competition can be fierce for grants, and not every project can receive the backing it requires from foundations.  Perhaps the worst part of this format is that it is not particularly conducive to innovation in the field.  Traditional thesis for funding is often based on the requirement for evidence that demonstrates both the project’s precedence and effect.
Very often we cannot know what will need funding or what will work until we try new approaches.  For profit companies have long known that experimentation is often a necessary step for innovation and progress — the entire venture capital model is based on this theory. Now the nonprofit world is adopting this approach., one of the organizations in Bright Funds’ Water Fund is among a few charities that are thinking outside the traditional nonprofit funding framework. The organization recently launched New Ventures Fund, a pool of capital generated by venture-minded philanthropists to seed and launch innovative solutions for safe water and sanitation – an approach akin to incubators and accelerators in the for-profit venture funding space.
Even philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates believe in supporting unprecedented and innovative solutions to real world problems. Their recent attendance at the ‘Reinvent the toilet’ fair in Seattle, Washington shows that there is room for innovative products that can solve age-old problems, in this case, an affordable alternative to current sanitation programs in underdeveloped countries.
At the very core of fundraising are individuals who are passionate about supporting solutions to hard problems through their giving. At Bright Funds, we have decided to focus our energies on enabling these individuals to support the causes they care about and directing their capital towards backing the organizations doing the most effective work out there and providing a holistic solution to the problem. For everyone involved, it is thinking outside the traditional funding box.