Harnessing the Lincoln Community to Create Change

Throughout 2016 we’ve been updating the Lincoln community on Revo and what we’re looking to achieve with Nonprofit Hub’s latest project. In short, it’s all about helping people make an impact on their community, and using for-profit business practices to get them there.

 

Since you last heard from us, we’ve hosted seminars for Lincoln Startup Week through LNK DNA, and have run a successful workshop series. They included topics on why nonprofits should make money and not solely fundraise, how to turn your idea into a business, and the benefits of becoming a benefit corporation and a registered B Corp. It’s been a busy few months.

But how do we continue on this path to giving entrepreneurs what they need to make change? In the non-cheesiest-way-possible, we need you – the community.

To stimulate the economy by way of new local businesses that focus on profit, purpose – and job creation – we aim to establish a Revo community fund to get these businesses off the ground. And to provide more insight on what that all means and how it works, I sat down with Marianne Worthington, the Program Director of Revo and the founder of Work Warrior LLC, a company that helps organizations build fearless, strong and skilled teams by focusing on leadership and process development.

What is a Community Fund?

“What we’re doing is helping people who have phenominal ideas and a really big heart get through some of that red tape to give them that funding they need to get off the ground.”

As it turns out, when it comes to finding startup funds for your business, it’s $5,000-10,000 that can make all the difference, not necessarily the $50,000 minimum that many SBA (Small Business Administration) loans have. And when entrepreneurs then turn to traditional loans, roadblocks like credit scores, debt and collateral get in the way.

Revo’s community fund isn’t a means to just hand out money to entrepreneurs. Rather, it will be used to back secure loans for these small businesses needing a little boost to start creating change.

Why a Community Fund?

“There’s something really powerful about being inclusive when it comes to who can donate and how much you need to donate.”

Revo looks for business ideas that focus on profit and making an impact in the community – not the “unicorn” of an idea that will scale and raise a billion dollars so the leadership can exit. In realizing this, we had to figure out how we’re going to help these businesses get off the ground.

Thanks to an article in Conscious Company Magazine, Marianne discovered a community fund being put to action in Asheville, NC. The point of a community fund is to support startup ideas that have an impact in the community, all while being inclusive to those who are interested in donating to the fund. And since contributions to this fund are tax deductible, anyone can be a part of it – whether that’s from contributing $25 to $25,000.

How Can Nonprofits Benefit?

“We aim to help nonprofits become more sustainable by finding for-profit models that align with their missions.”

Our goal isn’t to solely change the way businesses think and operate, as we look to help nonprofits apply for-profit business models that make sense to their organization – all in an effort to make them more sustainable and less dependent on grants and donations. And the Revo community fund can help provide the necessary backing to get more nonprofits focusing on earned income opportunities.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in social good, while we do our part to ensure for-profits are being active in an area where most thought only nonprofits could live.

To get more info on Revo’s community fund or how you can get involved, reach out to Marianne directly at marianne@yourrevo.com.

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