Heritage Radio is committed to archiving, protecting, and advancing our country’s rich food culture through programs that give voice to America’s leading food professionals, farmers, policy experts, artists, and tastemakers.
Heritage Radio reporter Cathy Erway recently called to ask me several food financing questions for a live radio interview for the Eat Your Words show.
Listen to the half-hour show now to learn about the three different types of crowdfunding, my advice for combatting “crowdfunding fatigue,” the importance of a sound business plan, and more.
The first official review of Raising Dough: the Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business is in! Here’s what ForeWord Reviews has to say:
This guide is an invaluable aid for those who produce healthy foods and need a practical and socially responsible business model… The fact-filled, exceptionally well-organized book teaches food idealists how to crunch the numbers and market their product—from conceptual steps to the success that is the dream of every small business person.
The author makes clear that several strategies are needed in order to “raise dough.” First, she asks readers to consider their values and how important are considerations such as place, control, scale, pace, and financial success. She asks whether readers want to be tied to a location, constantly at the helm, or whether they want the business to grow larger, faster, or at a reasonable pace. Are they willing to take financial risks to achieve financial goals?
Is lack of access to capital really a problem for food businesses that are solving social and environmental problems? There are more types of capital than ever before to support food businesses… but many don’t know they exist, they can be challenging to access and even more, it’s hard to tell which type will be the best for each business.
In the most recent of the National Good Food Network series of webinars (watch below), I lay out a framework for thinking about appropriate financing sources for enterprises, sensitive to their unique values, priorities, and where they are in the business lifecycle. This presentation was designed primarily for organizations that work with socially responsible food businesses, such as people who work for nonprofits, government offices, economic development companies, consulting firms, lenders, foundations, family offices. Of course the same principles apply to fundraising entrepreneurs themselves, who will find lots of tools to work with in their quest to raise money.
I was happy to share the “stage” with Gray Harris of Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI), a community development finance institution (CDFI) in Maine. She gives some detailed, illustrative examples of this organization’s investments, and investment strategies in regional food systems. We both come to the same conclusion: capital itself is not enough, and there needs to be a significant technical assistance component to ensure the success of good food ventures.
Finance for Food designs capital and fundraising workshops for food entrepreneurs and those who provide them technical assistance. Please be in touch if your organization would be interested in hosting a workshop, or if you would like to request a workshop in your area.
Can’t find it at your favorite local bookstore? You can ask them to order it for you. Alternately, if you order online using these links for IndieBound (which supports independent booksellers) or Amazon, Finance for Food will receive a portion of your purchase. We still hope you’ll support your local economy by buying local!
If you prefer your books in electronic format, your options include the following:
- Kobo (Kobo purchases can support your local, independent bookstore; learn how here,
- Kindle (Finance for Food receives a portion of your Amazon purchases if you use this link),
- Nook, and Google Play.
If you’re interested in bulk orders or examination copies for educational use, please click here for more information about getting a hold of Raising Dough.
I hope that you find the book useful — that is why I wrote it, after all. And please don’t hesitate to contact me with your comments or corrections once you’ve read it. If you have suggestions for future issues (or for when I’m doing interviews with reporters), please submit your story using this form.
The flow of money into food businesses is closely related to the flow of money into, within, and out of the entire communities that those businesses call home. It’s in fundraising entrepreneurs’ best interests to understand these connections, as more money flowing within a community means more local dollars available for investment into local businesses!
Last Friday, Civil Eats published an article I wrote encouraging local food activists to see their work in the context of a wider local economy movement. Chock full of links to pioneering organizations and resources highlighting the hows and whys of supporting local economies, the article also stresses the importance of supporting independent, local retailers selling any types of products, from food to books.
You can read the full article here.