How to ask for money

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Have a project that just needs some cash to get off the ground? Need someone to fund beer and food for an event? Have a great idea and want to get paid for implementing it? Come find out how we did it.

Asking for money doesn’t have to be so hard. Whether you’re working on a non-profit, or a small side project. Or you’re bootstrapping a sweet new developer event. Or you want to find angel investing or venture capital… The same skills apply.

Come learn all about how to ask for money from Selena Deckelmann, J Chris Anderson and Teyo Tyree. Selena co-founded Open Source Bridge, raises money for the open source project PostgreSQL and has found funding for many small non- and for-profit projects. J Chris and Teyo both founded VC-backed startups – Couchbase and Puppet Labs – based on open source products.

They’ll lead you through their process, their successes and failures.

You’ll leave with proven strategies for developing relationships, asking the right questions and providing the right information to people who want to give you their money.

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How to ask for money

  1. 1. How to ask for moneySelena Deckelmann, PostgreSQL + Emma @selenamarie J Chris Anderson, Couchbase @jchris Teyo Tyree, Puppet Labs @brainfinger
  2. 2. Who’s asked for money?
  3. 3. You can do this.
  4. 4. 3 acts
  5. 5. The Acts1. Boot-strapping2. Venture Capital3. Lessons Learned
  6. 6. Act 1Boot-strapping
  7. 7. 2008
  8. 8. DAY 1 Bart - $2000Selena - $2500 (loan) Rick - $5000 (loan)
  9. 9. DAY 165 Bart - $2000 Selena - $2500 (loan) Rick - $5000 (loan)And ~$-16,000 in contracts
  10. 10. Ted Kaczynskiof conference chairs.
  11. 11. Only sent to one company.And they had a lot of feedback.
  12. 12. Who do I knowthat will give me money?
  13. 13. Who do I knowthat will give me money?
  14. 14. 2009 stats: $36,000 in cash $15,000 in-kind $26,000 in registrations $4,000 left over~70 people, 29 companies ~20 knew me personally
  15. 15. Your network is bigger than you think.
  16. 16. Act 2Venture Capital
  17. 17. J Chris AndersonSeriously, we can be friends with VCs.
  18. 18. Teyo TyreeI have a special relationship with my VC.
  19. 19. Act 3Lessons Learned
  20. 20. • Build relationships and communicate.• Ask again anyway.• Hire a graphic designer.• It’s really six steps.• Find a mentor.
  21. 21. Build relationships and communicate.
  22. 22. Communication is thecompost of fundraising.
  23. 23. Be visible.
  24. 24. Do what you say you’ll do. And if you don’t,communicate why - now.
  25. 25. Ask again anyway.
  26. 26. People say no, a lot.But not as often the second time.
  27. 27. In 2009 In 2010Asked 49 companies Asked 33 companies No No 41% 34% Yes 59% Yes 66% $1241 per $2006 per sponsor sponsor
  28. 28. Hire a graphic designer.
  29. 29. 3. Hire a graphic designer.
  30. 30. 3. Hire a graphic designer.
  31. 31. “charging big sponsorship fees with marketing-centric sponsor benefits” “How does it serve the community?”“I suggest you refine your plans to focus on 2 or 3 areas.”
  32. 32. • Ask for money
  33. 33. It’s really six steps.
  34. 34. It’s really 6 steps.1. Identify a need.2. Tell someone.3. Ask for money.4. Get the money.5. Spend the money.6. Say thank you.
  35. 35. Find a fundraising mentor.
  36. 36. “charging big sponsorship fees with marketing-centric sponsor benefits” “How does it serve the community?”“I suggest you refine your plans to focus on 2 or 3 areas.”
  37. 37. Refine your pitch. Practice.
  38. 38. • Build relationships and communicate.• Ask again anyway.• Hire a graphic designer.• It’s really six steps.• Find a mentor.
  39. 39. Thanks!How to ask for money Selena Deckelmann, Emma @selenamarie J Chris Anderson, Couchbase @jchris Teyo Tyree, Puppet Labs @brainfinger

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