Angel investors are, for lack of a better term, the angels of nonprofit funding. Without them, many of our favorite projects would fall flat or simply fail to exist.
A small piece of equity often feels like a small price to pay for the support angel investors offers philanthropic projects. By funding the lifeblood of many meaningful nonprofits, angel investors often help us get our feet off the ground and spread our wings.
As critical as they are to the foundation and survival of giving, the right angel investor can be hard to find. If you’re ready to find your next angel investor, there are a few things to keep in mind and some helpful strategies that might help you land the partnership you need.
Connect with Angel Investment Networks
Angel investors come from various backgrounds, from venture capitalists and corporate investors to wealthy individuals or members of angel networks. While many angels operate as individuals, it’s not uncommon for a collective of angels to partner with one another and forms a syndicate for making investments.
Make sure you do your homework and choose the network that best fits your needs and organization. You might consider angel networks, including AngelList, Angel Capital Association, Gust, Angel Forum or Angel Investment Network. Most of these networks are extremely reliable and put a lot of work into finding qualified and dedicated members to be part of the group.
Do Your Own Networking
Get ahead of other online applicants and connect with your favorite angel investors in person or online. Attending networking events is one of the most helpful actions you can take in your search for investors because it shows your dedication to your mission and gives you the chance to put a face to your organization.
Making personal connections with potential investors makes a big impression. In today’s world, networking is a massively powerful tool that has the power to help you discover connections you’d otherwise miss on your own.
Regarding networking, it’s important to keep an open mind and always leave your “bridges” in great condition. You never know which peer or acquaintance will connect you with the perfect angel.
Connect with the Community
Many angel investors love to impact their community or communities to which they feel a special connection. When you take the time to connect with the people and businesses you’re serving, angel investors will notice.
Community outreach is a huge part of what angel inestors do, but it also plays into the concept of networking. Whether focused on serving or not, community events are a great way to run into potential angels who are already interested or involved with your cause or community.
Never underestimate the power of social media. Maintain a strong presence on your social sites, and provide regular updates about your organization, what you’re doing and what you want to do next.
Whenever you can, connect with like-minded angel investors on those social platforms. Whether you have acquaintances in common or shared interests isn’t always important, particularly if you’re showing action and engagement. Use every post, photo or status update as an opportunity to make your presence known and develop a connection.
You can send “cold” messages on some social sites, but make sure you’re clear about who you are, what the business serves, and why you’re reaching out to that person specifically. Remember to be personal, polite and gracious. Angel investors may even reach out to you first!
Learn About Your Peers’ Investors
It’s extremely common for angel investors to participate in multiple projects within the same community or industry. There’s nothing wrong with sneaking a peek at the investors to your peers (or even your competition) to see what groups or individuals are helping them reach their goals.
Sharing investors with other organizations can help you build your network and lead to some amazing collaborations. Plus, those angel investors are easy to approach because you already know that they’re interested and ready to help your cause.
Properly Prepare for Collaboration
When you find your angel investors, you want to be ready to hit the starting block as soon as possible. That’s why it’s essential to have a clear idea of your goals and plans so that you can align with investors’ vision too.
Your relationship with your angel investor must be one of cooperation and collaboration that consistently moves in the same direction without confusion.
Prepare an Irresistible Pitch
You’ve done the research, pinpointed your investor, and now you need to get their attention. Truly “finding” a great angel investor requires a little legwork and a lot of time to ensure you’re the right fit.
Once you’re ready to speak to potential investors, make sure you have all of your key points ready. Your pitch shouldn’t be all about you, your organization and what you’re doing—that’s just the beginning. Tell potential angels why you chose them and how they can help you specifically (mention any experience or connections they’re bringing to the table). Most importantly, speak up about what’s in it for them. You’re in if your pitch describes a partnership as perfect as peanut butter and jelly.
Finding your next angel investor doesn’t have to be a struggle. Take your time, get organized and start networking. There are thousands of angel investors out there, ready to make a difference and looking for someone just like you.