In our last “Going B” blog, we featured The Labragirl Film Project, a small business that steered clear of adopting 501(c)3 status in part because “Fundraising looked like it would be a real challenge. It seemed like, as a nonprofit [the company] wouldn’t get the kind of traction that it needs to be successful.” Indeed, many social enterprises reach a point where they would benefit from outside funding in order to grow appropriately. In the for-profit business world, the “old-school” mindset tells us that integrating social impact into a business’s bottom line will repel savvy investors looking to make a sky-high profit through their portfolio. But forward-thinking investors see the future of wealth a bit differently.
Attracting aligned investors is one of the many benefits of “Going B”. In fact, many impact investors – individuals and organizations that “consider social, environmental, and financial criteria in their investment decisions” – are Certified B Corps themselves. Impact investors take a 360-degree view of an investment in mission-driven businesses, considering not only how the investment will benefit their own portfolio, but also the unique conditions under which a socially-purposed business pursues funding. These investors understand that for a mission-driven company to scale its impact, it also has to scale its operations. Take this perspective from RSF Social Finance’s CEO and B Lab board member, Don Schaffer to heart:
“…social enterprises think about growth as a way to serve their mission, not as an end in itself. They may intend to remain rooted in a community and serve as a model to others, for example, rather than pursue rapid and far-reaching expansion. Or they may need a longer runway to build a supply chain or other systems, because they can’t just plug into an existing infrastructure that’s part of the problem they’re seeking to address.”
Meeting the rigorous social and environmental standards upheld by the B Impact Assessment (BIA) and adopting the Certified B Corp badge ensures B Corp investors like RSF Finance that they are adding a highly vetted social enterprise to their portfolio. And being a Certified B Corp can ensure for you that, if the time arrives to raise capital, you are bringing mission-aligned dollars into your circle. Take a note from our nonprofit friends, sharing values with your funding constituents can make a huge difference in how you successfully steward your for-profit mission.