Six Rules for Reaching Out to Funders

by: | Dec 07, 2017


This is the final post in our series on how social change startups should approach the task of raising money. In our previous posts, we talked about creative ways to think about securing that much-needed early stage capital for your project. Here we offer some specific tips for building relationships with early funders.

These insights come from Morgan Debaun (CEO and Founder of Blavity), Shannon Farley (Executive Director and Co-Founder of Fast Forward), Monique Woodward (Venture Partner at 500 Startups), Josh Stearns (Associate Director of the Public Square Program at The Democracy Fund), Morgan Simon (Managing Director of Candide Group), Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman (Founder of and Jennifer Brandel (CEO and Founder of Hearken), who offer a range of perspectives and expertise across technology,

Apply for the New Tools Shoutout at the BISC Conference

by: | Dec 05, 2017

For the second year in the a row, New Media Ventures is partnering with The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center on their upcoming convening – The Road Ahead 2018. Last year, we collaborated with BISC on their New Tools Shoutout and due to the positive response, we’re doing it again in 2018 – we hope you will join us!

The conference takes place in Las Vegas, February 14-16.

For those of you who don’t know, the New Tools Shoutout is a chance for the progressive community to demonstrate the technology, tools, or products they’ve created and/or used to make organizing easier and more engaging. Selected presenters will have the opportunity to pitch their app, product or technology from the stage.

Are you an entrepreneur using technology to make organizing easier and more engaging? Apply for the New Tools Shoutout by midnight on Monday,

Your Questions Answered: Webinar on the Investment Associate role is now live

by: | Dec 01, 2017

Thank you to everyone who participated in the webinar this morning. We were thrilled with the turnout and your questions were great! For those that couldn’t make it, here’s the recording. The application deadline is Sunday December 10th.

For more information, read the job description on our earlier post.

*A few people on the call asked is the position could be based outside of the US or if we could sponsor candidates who need a work visa. Here’s our answer: The candidate must be based in the United States. We will consider visa sponsorship for the right candidate. If you have additional questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to

Ready to apply? There are 2 simple steps:

  • In lieu of a cover letter, please fill out this form with your answers to the following questions (150 words max per question)

-Why are you interested in this position?

What Funders are Looking For: Five Key Indicators You’ll be a Good Investment

by: | Nov 28, 2017

There’s more than one bottom line when it comes to investing in the impact space. By incorporating impact into the ROI equation, funders’ priorities inevitably become more complex, creating an even more delicate balance in the relationship between founder and funder.

While every funder looks for different things to show that a startup aligns with their investment strategy, after talking to Shannon Farley, Executive Director of Fast Forward, Morgan Debaun, CEO and Founder of Blavity, Josh Stearns, Associate Director of the Public Square Program at The Democracy Fund and Julie Menter, Principal at New Media Ventures, it’s clear there are some key indicators that most funders consider when assessing a startup. Whether it’s a VC firm or a large foundation, funders are looking for evidence that you’ve got what it takes to succeed,

We’re hiring! Investment Associate

by: | Nov 16, 2017

Applications are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied for the position!

New Media Ventures (NMV) is a mission-driven venture fund and investor network focused on innovation to advance progressive change. Our mission is to find, support, and finance organizations that are telling new stories, building advocacy movements, and catalyzing civic engagement. Over the past 7 years, we have supported 60 promising startups, many of which are now widely recognized pillars of the social change community, from Upworthy and Blavity to SumOfUs, Ultraviolet and Our recent Resist & Rebuild Open Call received 500 applications, and we are thrilled to be investing millions in new startups working to protect our democracy and advance social justice.

We are seeking an Investment Associate to help us take our reach to the next level. We are especially interested in democratizing access to capital and encourage people who are under-represented in the investment and startup communities to apply.

Taking off: How SumOfUs and CrowdTangle grew to scale

by: | Oct 12, 2017

How Crowdtangle sold to Facebook and acquired tens of millions of users

You’ve founded a startup. You’re starting at nothing and trying to get “to scale” — whatever that may mean in your part of the world. So, how are you going to get there?

First, I’m going to talk about growth a bit in the abstract, through some very useful frames provided by The Lean Startup (which you should read if you haven’t already — start with the “Grow” chapter!). Then I’m going to give two case studies of growth from New Media Ventures portfolio members — a first-person account of my experience at the organization I founded,, and an interview with Brandon Silverman of CrowdTangle.

What you measure matters

The first thing to know about growth is that it’s incredibly important to choose the underlying metric carefully.

Funding to Scale your Startup: From Angel Investors to Accelerators

by: | Sep 28, 2017

If you’ve ever watched Silicon Valley or Shark Tank, you might think getting funding is all about the pitch. It’s often presented as the climax of the startup story, filled with risk and uncertainty, and followed by a big reward. That drama makes for excellent television, but in reality the pitch is only one small element of what it takes get funding. There are a number of steps a founder has to take before a pitch is even appropriate. In our last post, we talked about creative approaches to capital that will help you get your startup off the ground. In this post, we’re focusing on securing funding when you’re ready to scale.

We talked to a diverse group of founders and funders including Jennifer Brandel, CEO and Founder of Hearken, Shannon Farley, Executive Director of Fast Forward,

How Funders Can Learn from Grassroots Activists and Venture Capitalists to Meet the Moment

by: | Sep 07, 2017

How investors can think like grassroots activists and venture capitalists to meet the moment

I grew up between Bordeaux, France, and Lyme, Connecticut, and spent much of my childhood trying to bring these two worlds together. It started with food. In France, I worked hard to introduce my friends to American food like pumpkin pie; they wondered why anyone would put pumpkin in a dessert. In the U.S., I tried to introduce my friends to french delicacies like fish cheeks — also with little success. What started with food, then expanded to television shows and clothes. Next thing I knew, bringing things from one place to the other was cool. So then I made a habit — and a career — out of building connections between people and worlds.

In my role at New Media Ventures,