Fundraising for Slow Money

At the Slow Money National Gathering last month, I gave a Fundraising 101 presentation that covered the basics of business planning and financial projections required when seeking investors or loans.  One of the first questions asked was, “How does Slow Money business planning differ from regular business planning?” The answer is, “Not much.”

The nature of the “Slow Money” enterprises may differ from other ventures in that they are focused on local, sustainable food systems.  However, the business planning process stays the same.  No matter the enterprise, you need to tell a compelling story:

  • Why the world/community needs your business, and what problem(s) are you solving.
  • Why you are the person to lead this venture to success.
  • Demonstrate that you will be a good steward of the invsestors money.  And finally,
  • Show that you will provide a return on the investment you receive.

Where Slow Money investment differs is that the ROI does not have to be solely financial. Slow Money Investors see the benefit of the “social” return – knowing that they are supporting the local community, preserving our land and our food systems.

Slow Money ventures have an eye on social returns, but that does not mean their plans have no monetary benefit. Here are examples of exciting new businesses that offer social and financial returns:

Stock Boxes

Across the U.S. a growing number of people live in food deserts, which means they don’t have access to healthy and affordable food within walking or biking distance of their home.  Stockbox Grocers responds to this need with a miniature grocery that’s tucked inside a reclaimed shipping container and placed into the parking lot of an existing business. We innovate on the espresso stand model to build stores throughout urban communities, and provide fresh produce and grocery staples to those who currently without access to good food, where they live.

Stockbox Grocers is a convenient miniature market that is tucked inside a reclaimed shipping container and placed into the parking lot of an existing business or organization.

Imagine dozens of these stores, located throughout urban food deserts and within walking distance of home, work, and school.   The stores are small and they are designed to offer the essential grocery items and fresh produce communities need to get through the week.

Stockbox Grocers are working to fix the grocery gap.

Bovinity Health

Of the 9 million conventional dairy cows in the United States, 90% are reflexively administered antibiotics by farmers into the udder when they are finished lactation. About 4 million of the total 18 million (22%) dairy cows, heifers and calves are treated with antibiotics for other infectious problems.

Yet of 250,000 Certified Organic dairy cows (~ 3% of US herd), not one organic cow in production has been treated with antibiotics for the same problems, due to the prohibition of antibiotics.  Thus, infectious disease is being successfully treated without antibiotics!

Plasma Gold is derived only from certified organic cattle in a process identical to that which the Red Cross uses with people. This is a pharmaceutical, natural product with no further processing needed.

Phyto-Mast® is a dual purpose product for both lactation and dry cow use. They have 3 clinical trials completed by university research teams in the US showing the safety and benefits of using Phyto-Mast®.

Phyto-Biotic is a potent antibacterial plant tincture which can be administered orally or intravenously.

Farmland LP

Farmland LP acquires conventional farmland and converts it into certified organic, sustainable farmland. Our investors benefit from the security of owning farmland while participating in the growth and profitability of the organic market.

Farmland LP, a U.S. private equity fund, was created to deliver superior returns for its investors by acquiring conventional farmland and converting it to high-value organic farmland using sustainable agriculture best-practices.

Sales of organic goods in the U.S. have grown 20% per year since 1990, and now exceed $24 billion growing at nearly $5 billion per year. And although many organic foods receive a price premium of 50% to 200%, the limit to market growth is supply.

Only 0.5% of U.S. farmland is certified organic, increasing at 8.5% per year. Farmers face barriers of cost, knowledge, time, and effort in converting from conventional to organic, including the three-year organic transition and certification process.

Farmland LP provides its investors with the security of owning low-risk farmland while benefiting from the value added by converting to organic farmland. Learn more or contact us for additional information.

Farmland LP acquires conventional farmland and convert it into certified organic farmland.   They enable the highest long-term land productivity by utilizing sustainability best-practice crop and animal rotations. They maximize cash returns by renting,risk sharing, or directly operating the land.

What types of return do you provide your investors? Need help answering that question? Please call or  email.

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