Raise Resources, with Peter Diamandis

Technology Entrepreneur
In this lesson from Big Think Edge, Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of X Prize Foundation, shares simple tactics for extracting value from your interactions with potential funders and supporters. By the end of it, you may just see fundraising in a new light.
  • Transcript


Build your resources

Every CEO, every entrepreneur, every leader I know, ultimately spends a huge amount of their time going out there to raise capital. If it’s not capital, it’s raising the resources of people or organizations and so forth, but ultimately as the generator of the idea, as the leader, you’re responsibility is to build that team, build the capital, build the resources to go and implement your idea.

I’m going to go back to one example. I was an undergrad at MIT and I was running my first big organization. It was called SEDS, Students for Exploration and Development of Space. And what I needed to do was raise about $10,000 to print a newsletter and mail the newsletter to all the chapters. We had 100 chapters of SEDS around the world. And I remember going to Draper Labs, which is an affiliated organization with MIT, and meeting with the head of Draper and pitching my heart out about this vision, about what I wanted to do, and how I needed $10,000. And at the end of the presentation, the head of Draper said, “I love what you do. I really wish I could help you, but ultimately, we’re not an organization that in our charter can give you money for this.”

And so I said, thank you, and I was walking out the door and I stopped, and I turned around and I said, “Do you have printing facilities here?” and he says, “Yes, we do.” I said, "well, would you be able to print our newsletter for us and mail our newsletter for us?" And he said, “Absolutely.” And we ended up getting, probably $25,000 worth of printing and mailing. And it hit me in that moment that one of the most important lessons to me in fundraising is, whenever I have a meeting with somebody, I always extract value from them at that meeting, no matter what it is.

Always extract value

I will, at a minimum, ask this person who do you know that you could introduce me to that would like to support what I’m doing? Or at a minimum, give me critically and honestly, feedback on my idea that will help me pitch it better the next time. And sometimes, in kind-services is as good as cash. Never be afraid to ask and never take a meeting without extracting value from it.


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