152: Make Money While Making a Difference, with Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise and MissionU
Getting rich is for amateurs. A real entrepreneur, one with serious guts and vision, wants to make the world a better place.
If that’s you, it’s time to enter the world of social enterprise—business that seeks to make both a profit and a positive impact, on anything from education to world hunger. This is a tall order, but it’s possible and an increasingly popular form of entrepreneurship. So today’s podcast is going to show you exactly how to make money, while also making a difference.
Unlike your traditional businesses, social enterprises have a much harder time securing funding and even staff. The legal frameworks and business models can also be much trickier. Lucky for us, we were able to sit down with Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise and MissionU. He shared with us how he managed to raise over $50 million in contributions, build hundreds of schools, and grow a worldwide staff of more than 125 employees as a social enterprise.
As he turned 25, Braun only had $25 in his bank account, but was still determined to build a school for the less fortunate. Before crowdsourcing was even a thing, Braun turned to strangers to help him fund his first project. He used social media and event marketing to attract people to his cause, relying on influencer and word-of-mouth to secure the funding he needed.
“You start scrappy and understand that maybe one day you’ll have the resources to hire full-time staff and work with capital at hand, but most people don’t start that way, and I certainly didn’t,” Braun says.
Starting with this grassroots marketing strategy and an all-volunteer staff, he built Pencils of Promise into a huge success. Today, more than 400 schools have been built as a result, and Braun’s turned his sights to education in the United States with his new project MissionU.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- How to use event marketing to build your brand and attract investors
- What makes a story “newsworthy” and how to use it to build an audience
- Braun’s methodology for attracting A-players to work toward his vision
- Social media marketing tactics to reach your target audience without paid advertising
- The right way to go about asking for money, whether it’s for crowdfunding or from investors
- & much more!