Finding investors for a website, how it works?


This is a very basic question. I have a startup website which has a business model. The website is basically a non-profit organization focused at a certain group of people and has a cause (not related to poor or underprivileged or religious group). I have developed it from scratch and it is working but I have not been able to generate any customers as of yet (1 year into prototype). This is because first I am employed and second I dont have partner who give me any impetus. I tried to use social networking but to little avail. I alone can not make everything work. My question here is related to finding investors for a website.

As a background, I have previously worked with an engineering startup and what they did was seeked investors first. This was because their project was really huge and probably could not be accomplished without funding. My question is

  1. Is it ok to seek investors for a website project which is essentially a non-profit organization?
  2. What type of investments should I seek? If any. Ideally I dont want to make someone share holder just because of their contribution. I would like to make someone shareholder who can work for the cause and be a member of the team?
  3. Would I be better off by spending my own money instead (Mitt Romney)?
  4. How do I take the project take off?

At this point what the project needs that I can not do myself is

  1. Professional Page Design ( I can use templates though)
  2. Hire a marketing person to start calling/emailing ppl.

How much am I looking at for an investment?

Getting Started Website Investors

asked Oct 4 '11 at 05:33
102 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


1.Is it ok to seek investors for a website project which is essentially a non-profit

Per definition an investment is about profit.

What you are looking for is a sponsor - someone who pays you not as an investment but because of side benefits. For example brand exposure, goodwill ("pro bono" work). Trying to sell this as investment marks you as not knowing what you do - and gives you false pretense anyway.

This is an interesting distinction because basically every normal investment approac hi sone thing - off the table. No sane investor will invest in a non-profit.

Finding a sponsor really depends on what you do - and that is another thing. Brutally speaking - if this is a sensible non-profit, look for the obvious participants, like the Gates foundation. You will need legal non-profit status, though.

answered Nov 3 '11 at 09:04
Net Tecture
11 points
  • You are right, I am looking for a sponsor. I can she'd about 1000$ out of pocket + my development time. Should I be approaching someone one to one then? Essentially it has a profitable business model (it as changed a little from its conception) + essentially non profit for it particular cause. – Chimpanzee 12 years ago
  • Very good advice, but there is no need to be rude. From our FAQ: "Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Be nice. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you. We’re all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know." I edited your post to conform to our guidelines. – Zuly Gonzalez 12 years ago


My suggestion to you is to find a partner. Go to networking events, you should have OpenCoffee , look for it on Tell others about your idea and tell them that you are looking for partner. Ask what they think about your idea. For time being don't invest into your project.

Look for someone with the right skills, such as with the background in sales.

It might be a good idea to form a limited company. I think would certainly need that to be able to seek investors.

If you are putting your money in, then only because this would encourage other investors. When you pitch your idea, then explain how much you are ready to invest yourself and how much you are looking from others to invest.

I recommend this book:

answered Oct 4 '11 at 07:48
253 points

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