More Than Money 
Opening New Possiblities in Fundraising, Philanthropy and More

Donald Hilliard, Jr., Reach for Greatness, 15 x 30 inches, 2011, Mixed medi
Photo Credit: Donald Hilliard, Jr.
Reach for Greatness (detail)
March 2014
More Than Money?!
Over the past 20+ years, I have worked with many nonprofits and other mission- driven organizations as they have moved towards a more (social) business and social enterprise orientation, viewing their revenue streams more broadly to include program and service fees, income from related and unrelated business, in addition to their charitable fundraising.

At the same time, I've embraced innovations in philanthropy that combine private market approaches with charitable giving, not-for-profit debt products and blended value impact investment vehicles of all forms and fashion to help re-define philanthropy.

More Than Money (MTM)

 is an online forum that draws from these experiences, building and supporting a community of change-makers interested in using these opportunities for good. All insights are based on practical, on-the-ground experience in financial resource development and testing new forms of  philanthropy. Inspiration for this edition of MTM came from a recent conversation with Jordan Kassalow, founder and co-chair of VisionSpringVisionSpring is a widely recognized, highly entrepreneurial social enterprise that seeks to provide access to affordable eyewear, everywhere.     Join the discussion by contacting  


Bruce Arbit photo

Social entrepreneurship and impact investing, which harness the power of financial markets to solve social problems, have and will continue to shape fundraising and philanthropy.


The challenge - and opportunity - is to  balance impact AND financial sustainability, recognizing that the right mix will not likely fit neatly into any organizational and/or investment strategy. 


At the same time we need to concentrate on solutions, not ideologies. For instance, the negative perception of subsidy is often misplaced. Philanthropy, leveraged strategically, can play a critical early 'subsidy' role in  attracting other monies. It also has the potential to open markets; establish new, more sustainable  enterprises; and solve important problems. 


Beyond the rhetoric, the real opportunity is to create new, flexible business models that better match the vision and scope of issues they are intended to support. I prefer blended funding approaches that bring together and leverage all tangible and intangible assets including private philanthropy and impact investments to build larger pools of capital.


It is a new world. How 'Brave' will be up to us and our willingness to tolerate risk and learn from the inevitable failures along the way. Move forward and share your thoughts at


Happy Spring?!



Bruce Arbit

Founder and President - Melarbit Partners, Inc.



"Toto, I have a feeling we're not  in Kansas anymore."  L. Frank Baum

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