For Impact


The Magic Napkin

For Impact Ideas, Funding Principles | | Tom Suddes


I first used this concept in 1984 on an Economic Development effort in Akron, Ohio. (I still have my little cheat sheet). The leadership had been told by all the other ‘consulting firms’ that they could maybe raise $1.5 Million, at the most. My brother John and I walked into the board and asked them how much they really needed over the five years to deliver what they were promising. That number was $4.3 Million.

That became the goal (we didn’t know any better!) Then, we made a Master Prospect List. (We might have called it somehting else, but that’s what it is). Then we matched it to the funding pyramid. Then we asked everybody for their corresponding investment at the level that was required by the ‘pyramid’. If I remember correctly we ended up raising over $5 Million on the $4.3 Million goal (on what was supposed to be a $1.5 Million max). Not bad.