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How a Company Aiding Nonprofits Secured Venture Capital

A new way for small nonprofits to tap into big audiences and raise awareness and exposure online.

This story appears in the April 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If there is an ideal pedigree for building a philanthropic social networking platform, Ed Messman's fits the bill. Before joining the team that grew and sold enterprise social network platform-builder HiveLive for a reported $6 million, Messman worked in for Hercules Technology Growth Capital. When he and colleague J.P. Lind were looking for their next venture in 2008, they noticed that the philanthropic community was testing social networking in the same preliminary way that corporations had been when HiveLive was founded in 2007.

"The new donor that's coming up and filling my database doesn't respond the same way," Messman says. "They don't give the same way."

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