Curated Story

How BagoSphere is navigating the funding world — and succeeding

This article originally appeared on Devex

Zhihan Lee

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2017

“People give to people, not necessarily to causes, especially in the beginning. So it’s about making a personal connection, then understanding, and communicating.”
— BagoSphere CEO Zhihan Lee

Lee explains that BagoSphere has a “hybrid for-profit and nonprofit model” — meaning they tailor pitches to investors and funders, while making sure there is an alignment of story on both sides.

“BagoSphere has decided on a hybrid model so that we can leverage on more types of funding, but that shouldn’t distract the story that we have an entrepreneurial solution to skill, upskill, and reskill thousands of young, disadvantaged people,” Lee said.

Institutional funders, he continued, “usually have very clear guidelines, and so we know whether we make a fit quite early on.”
BagoSphere also works with individual funders — noting that in the United States, 80 percent of philanthropy comes from individuals.
“Fundraising from individuals is a very personal affair,” Lee said.

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