The Art of the Ask: How to Ask Investors for Money

Virtual workshop series by Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and VC4A


Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and VC4A have teamed up to offer entrepreneurs access to expert sessions on fundraising! The objective of this two-session program is to help impact focused entrepreneurs refine their funding ask, so they can more effectively communicate their needs and opportunities to investors.

About the virtual workshop sessions

In this hands-on 2-part workshop, you will fine tune your impact capital funding ask so that it makes sense for your enterprise while helping you target the right investors for your needs with a compelling request. Whether you are looking to raise grants, debt, equity, or a combination, you will leave this virtual workshop series with a clear funding “ask” and better prepared to speak to investors.


For 25 years, Miller Center has been a leader in the global social enterprise movement, working with social enterprise leaders to create innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions to eliminate poverty and protect the planet. We have served more than 1,300 social entrepreneurs based in over 100 countries that have impacted hundreds of millions of lives. Our programs help post-revenue startup and early growth stage enterprises take their impact to scale and prepare for the next level of investment. Graduates of Miller Center’s flagship Accelerator program have, on average, raised $1.2 million within the first 3-years following the accelerator.

A core concept for fundraising success, which we use throughout Miller Center’s programs, is something that we call the “justifiable ask.” This workshop covers the justifiable ask concept in detail and demystifies the key components of a clearly defined, effective investment ask.


January 29, 2023
Program dates Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2023
OrganizerMiller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Website Visit website
Targets Africa, Americas
Sectors Sector agnostic
SDG (17)All

Outcomes and objectives

This workshop series is designed to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Determine the ideal mix of capital you need to take your enterprise to the next level
  • Understand the four components of a well structured investment “ask”
  • Create and refine your own unique “justifiable ask” for your target investors


You can find below a detailed agenda of the 60-minute workshops with dates of each session:

Session 1: Wednesday 8 February ’23,7pm EAT, 5PM GMT, 8am PST
  • Structure of a well-crafted funding ask
  • Different types of capital and how to choose the right capital for your growth plan
  • Create a well-defined funding ask for your enterprise (homework)

Session 2: Wednesday 15 February ’23, 7pm EAT, 5PM GMT, 8am PST
  • Recap of Session 1 + Q&A
  • Breakout Groups: Feedback from peers and Miller Center experts on your funding ask

Selection / Recruitment criteria

This workshop series is designed for enterprises that meet the following criteria:

  • Operational for at least one year and is currently delivering products/services to customers
  • Minimum of $50,000 USD in annual revenues (and is not entirely dependent on donations and grants)
  • Registered legal entity (for-profit, no-profit, or hybrid)
  • Social impact mission and documented social impact
  • Currently fundraising or planning to raise funds in the next 12 months (any amount and any type of capital)

A maximum of 30 enterprises will be selected from the applications. Successful applicants will be selected and notified no later than Wednesday February 1st, 2023.


Here’s an overview on the presenters and their profiles, you can learn more about them here:

Andy Lieberman, Senior Director, Efficiency and Learning at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Andrew Lieberman is committed to making the world a better place by applying his skills in social entrepreneurship, education, technology, management, and international development to solve global development challenges. As a Senior Director at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, he focuses on developing strategy, partnerships, and innovations for programs that have reached over 1000 social enterprises.

Before joining Miller Center, Andrew lived in Guatemala for many years, first working as a teacher, and later pioneering efforts to bring educational technology to rural communities through a USAID pilot project which led him to found the Ajb’atz’ Enlace Quiché NGO, which has received awards from the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society and The Tech Awards.

Nataša Goronja, Senior Director, Programs at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Natasa Goronja holds the roles of Agile Scrum Lead and Chief Product Officer for Miller Center’s social enterprise ecosystem product offerings. As a member of the Center Leadership Team (CLT) reporting directly to the Executive Director, she supports institutional health, organizational alignment, strategic planning, business development, and key stakeholder engagement. She directs and manages innovations and accelerator’s programmatic delivery with a focus on recruitment and selection of social entrepreneurs new to Miller Center.

Natasa joined Miller Center early 2022 from International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s investment arm, where she assisted in the development and implementation of a digital transformation accelerator for financial institutions, the Digilab.

What entrepreneurs say about Miller Center

About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

For 25 years, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship has been a leader in the global social enterprise movement. With an emphasis on climate resilience and women’s economic empowerment, we accelerate social entrepreneurship to end poverty and protect the planet. Located at Santa Clara University, we have served more than 1,300 social entrepreneurs based in over 100 countries that have impacted hundreds of millions of lives. We fuse the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley with the university’s heritage of social justice, community engagement, and global impact, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about Miller Center’s Accelerator.


  • Jeff Pilisuk
    Jeff Pilisuk
    Director, Partnerships
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    Santa Clara, United States of America