When pursuing funds for your nonprofit, the prospect of deep pockets providing venture capital can seem alluring to the point that it becomes a magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, a recent word of advice from successful tech start-up CEO James Cole of Expand the Room dispels this pot of gold myth.

In an interview with Business Insider, Cole started off with a surprising statement: a million dollars in capital isn't always going to make a great idea successful, and, in his words, "there’s a lot to be said for doing things on your own."

Huh? You mean a million dollars isn't a good thing?

Well, not necessarily, added Coles. Although conceding that huge sums of money lighten the load of start-ups and free owners to focus on their ideas instead of endless fundraising -- as it did for the fast-rising nonprofit Watsi. -- accepting giant truckloads of cash can create new problems.

Instead, Cole's company thrived by looking for unique opportunities that various financial meltdowns created in their market. Cole's company not only survived the dot.com downfall of 2000 and the financial crisis in 2008, but it has grown steadily since its inception in 2002 -- and all without venture capital. Cole explained their secret:

"An equal combination of good idea is needed to be blended with execution. If you have a great idea but you're not able to execute on it, it's going to be hard to push that idea forward."

If perhaps you don't identify as much with Cole and you're in a position where venture capital is a crucial step in your nonprofit's strategy, the previously mentioned company Watsi (see link above) provides a superb model for nonprofits. Watsi founders started their company in their shared one-bedroom apartment, but eventually found great success. One of the first 100% intentional nonprofit companies to score big at the Y Combinator Demo Day, it viewed the value of venture capital in a slightly different way, looking more for a structure of supervision and motivation to keep things moving in the right direction: "We want investors who hold us accountable," as Watsi co-founder Chase Adam said.

Regardless of how fundraising and venture capital fits into your strategy, it's inspiring to know that there are companies who have taken different paths and found success.

To find more ideas and tips for new nonprofit methods, feel free to contact us or browse our blog.