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Jonathan Rich, formerly of B. Riley and National Securities in New York City, explains how to choose the right investment bank or agent when deciding to raise capital or seek advisory help

Jonathan Rich

When a company has decided to pursue raising capital in support of its operating objectives, it is important that management has a clear objective in mind and a process that addresses their desired outcome in order to best ensure a successful result. While many firms rely simply upon their existing service providers or friends to make recommendations, it is vital for a company to research and as part of the process ask specific questions in order to ensure they are aligning with the best investment bank or agent specifically for them and their needs. Things to consider are:

A company must ensure that they interview multiple potential groups prior to selecting one in order to ensure they are aligned with the best partner for them, their specific needs, has the appropriate resources and fit. Many times, a company simply selects a partner that has been referred to them by a friend or trusted advisor because they know them or have done business with them previously (or in turn get referrals from them). While ultimately that may turn out to be the most appropriate partner, nothing is more important than having a robust exploration of groups to be able to compare and contrast capabilities and be in a position to make informed decisions. Speaking to at least 3-5 qualified firms will ensure that you have enough of a cross section so as to be in a position to understand what each brings potentially to a process.

Next, having each prospective firm listen to your story and in turn, present their firm’s capabilities are vital. A prospective firm should be able to clearly elaborate on why they are ideally suited to assist you by providing details about the firm’s strengths, individual prospective team members’ backgrounds, expertise in the particular product or service industry, who their investor base is and geographic areas of focus. They should also be able to clearly speak as to how they envision positioning the story to prospective investors, how that differs or compares to other peers, how they view your valuation on a preliminary basis and details around timing and deliverables needed to accomplish the proposed transaction.

The prospective partner should also be able to provide a list of successfully consummated transactions they have undertaken in the last 12-24 months on behalf of companies considered to be comparable to yours in terms of the type of transaction (ie public vs private, capital raising vs advisory, size of the raise or advisory transaction, etc.), size or stage of the company (if you are a start up or early stage company doing less than $1m in sales and they work with late stage large companies doing $100+m in revenue, etc.) and the industry in which it operates. The more similar that their successful transactions are to your specific company and needs, the more likely it is that you will have a positive outcome.

Last, there should be a clear discussion around and understanding of what the costs, expenses and fees of an undertaking can and will look like in addition to any other rights that the prospective partner will seek. While business terms can be negotiated, clearly understand the costs, timing and deliverables needed to undertake and consummate a transaction are vital.

As a seasoned former banker at B. Riley and National Securities for almost 30 years who worked with hundreds and hundreds of companies, Jonathan Rich of New York City believes that by following these plus many other steps as a foundation to a process, you will greatly enhance the likelihood for a successful outcome of an undertaken process.

Techniques For Measuring Non-Profit Impact

jonathan Craig Rich National Securities New York

Nonprofits are vital in providing infrastructure and support to those in need and where service gaps exist. Running a non profit effectively and finding a non profit to associate with as a volunteer or financial supporter can be difficult. To help with this, let’s look at techniques for measuring non-profit Impact. 

According to expert Jonathan Craig Rich, formerly of National Securities in New York, the right techniques for gathering information are crucial for understanding how impactful the efforts of non-profit organizations are. These begin with building a model with a logical structure, understanding why measurements are important, and collecting the applicable financial and operating  data. 

In this article, we’ll cover the top 3 techniques for measuring a non-profit’s impact. By the conclusion, it will be clear that the financial state of any given non-profit is a great indicator for the effective impact of that organization. With such a lofty goal, let’s begin learning right away. 


Let’s begin by examining non-profit impact in the form of three different techniques.

  1. Build a logically structured model
  2. Understand why each measurement is important
  3. Collect all applicable data

Each of these three techniques tend to work in tandem as a beneficial whole for non-profit budgets and organizing individuals alike. Let’s examine all three in greater detail below:

1.   Build A Logically-Structured Model

It is easy to end up measuring all the wrong things when trying to determine impact. This step begins with measuring the logical outcome of an activity in terms of meaningful change rather than measuring the efficiency or structure of the activity itself. 

Look at the numbers that directly relate to the goals put in place during each activity. For example, if the goal was to lease out living areas, count how many living areas were leased. Calculate participation and other tangible numbers for a logically-structured model of information.

2.   Understand Why Each Measurement Is Important

The “why” behind what is being accomplished is critically important when lining up techniques to measure impact. Measure both the information and outcome from the activity, as well as the processes and execution of it. 

Knowing the reasons and causes behind the collected information helps to contextualize the information itself while keeping the focus on real impact.

jonathan Craig Rich National Securities New York

3.   Collect All Applicable Data

Finally, bringing it all together by collecting the data that truly applies is the most important technique. The finances of a nonprofit are critical not only to its survival, but to the length and breadth of it’s impact as well.

Make sure the applicable measurements include the actual amount spent on the programs or services versus administrative costs to implement and provide, are there audits and governance practices in place to oversee spending and account for them, specific details around services provided (ie how many hours of instruction, meals served, people impacted, etc.) and the actual dollar amounts of the overall budget and sources from fundraising, events, donations and other means.  

In Conclusion

There are many benefits to measuring the impact of a non-profit organization and its efforts. However, these benefits cannot be seen without utilizing techniques to carefully gather information and understand it accurately. 

The first technique to put into place is planning. We discussed how building a logically structured model is essential to the foundation of an impact’s measurements. Secondly, one of the main techniques needed for understanding a non-profit’s revenue and where the money is going is to first understand how it applies through measurements. 

Finally, we examined the best ways to collect applicable data once the importance of measurements and logical structure were in place. By putting these techniques into practice, a non-profit organization can benefit through the encouragement of knowing their impact!

Jonathan Craig Rich of New York Offers Tips to Companies Exploring an IPO or Capital Raise in Regard to Service Providers and Culture

jonathan rich
  • Affiliate and align yourself with the best people you can. That can, and does mean, people who have deep and complementary knowledge and strengths, are accessible and reliable but also willing to challenge norms and opinions. Often times management teams default to who they know or feel most comfortable with and will agree with them and their choices. Building an echo chamber of groupthink is an awful place to be when trying to consistently iterate, broaden perspectives and develop best practices. 
  • Bring friction and competition to a process. It sounds simple but too often, management teams rely solely on people they know already, a recommendation from a trusted friend, investor or perhaps Board member, or even one service provider recommending a fellow provider they have worked alongside previously and successfully. While that’s a good start, speaking to multiple groups of all types of providers, whether accounting, legal, insurance, transfer agents or banking, is imperative in order to firmly understand the strengths, competencies, approach, costs, personalities and contrasts of each respective group. Having groups actively compete for your business allows management teams to make fully informed decisions and discharge their duties in the process by having objectively evaluated alternatives. 
  • In terms of accounting and legal teams, align with the teams who proactively express interest in and knowledge about your specific stage, business and the industry in which you participate. Professional service providers will easily be responsive and reactive but are they proactively helping you identify issues, best practices and solutions based on specific and comparable experiences they are having with you and other similarly situated clients? It’s easy for a firm to say “we have a capital markets group and experience” or “a team of dedicated healthcare industry lawyers/accountants” but how does that apply to you, your needs and help challenge and develop the frameworks you do and will need. It’s also important to set expectations upfront not only on costs, but on relationships and who will handle your account. Many times, high level, more business development or relationship management senior team members are involved only to transition to younger or less experienced team members when the time for action arises. 
  • When it comes to an IPO or any type of capital markets type initiative, developing a detailed action plan upfront with steps, timing, roles, and responsibilities/deliverables are key to ensuring all participants are on the same page and communication is uniform. It allows you to identify issues, stay on target and cost, and enable each party to understand expectations around their individual responsibilities but how and when it ties to the larger process.