Unpacking Collaborative Fund’s Investment Thesis
Back in May of this year, we partnered with The Case Foundation to take the reins on Social Citizens — a project they created and built up since early 2008.
Its original mission was to better understand how millennials were engaging in citizenship. In taking over the Social Citizens project, we decided to leverage Reddit (a Collaborative Fund portfolio company) and Twitter to keep the original mission intact, but modify tactics towards a two way dialogue.
For those familiar with Reddit — it can be a messy place. People have the opportunity to speak their minds and post whatever they want.
At Collaborative Fund, we like messy because we believe that it can lead to breakthrough thinking and new ideas. We think our Social Citizens subreddit is a great place to encourage this type of discourse.
In an effort to put some structure behind it, we laid out some arbitrary but tangible goals for the end of this year:
Social Citizens Subreddit:
- 50+ comments/day from external posters
- A visibly active voting pattern that indicates people are engaged
- 15 decent (non-spammy and relatively high-value) posts a day submitted by external posters (i.e. posters not in the Collaborative Fund network)
- Average of three retweets per tweet
- 25 collective “favorites” through a given day
So how is it going so far?
On the subreddit, we are off to a solid start, but we want to do better. The number of subscribers to the subreddit has increased and the level of engagement has improved. We’ve begun asking daily questions and we’ve enjoyed the insightful responses and ongoing discussions that have resulted. There’s also been an increase in posting (both questions asked and links shared) from community members.
And on Twitter, we’ve been sharing 3-5 tweets per day across the topics of social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, digital marketing, neighborhood innovation, and government 2.0. Since taking the reins, @SocialCitizen has added an average of 42 new followers per day and received averages of 1.7 retweets and 2.9 favorites per tweet.
What have we learned so far?
The lines between business, non-profit, government and citizenship is increasingly tangled. Thinking about how these constituents interact and evolve is at the core of Collaborative’s investment thesis.
As such, we have started using these tools to engage in questions that we have as a team, our portfolio companies are thinking about and our community is interested in.
If you’re interested in learning more about Collaborative Fund — how we think, the questions we have, the topics we are interested in — please join the discussion!