[By Rauglothgor (own work), via Wikimedia Commons]

Cold Cash

3 marketing lessons we can learn from the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Last summer, the ALS #IceBucketChallenge provided some of the coldest warm-fuzzies imaginable. If you’re part of nonprofit that relies on charitable giving watching these videos, you’ve probably started to pensively rub your chin, wondering if and how you could get something like this to work for you.

Sep 10, 2014 Melissa Sorcic
Chris Hay, owner and farmer, Say Hay Farms

Land of the Fee

Can micro loans dig farmers out of their financial holes?

Today’s small farmer climbs an uphill battle to find land, secure capital and overcome the hefty start-up costs. Today, farmers make up less than 1 percent of the population (compared to 15 percent in 1950), they tend to be older (the average age is 57) and about 25 percent are expected to retire in the next 20 years. “This is a new problem for human society,” writes Sharon Astyk, author of “A Nation of Farmers.”

Oct 31, 2013 Jeff Wilser
(istockphoto.com)

Accounting for Green

New research may change how commercial real estate loans are designed

Among the many risks involved in commercial real estate lending today, energy risk is so poorly understood that lenders simply do not have the tools they need to measure it. This ignorance of energy risk — the likelihood that higher energy costs compromise a building owner’s ability to make their mortgage payments — leads to inflated loans. This is because both efficient and inefficient buildings are judged the same in the eyes of the lender. But UC Berkeley researchers have developed a tool they claim would measure the net benefit of energy savings investments.

Feb 13, 2013 Bill Romanelli

Social Network

How crowdfunding connects strangers — and your business – to money

“Small Market, Big Heart” tells the story of the Sacramento Kings and their fans’ fight to hold onto the team. But the 80-minute documentary — packed with NBA archive footage and interviews with Kings’ executives, local politicians and sports entertainment personalities — isn’t from the NBA offices or an established production company.

Feb 12, 2013 Andrea Kennedy
(istockphoto.com)

Bank of Tomorrow

New sources for business loans

Banks are running up against some odd new competitors these days. Big box retailer Costco is advertising mortgages. Wal-Mart has issued its own debit card. Amazon is offering loans to merchants in its online marketplace.

Feb 12, 2013 Robert Celaschi

The Buy-In

It was sometime in 2004 when Larry Booth and his brother Martin swallowed the truth that they wouldn’t live forever.

Jul 31, 2012 Bill Romanelli
(istockphoto)

Degree of Difficulty

The life-altering burden of diploma debt

Fluff the pillows and stock the fridge because, chances are, your adult kids are coming home. Nearly one-third of Americans age 25 to 34 have lived with their parents in recent years, according to a 2011 study by Pew Research Center. But before you start blaming a generation of millennials — known for their unearned trophies and sense of entitlement — remember it’s the generations past who wrought an economy with tuition hikes and growing unemployment.

Jun 30, 2012 Stephanie Flores

Contract Killer

Local businesses struggle with dwindling government deals

Companies in the Sacramento region have long counted on government contracts to smooth out the gyrations of economic cycles. Local, state and federal governments had deep pockets and a seemingly unending appetite for goods and services.

Companies in the Sacramento region have long counted on government contracts to smooth out the gyrations of economic cycles. Local, state and federal governments had deep pockets and a seemingly unending appetite for goods and services.

Feb 1, 2012 Robert Celaschi

Hedge Hogs

Investors look to recoup losses from the Great Recession

Hedge funds are back. Worries about European debt crisis, war in the Middle East and the potential for rating agencies to downgrade America’s treasuries have rattled shareholders. But those fears haven’t held back investors from pouring record amounts of capital into the cowboy country of largely unregulated, nontransparent funds.

Jul 31, 2011 Joel Schectman
Fred Sconberg, Upbeat Workouts Apps

Nonprofit Revenue

Charities raise money through social enterprise

A Sacramento software startup has launched an iPhone application for runners that picks music to go with a workout and can add customized coaching instructions along with the beat. When users pay to download the coaching data, a donation goes to a nonprofit of the coach’s choice.

Dec 1, 2010 Adam Weintraub

Lending Competition

Weighing the pros and cons of bank size

In the Capital Region and beyond, some customers are switching from large financial institutions to smaller community banks, partially in response to columnist Arianna Huffington’s December 2009 “Move your Money” campaign, which encouraged consumers to do just that.

Dec 1, 2010 Ingrid Ahlgren