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Dan Fireside is a key player in the world of creative financing strategy, but he does not come from a high finance or private equity background. After working as a program officer at Rights Action, a grassroots NGO based in Guatemala and Peru, Dan went on to work at Equal Exchange, the worker-coop, Fair Trade coffee company where he helped raise over $17 million in mission-aligned equity and debt. Now, he’s sitting down with hosts Jenny Kassan and Michelle Thimesch to discuss how he applied the skills he learned as an activist to help co-ops and other mission-driven businesses raise values-aligned funding.

Episode Highlights:

  • “Ninety percent of fundraising is storytelling.”
  • “My biggest takeaway was the power of cooperatives.”


Daniel Fireside, founder of Uncommon Capital Solutions, is a fundraising consultant for co-ops and other mission-driven companies. He was the Capital Coordinator for Equal Exchange, one of the largest worker-owned cooperatives in the U.S. for over a decade. At Equal Exchange, Daniel raised over $15 million in investments and mission-aligned debt. He was elected to the board of Equal Exchange, as well as the Cooperative Fund of New England, and Namaste Solar. As the lead fundraiser for Downtown Crenshaw Rising, he has helped raise nearly $35 million for a Black community-led initiative to protect neighborhoods in South LA from gentrification and displacement by using community land trusts and supporting solidarity economy programs.

Daniel has worked with non-profits, social enterprises, and community development organizations in the U.S., Guatemala, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a BA from UC Santa Cruz. He also speaks regularly at universities and conferences, including: Harvard Law School, MIT, Tufts, Northeastern University, Slow Money, SOCAP, among others.

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Episode Credit:

Intro and outro are voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at


Check out past episodes here!