Author: LAPA

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Include Your Board Members In Your Year-End Giving Plan

Year-end giving is on all fundraisers’ minds right now—we all want to have the best returns possible. Last week, we described what’s ahead for year-end giving in 2022; you can read about that here. Over the next few weeks, I’ll examine various aspects of year-end giving, including the Thanksgiving Thank-A-Thon, year-end appeal letters, and the crucial last four days of the year. Stay tuned.   Today, let’s look at some tips for inviting your board to play a leadership role in your year-end drive. It’s our job as fundraisers to make it easy for board members to participate in fundraising,

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What’s Ahead In Year-End Giving?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA, Michael Taylor, CFRE, Brooke Bryant, CFRE, Alison Plott, MFA, Alexa Strautmanis, Alyssa Greengrass, MA, and Evan Northup, CFRE. Today’s blog post is a team effort as required by such an unwieldy subject: what’s ahead in year-end giving for 2022? We seven contributors are all senior fundraisers at LAPA Fundraising, and we’ve been pondering this question since spring. You can see our bios here. This is what we project for your 2022 year-end fundraising: Market Volatility We’ve been tracking market volatility, wondering what it will be like a years-end. Of note, we’re ending the year without

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Tips For Becoming The Best Fundraiser You Can Be

You are the most important aspect of your fundraising program, not the latest software, not the latest research findings, not the latest prospect research tactic. Solely, you. Without you, all the rest is grist for the mill. These tips drawn from my own recent professional development experiences may inspire you. Here goes.: Sometimes you must forget everything and start anew. What worked before may not work now. Ask yourself what would it take to clear the decks and try a brand-new approach? Of course, we don’t want something new just for the novelty of it. We want something new to

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A Nifty Tool To Improve Fundraising Copy

“Books are well written or badly written. That is all.” Well, whatever aesthetic criteria Oscar had in mind when talking about literature, we can now scientifically say the same for fundraising copy. All I’ve ever done is write copy (I mean, I’ve done other stuff with my life, but not for a living). But it’s only in the past year, since testing and launching the Copy Optimizer, I’ve had any objective criteria by which to assess whether anything I wrote was good or bad. In the fundraising world good or bad is defined by response rate. But despite endless drafts and rounds

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Guest Post: Stop F***ing About With Your Logo And Stick To Fundraising Instead

We are proud to share this guest blog post by Mark Phillips of Bluefrog Fundraising. A few weeks ago, I presented Rogare’s inaugural Critical Fundraising lecture at Kingston University. My topic was charity rebranding. It’s an area of work I’ve long been interested in. I love great brands, and as a result, I tend to track what happens after a charity rebrands by keeping an eye on the numbers in their annual reports. By and large, if a rebrand is a tweak – that’s a change of visual ID, typeface or even a logo, it doesn’t really have much impact on

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A Lesser-Known View of Wellness

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Wellness usually focuses on your personal responsibility to stay healthy. There’s a bit of “blame the victim” syndrome in that. I have a different view. You see, my 25 years of fundraising leadership has shown me that 10 key organizational development touchpoints do more to keep you healthy and well than almost anything else! I talked about these 10 touchpoints on a recent webinar, which you can watch at this link. My view is that if you have agreement on these issues, then you have less stress. And when you’re feeling less stress, you can raise

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Preparing to Win Larger Grant Awards

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA, and Sheldon Bart The “voice” of the New York Yankees, broadcaster John Sterling, is famous for saying, “You can’t predict baseball.” You can’t predict grants either. Grant opportunities pop up like bubbles and burst like bubbles as funders reappraise their priorities or circulate new RFPs. Even though you can’t predict funding opportunities, you can be alert for them and pounce. Turning $5,000 Into $200,000 Advent Health, a faith-based nonprofit health care system operating across nine states, had previously sponsored the Orlando, Florida, nonprofit Pathlight HOME’s Culinary Training Program with a $5,000 grant. Suddenly, in the

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New ‘Giving USA’ Report Signals Turbulence Ahead for Fundraisers

New ‘Giving USA’ Report Signals Turbulence Ahead for Fundraisers

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The pre-eminent source of annual data about giving and philanthropy in the United States — Giving USA Foundation — this week released its 2021 report. This year’s edition offers a mixed bag of news for fundraisers and sends a few warning signals about what we can expect in the balance of 2022. But before the warnings, some good news: Charitable giving totaled a near-record $484.9 billion in 2021, which was flat when compared to 2020. That’s considered a win, especially since COVID-19 sparked an 8.1% annual increase in giving in 2020, and many observers feared

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Advancing Your Prospect Research

Advancing Your Prospect Research

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A lot of donor information is hidden. Most donors aren’t advertising their net worth or telling us about the other nonprofits they donate to. So it’s up to us to do the research in advance of our conversations with them. Three Options Nonprofits have three options for conducting this research: Conducting In-House Research — Larger nonprofits with the financial means often build dedicated research teams into their organizational structure. Hiring a Consultant — Instead of hiring a full-time prospect researcher or having an existing staff member screen donors, you can bring in consultants like LAPA

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Have You Received Charitable Donations From Russian Oligarchs

Have You Received Charitable Donations From Russian Oligarchs?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Over the past two decades, hundreds of U.S. nonprofits have received massive philanthropic support from Russia’s superwealthy, often celebrated with named scholarships and buildings. Yet within the nonprofit sector, there is little conversation about this. In light of the horrific war that has been unleashed on Ukraine, do you wish to continue to steward and receive their support? Today we ask, “What are your policies and procedures for receiving Russian megagifts — and megagifts overall?” I hope that this blog, and the research we’re sharing, will foster a discussion within your nonprofit that will help

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