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
Author: LAPA Fundraising
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Nonprofits involved with the abortion debate are seeing a fundraising spike because of the recent leak of a draft opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court that would overrule Roe v. Wade. But for nonprofits whose missions are not about reproductive rights, the future of Roe v. Wade is causing intense internal discussions about whether they should take a stand or be apolitical. The topic of abortion stirs strong emotions on both the left and right. As a result, public statements from a nonprofit on the issue are likely to rankle a portion of its donor base.
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A growing number of nonprofits are creating impact reports to show donors how their contributions have made a difference. When done well, impact reports can be powerful tools for showing results through hard numbers. But they truly excel when they amplify the metrics with real-life stories and voices that put a face on the organization’s work. The Massachusetts nonprofit Root Cause married numbers and stories beautifully with its recently released Impact Report: 2021. This piece is especially effective because it provides a clear snapshot of what the organization does, uses simple graphics to display information,
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA We try our utmost to avoid it, but feeling uncomfortable is key to fundraising mastery. In fact, the more advanced fundraising you seek, the more uncomfortable feelings rise. Yet it is an enormous (and lucrative) gift to yourself, and especially to your nonprofit, to work through these initial feelings. Aversion for being uncomfortable is understandable. Uncomfortable situations trigger feelings of being out of control. Anxiety and fear storm through us and our bodies get tense. Being uncomfortable goes against our innate desire to feel calm and at peace. Many fundraisers call me when they are
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA. Your survey to donors is only half the picture. You have to report back your findings. In this blog post, we are modeling for you how to report back, so that you in turn can do the same with your donors. You see, hundreds of LAPA’s 70,000+ blog readers and webinar attendees recently took an Audience Survey on their experiences of using our thought-leadership content—our weekly blog post, our webinars, our white papers, and sample cases for support, and Laurence’s books. Here’s what they said. You can use our format to report back to your
By Roger M. Craver, JD. Last week, we celebrated Earth Day, which makes it an appropriate time for fundraisers to think about what we’re really doing — professionally, personally, and collectively — to save our planet. I’m not asking you to think about raising money for climate change or conservation. Instead, it’s time to consider how our practices are affecting our planet — and how we can take collective actions at our organizations to make a difference. In gathering my ball of string for this Earth Day post, I came across a LinkedIn post from Steve Falk, President and CEO of Canada’s Prime Data.
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A superb case statement communicates to the donor why funds are urgently needed and why philanthropic support makes sense. It’s critical for that to occur on the first page of the case, as this sample does so well, since many people will only read that page. “How can we ever say no?,” the cover page asks. Right from the start the key question is posed and driven home. When executed well, a case statement inspires your donors to invest in your future — and become ambassadors for your mission and vision. Most people associate Cases
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Your board can be a robust fundraising engine, but not if it’s cluttered with board members who are light lifters. And, let’s face it, most nonprofits have boards that do very little. It’s better to have even a few people on your board who are willing to put in the time to guide your organization to its greatest impact. I’ve seen organizations transformed by three or four such people, and it’s much more advantageous to recruit this type of board member. The question, of course, is how do you cultivate the heavy lifters to ensure that you’re giving them
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA I met Dr. Paul Farmer at a conference 15 years ago. Unexpectedly, Paul recently passed away in his sleep from an acute cardiac event while in Rwanda, where he had been teaching. He was one of the founders of Partners in Health (PIH). As an international healthcare organization founded in 1987 PIH was, and remains, driven by its vision “to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.” Partners in Health inspires me. That is why I keep giving to it
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Tax season is a great time to communicate with your donors about how they can make smart decisions about their giving. In fact, if you have donors who are required to make annual distributions from their individual retirement accounts, there is still time for them to receive a benefit on their 2021 tax returns. According to IRS rules, anyone who has an IRA must take a required minimum annual distribution (RMD) from their accounts once they turn 72. But that time is growing short. Eligible donors have until Tax Day (April 18) to give money