Author: LAPA Fundraising

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Reassuring Donors in Turbulent Times

We all lose perspective. Donors particularly lose perspective about their vital role in supporting your mission when faced with seemingly more crucial causes. That’s especially true right now as they experience the horrors of war, political misinformation campaigns that fracture our society, and personal economic struggles like higher prices. In the midst of the AIDS pandemic, Peter Drucker once told me that it was his job “to lift the chin of [his] staff and volunteers to inspire them beyond the fear of dying to embrace their full potential to care for others and to provide real service.” So I will

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Text to Give

Use Text Messaging for Donor Stewardship

Text messaging is an important — and largely underused — donor stewardship tool. Advanced fundraisers have been slow to fully embrace text (aka SMS) messaging largely out of fear that they are intruding on their donors. But as texting has become the primary form of communication for many of us, it’s time to move past that fear and embrace texting as a central piece of your larger donor communications strategy. Text marketing has an incredible 98% open rate — and most messages are read within the first 30 minutes of delivery. The average American sends more than 40 texts per

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Will Congress Act to Reform Philanthropy?

By Jan Masaoka  While this may surprise those who follow philanthropy’s every move, Congress only rarely passes laws that directly regulate philanthropy. The last truly foundational law regarding philanthropy was passed in 1969. That was the law that mandated a 5% minimum payout from private foundations, among other provisions (such as prohibitions against self-dealing). Of course, a lot has changed in philanthropy since 1969! Consider, for example, the donor-advised fund, or DAF. The first DAF may date back to 1931, but the significance of DAFs has increased markedly in the past half century, with the number of assets held in

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Unleashing the Power of Women’s Philanthropy

By Brooke Bryant, PhD Women’s philanthropy has long been undervalued. Yet, women are statistically more likely to give than men, and 70% of giving circles are populated by women. At a time when women have increased financial power, and are more actively involved in giving decisions than their male counterparts, your nonprofit cannot afford to overlook this important demographic. I once spoke with a women’s rights organization that wanted to grow its major gifts program, and they had a major concern: I just don’t think we can grow our major donor pool. Most of our donors are women — and

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Why You Need to Send Annual Giving Statements

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Sending annual giving statements to your donors and funders is a fundraising best practice — and an amazing opportunity to show love to your donors. An annual giving statement is also an opportunity to inform your donors about what makes your nonprofit unique. Donors tell me that they look more favorably at nonprofits that provide gift statements. These documents signal that the nonprofit is thoughtful and organized — and it gives many donors timely and highly useful information as they prepare their income tax returns. Here’s a sample gift statement that I like a lot.

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Lapsed Donors

Reengage Your Lapsed Donors

By Alyssa Greengrass, MA. “How do we get our donors back?” It’s a common yet distressing question. And it’s one that I regularly hear from fundraisers and executives at nonprofits of all sizes — ranging from large national hospital systems to local food banks. While it seems difficult to win back donors who have chosen to stop supporting your nonprofit, it’s important to resist the temptation to simply focus on closing new gifts. Ignoring your lapsed donor file is cost ineffective and jeopardizes relationships that took time and care to develop. Often, these lapsed donors are devoted supporters of your

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Whitfield 1

What Is Trust-Based Philanthropy?

By Eddie Whitfield. As we enter our third year of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, we’re reflecting on the stories of leaders and organizations that have embraced trust-based philanthropy and what connects them. In September, we launched the Trust-Based Story Map, which highlights the personal journeys of leaders from across the United States who are adopting a more trust-based, power-aware approach to their work. As we take a closer look at these stories collectively, some powerful themes are emerging about what inspires the adoption of trust-based philanthropy and what we can learn from the trends we are seeing. Diversity in Lived

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Use this touchpoints as loudspeakers to maximize donor engagement.

7 Key Touchpoints to Keep Donors Engaged

By Alexa Strautmanis Seven is a golden number in marketing. As the “Rule of Seven” goes, an individual must see or interact with your nonprofit’s brand at least seven times in the course of a year before they’re inclined to take any action.  Following this rule is a best practice when it comes to donor engagement. Through multichannel marketing, these seven touches can be seamlessly woven into your nonprofit’s communications to keep your cause top-of-mind for new donors and deepen relationships with your current supporters. Your nonprofit may already be hitting this magic number. If you mail your constituents quarterly,

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Segmentation Tips To Raise More At #GivingTuesday And Year-End

Segmentation Tips to Raise More at #GivingTuesday and Year-End

By Ryan Carpenter November and December are a prime time for philanthropy, with 31% of donations occurring in December alone. But if you aren’t prepared to ride the coming wave of support, you could be leaving dollars behind. One of the best strategies to make the most of the giving season is to develop segmented messages for various donor groups. Given that donors have been shown to give 10% to 25% more when messages are personalized, you must not ignore the power of customized messages. Any fundraiser can apply the following segmentation best practices to #GivingTuesday and year-end campaigns. The

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As Giving Tuesday Approaches, What’s New in Digital Fundraising

What’s New in Digital Fundraising?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Giving Tuesday, November 30, is a digital fundraising wonderland. But is your digital fundraising up to snuff? Below are a number of useful resources that can help you get there. First, here’s a downloadable workbook that walks you step by step through building a great Giving Tuesday campaign. Second, watch our recent webinar that offers timely guidance to shape your Giving Tuesday strategy. Here’s the skinny: Your ability to raise more revenue on Giving Tuesday, and with all your digital fundraising efforts, is tied to adapting to the latest online giving trends. Here are seven recent digital

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