Author: Laurence A. Pagnoni


Year-End Giving

Year-End Giving
You never hear people say, “I know when I am.”  But it’s often useful to know where you stand in a temporal sense.  From a fundraiser’s point of view, it’s important to know where you are timewise  when we approach the end of the year.  One of out of every three dollars contributed to nonprofit organizations is donated in the month of December alone!

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Shot of a group of hands holding on to each other against a white background

Your Legacy Society

Because August is “Make A Will” month, I’ve been writing each week about how you can encourage your donors to designate your nonprofit in their will. So far, I’ve focused on the importance of using phrases that work better than our industry estate-giving language. I’ve also conveyed the top facts that can guide you to raising more planned-giving revenue. Plus I shared the key sentences you’ll want to use in your donor communications. This week’s focus is on establishing, or advancing, your Legacy Society. Establishing a Legacy Society An absolutely essential aspect of a robust planned-giving program is thanking and

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Astounding Facts About Estate Giving

Because August is “Make A Will” month, I’ve been writing each week about how you can encourage your donors to designate your nonprofit in their will. Last week I focused on the importance of using phrases that work better than our industry estate-giving language. Now, I’d like to convey certain facts that can guide you to raising more planned-giving revenue. Astounding Facts The most common type of planned gifts are “bequests,” which are gifts made through a will or trust. More than 85% of planned gifts are bequests. Other types of planned gifts include IRA designations, life insurance gifts, charitable

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Three Phrases That Encourage Estate Giving

Since August is “Make-A-Will” month, I’ve been writing about estate and legacy (planned) giving and wills, and plan to continue doing so for the next few weeks. Please let me know if the content helps you decide your course of action. Would You Make A “Gift” In Your Will? Did you know that it’s much more effective to ask your donors to make “Gifts in your will” rather than “Bequest Gifts?” Here’s why: Russell James, JD, PhD, CFP, a philanthropy researcher based at Texas Tech University, reports that, according to the latest donor surveys, asking people to consider “Gifts in your will”

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It’s Make-A-Will Month

August is National Make-A-Will Month, an incredible opportunity for your nonprofit to increase its legacy or planned gifts. The easiest planned gift for your nonprofit’s supporters to make is to leave a portion of their estate to your organization as a bequest in their will. Yet it’s highly likely that your donors don’t know how to create a will. They need your guidance. In fact, six in ten parents either don’t have a will or have one that’s out of date. Sample The Wood Library of Canandaigua, New York managed the matter proactively by creating this brochure . The Library

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Does Fundraising Slow Down in the Summer?

A reader asks, “Doesn’t giving slowdown in the summer?” Summertime is usually a challenging time for nonprofit fundraising and is often seen as the “off season.” Statistics show that nonprofits bring in less than 5% of their annual fundraising revenue in both July and August, respectively. Also, less donations are usually made during these two summer months than the rest of the year. Five Immediate Summertime Actions To make the most of the dog days of summer, consider these five immediate action steps: Increase your donor cultivation and stewardship Pick up the phone and call your major donors, even if

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The tips below will help your virtual gala succeed.

Make Your Online Gala Pop

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Participants are expecting more personal engagement — and a higher production quality — from your online gala and fundraising events. What worked last year will not carry the day if you want to raise more in 2022. Galas are a show. And in this era of virtual and hybrid events, it’s important for you to think differently and make your virtual event as engaging as possible. Many online galas and smaller Parties With A Purpose have room for production and program improvement. Pay attention to the nuances, because fundraising in the time of COVID-19 means

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Recurring Giving

Generate Ongoing Revenue Through Recurring Giving

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A well-executed recurring giving program can generate consistent, ongoing revenue for your mission. Brooklyn Defender Services, a LAPA Fundraising client, recently closed its 2021 annual fund campaign with nearly 6,000 new donors — and recently established a monthly giving program as part of the effort to boost its annual fund. By identifying annual fund donors who are willing to support the organization through automated monthly contributions, Brooklyn Defender Services now has a steady stream of recurring revenue in 2022 from these newly acquired supporters. Your organization can follow a similar path by creating data-driven, personalized

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Does positive or negative messaging raise more funds?

Do Negativity and Alarm Really Raise Funds?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A reader writes: “My inbox and mailbox are flooded with fundraising appeals from causes using the words ‘terrifying,’ ‘alarming,’ ‘emergency,’ etc.  “Yes, we’re in deep sh*t on many levels. Why would they think I don’t know this? The messages only make me more depressed, and depression does not motivate me to contribute. Does negativity and alarm really raise funds?”  —John, CEO of a civic education nonprofit   Dear John, This is a top-of-mind question for many fundraising professionals. Fundraisers use danger messages because marketing data often (not always) shows they’re highly effective when compared with

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Private Grants Are They for You(1)

Private Grants: Are They for You?

Six steps to making a grants assessment. By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA and Sheldon Bart Here’s a tale of two real nonprofits. Let’s call the first one Amazing Youth, and the second The Real Deal Healthcare. Amazing Youth operates a transitional shelter for homeless youth limited by law to a modest number of residents, fewer than 10. The Real Deal Healthcare operates a community health center serving thousands of low-income patients. Both are LAPA clients. What they have in common is that for many years both neglected private grant revenue. Eventually, each one came to understand the value of outsourcing

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