Category: Annual Funds

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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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Discomfort in Fundraising

Three Steps to Manage Uncomfortableness in Fundraising

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

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Statement

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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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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Our 2022 Crystal Ball

Our 2022 Crystal Ball

By Brooke Bryant, Ph.D; Robin Merle, CFRE; and Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA As we approach a new year, fundraisers continue to navigate an unsettled landscape. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, calls for racial justice, changing donor expectations, and a tight labor market have been central themes in 2021 — and they will continue to influence how we approach our work in 2022. Against that backdrop, we offer these 12 fundraising trends to watch over the next 12 months: The 12 Biggest Nonprofit Trends for 2022 Donors Will Give More Generously Equity Must Be Front and Center Hybrid Is Here to Stay Megadonors Will Be

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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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Gift Charts

Gift Charts Are Fundamental

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The adage “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” applies to gift charts. A gift chart shows giving levels from low to high and informs fundraisers on how many donors they need at each level of giving to reach the fundraising goal. As such, gift charts are central to careful development planning. They are also useful for all sizes of nonprofits — not just large campaigns or large organizations. Taking a short amount of time to make, a gift chart will deepen your ability to manage your time and staff resources to focus

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Six Steps To Setting The Right Fundraising Goal

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Knowing how much revenue you’re raising is essential. It seems obvious doesn’t it? Yet many fundraisers don’t know how to go about setting the right goal. There’s often silence whenever I ask a Chief Development Officer or the CEO, “How much revenue are you seeking to raise?” Recently, Jane, a mid-career Development Director, was honest with me: “That’s a seemingly simple question, she said, but I really don’t know.” I am empathetic. There are many good reasons why we fundraisers do not know our goal. For example, organizational budgets may not have been shared, or

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A Comprehensive Guide to Your Year-End Drive

A Comprehensive Guide to Your Year-End Drive

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The most lucrative fundraising months of the year are now upon us: September through year-end. The heat is on. Are you ready? Two year-end appeal letters are required, not just one. The donor should receive the first appeal on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and the second on December 26th. The second letter is sent exclusively to those donors who have not yet replied to the first appeal. Allow me to explain. With the fast pace of the holidays, if you don’t give your donors a few gentle reminders, your appeal is likely to get overlooked.

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