Category: Annual Funds

Year-End Tip #2 An Option to Volunteer

Year-End Tip #2: An Option to Volunteer

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA This is part two of a four part series on Year-End Giving Tips. To read Tip #1, click here. Many nonprofits receive 40 percent or more of their annual fundraising in the final weeks of the year. Start planning now – don’t wait until it’s too late. I have a few really hot “tips” for you about year-end giving, but first, here’s the data supporting the “tips.” By sharing these first, my “tips” will be self-evident. Charitable gifts were up 3% last year, and wealthy individuals were responsible for most of the increase. Baby Boomers

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Year-End Tip #1 In-Person Meetings

Year-End Tip #1: In-Person Meetings

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Many nonprofits receive 40 percent or more of their annual fundraising in the final weeks of the year. Start planning now – don’t wait until it’s too late. I have a few really hot tips for you about year-end giving, but first, here’s the data supporting the tips. By sharing these first, my tips will be self-evident. Charitable gifts were up 3% last year, and wealthy individuals were responsible for most of the increase. Baby Boomers are today’s major donors. They comprise only 34% of all donors, but are giving 43% of the money. 64%

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5 Ways to Get Repeat Gifts

5 Ways to Get Repeat Gifts

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA When you ask a donor to renew his or her support, you’re offering a unique opportunity to make something significant happen in the world, something they deeply want, but cannot affect by themselves. You (the fundraiser) have to be clear about that opportunity and what would happen if it did not exist. This is what engages donors. A unique feature of really engaged donors is their desire to build the future with you. For this reason, fundraisers almost always ask donors to give their support over three or five years. Truly transformative gifts are often made as

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Off The Plateau An Annual Fund Soars

Off The Plateau: An Annual Fund Soars

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Here’s a story with a happy ending and a robust annual fund. You may have heard of St. Christopher’s Inn (SCI), a LAPA client since 2014. Located on the heights above the Hudson River, just across from West Point, the agency’s services for homeless men in crisis were described in a national publication—Look magazine—65 years ago. Today, SCI is licensed by the State of New York to provide addiction treatment, and medical and mental health services, in addition to shelter services. Its accomplishments are glowing. The Inn receives more than 100 client inquiries per day,

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You Will Love This Year-End Appeal Idea

You Will Love This Year-End Appeal Idea

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The Thanksgiving holiday is an excellent time to extend gratitude to your donors, do you agree? Before mailing a single year-end fundraising appeal though, you can catch supporters off-guard with a positive Thanksgiving message full of gratitude. Don’t ask for a thing— not volunteer support, not links to social media, not their time, and certainly not their money. Don’t refer to the upcoming year-end appeal or include a donor reply envelope. Don’t mention previous donations. Just tell supporters that, on this Thanksgiving holiday, your nonprofit is thankful for them and why. A nice personal card

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Writing Appeals Close Your Eyes, See the Donor

Writing Appeals: Close Your Eyes, See the Donor

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA As you write a new donor appeal letter (or email), close your eyes and see the donor. See their smile, speak their name, blink at them, and make it real. This process is very important, because writing and speaking directly to the donor, in a conversational tone, simply produces greater financial returns, not to mention that it’s more genuine. You may be tempted to lapse into a story about a client and that’s okay, but tell the story as if the donor were sitting before you over a cup of coffee.  Tell them how their

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Calling Your Donors — It's the Magic

Calling Your Donors — It’s the Magic

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA I’m beginning to think the old-fashioned phone call is going the way of the hand-written letter: ancient history! With texting, tweeting, and email as the easy, quick alternatives, picking up the phone and having a two-way, voice-to-voice conversation with a real human being feels almost scary. Yet it is precisely what is needed to develop and maintain donor relationships. That genuine dialog is at the heart of donor cultivation—it’s the magic. If you plan to use the Benevon Model for its intended purpose—to engage and develop relationships with lifelong individual donors and build towards long-term

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