Category: Assessment and Strategy

New Year Questions Every Fundraiser Is Asking

New Year Questions Every Fundraiser Is Asking

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A good question is said to be worth more than a good answer! I believe that wholeheartedly. The dawn of a new year is a perfect time to reassess. As fundraisers, investigating our strategies and practices brings us more revenue. The start of the year is a chance to be reflective and to look ahead. It also offers the first opportunity for many of us to take a deep breath and relax after the hectic year-end giving season. This investigation starts with asking the right questions. The most empowering and galvanizing questions create value. They

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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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The Pyramid of Giving

Are You Using The Pyramid of Giving?

On occasion, it’s important to return to the fundamentals of fundraising. The Pyramid of Giving is a key fundamental because it illustrates a theoretical overview of development and reminds us of the inextricable relationship between deepening donor engagement and raising more revenue.

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Giving USA: How much did Americans give in 2018?

Giving USA released their annual report on trends in American philanthropy for 2018. The chart below provides a great summary of their findings.   As Gregory Warner notes in his recent article, total giving actually increased by .7%. Even given the inflation-adjusted decline, giving still remained at 2.1% of GDP. The inflation-adjusted decline is far less than the Chronicle on Philanthropy told us it would be.   Fundraisers should be about seizing the opportunity, not projecting worry.    What are your thoughts on this recent report? Leave a comment on our blog and let us know. 

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Seeking New Funders?  Why Not Ask Your Current Funders?

Raising money by soliciting private and corporate foundation grants is a volume business.  Since at best you might get one grant for every five submissions (20%), the search for funders closely aligned with the values and mission of your agency is never-ending. You don’t want to waste time tossing proposals around willy-nilly, but with value-aligned prospects the rule is: the more the merrier.   Ask Your Current Funders One very useful but ordinarily overlooked approach to finding new prospective funders is simply to ask your current funders.  A steadfast funder that has supported your program year in and year out

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How to Conduct a Development Audit

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A Development Audit documents the strengths and weaknesses of your current fundraising program, and provides a roadmap for growth. A Development Audit is an internal assessment of your fundraising program and your readiness to embark on new development ventures. The Development Audit examines involvement of board, staff, and volunteers, in the fundraising process, and offers recommendations on how to best use your human resources available. It further evaluates the integrity of your development systems, including fundraising software. The audit also suggests possible improvements to donor communications and stewardship.   Many organizations consider a Development Audit

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