By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A growing number of nonprofits are creating impact reports to show donors how their contributions have made a difference. When done well, impact reports can be powerful tools for showing results through hard numbers. But they truly excel when they amplify the metrics with real-life stories and voices that put a face on the organization’s work. The Massachusetts nonprofit Root Cause married numbers and stories beautifully with its recently released Impact Report: 2021. This piece is especially effective because it provides a clear snapshot of what the organization does, uses simple graphics to display information,
Category: Donor Communications
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA. Your survey to donors is only half the picture. You have to report back your findings. In this blog post, we are modeling for you how to report back, so that you in turn can do the same with your donors. You see, hundreds of LAPA’s 70,000+ blog readers and webinar attendees recently took an Audience Survey on their experiences of using our thought-leadership content—our weekly blog post, our webinars, our white papers, and sample cases for support, and Laurence’s books. Here’s what they said. You can use our format to report back to your
By Roger M. Craver, JD. Last week, we celebrated Earth Day, which makes it an appropriate time for fundraisers to think about what we’re really doing — professionally, personally, and collectively — to save our planet. I’m not asking you to think about raising money for climate change or conservation. Instead, it’s time to consider how our practices are affecting our planet — and how we can take collective actions at our organizations to make a difference. In gathering my ball of string for this Earth Day post, I came across a LinkedIn post from Steve Falk, President and CEO of Canada’s Prime Data.
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A superb case statement communicates to the donor why funds are urgently needed and why philanthropic support makes sense. It’s critical for that to occur on the first page of the case, as this sample does so well, since many people will only read that page. “How can we ever say no?,” the cover page asks. Right from the start the key question is posed and driven home. When executed well, a case statement inspires your donors to invest in your future — and become ambassadors for your mission and vision. Most people associate Cases
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
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
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.
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
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,
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA LAPA blog reader Kennita, who works for a historic preservation nonprofit, writes, “How do I bring equity into our fundraising practices?” Thanks for writing, Kennita, and that’s a terrific question. I hope my answer is useful. It just so happens that a key advanced fundraising trend is to bring equity into your fundraising practices. But what does that really mean, and how do you implement it? For a complete view of 2022 fundraising trends, watch this video. Fundamental Questions Here are two fundamental questions to get you started. What is your fundraising equity approach? The