By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Over the past two decades, hundreds of U.S. nonprofits have received massive philanthropic support from Russia’s superwealthy, often celebrated with named scholarships and buildings. Yet within the nonprofit sector, there is little conversation about this. In light of the horrific war that has been unleashed on Ukraine, do you wish to continue to steward and receive their support? Today we ask, “What are your policies and procedures for receiving Russian megagifts — and megagifts overall?” I hope that this blog, and the research we’re sharing, will foster a discussion within your nonprofit that will help
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Nonprofits involved with the abortion debate are seeing a fundraising spike because of the recent leak of a draft opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court that would overrule Roe v. Wade. But for nonprofits whose missions are not about reproductive rights, the future of Roe v. Wade is causing intense internal discussions about whether they should take a stand or be apolitical. The topic of abortion stirs strong emotions on both the left and right. As a result, public statements from a nonprofit on the issue are likely to rankle a portion of its donor base.
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 Paying a fundraiser based on the revenue return you potentially will receive exposes you to pay a much higher fee than you should. It’s an unwise business proposition. The Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) even deems it unethical. In AFP’s position paper, they describe six specific reasons why. AFP believes that individuals serving a charity for compensation must first accept the principle that charitable purpose, not self-gain, is paramount: “It is our view that if, by definition, private financial benefit cannot inure to the charity, it should not inure to the worker. By law, compensation
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Many fundraisers are neither memorable nor impactful, and when they leave an organization, they go out with a whimper, not a bang. I’m as upset about this as you must be. One may think there’s a bevy of great fundraisers out there, but that’s not my experience. A lack of authentic mentoring contributes to this “excellence” problem. As a field, we do a poor job mentoring younger fundraising professionals, for sure. Further, while we have more fundraising certificate programs and graduate degrees than ever before, few nonprofits know what the credentials mean. The viability of