Category: Fundraising tips
A $5 million award letter arrived from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an historic moment in the 15-year-old nonprofit’s existence. They had arrived. Their mission is to build bathrooms in rural schools in the poorest areas to meet children’s basic hygiene needs. It’s a transformative service.
You are the most important aspect of your fundraising program, not the latest software, not the latest research findings, not the latest prospect research tactic. Solely, you. Without you, all the rest is grist for the mill. These tips drawn from my own recent professional development experiences may inspire you. Here goes.: Sometimes you must forget everything and start anew. What worked before may not work now. Ask yourself what would it take to clear the decks and try a brand-new approach? Of course, we don’t want something new just for the novelty of it. We want something new to
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Wellness usually focuses on your personal responsibility to stay healthy. There’s a bit of “blame the victim” syndrome in that. I have a different view. You see, my 25 years of fundraising leadership has shown me that 10 key organizational development touchpoints do more to keep you healthy and well than almost anything else! I talked about these 10 touchpoints on a recent webinar, which you can watch at this link. My view is that if you have agreement on these issues, then you have less stress. And when you’re feeling less stress, you can raise
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The pre-eminent source of annual data about giving and philanthropy in the United States — Giving USA Foundation — this week released its 2021 report. This year’s edition offers a mixed bag of news for fundraisers and sends a few warning signals about what we can expect in the balance of 2022. But before the warnings, some good news: Charitable giving totaled a near-record $484.9 billion in 2021, which was flat when compared to 2020. That’s considered a win, especially since COVID-19 sparked an 8.1% annual increase in giving in 2020, and many observers feared
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 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,
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
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
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