Category: Fundraising tips

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Tips For Becoming The Best Fundraiser You Can Be

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

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A Lesser-Known View of Wellness

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

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New ‘Giving USA’ Report Signals Turbulence Ahead for Fundraisers

New ‘Giving USA’ Report Signals Turbulence Ahead for Fundraisers

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

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Roe vs Wade

Should Your Fundraising Be Apolitical?

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.

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Impact Report

Create An Impact Report That Shows Donors Your Value

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,

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Write a Superb Case Statement

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

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How Do You Bring Equity Into Your Fundraising Practices

How Do You Bring Equity Into Your Fundraising Practices?

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

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Segmentation Tips To Raise More At #GivingTuesday And Year-End

Segmentation Tips to Raise More at #GivingTuesday and Year-End

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

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LAPA Site Visit1

Site Visits in the Zoom Age

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA & Sheldon Bart  In what we might call the BC era (Before COVID), site visits mainly entailed a tour of your nonprofit’s facility. You took the foundation program officer or the major donor on a walk around the program site to give them a good look at your day-to-day operations. They were happy to see in action the services described in words in your proposal or application. The tour consumed most of the time available for the visit, with a few minutes left over for questions. Now, after the disease disrupted our routines (or AD),

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Kick Off Your Year-End Fundraising Drive With a Thank You-2

Kick Off Your Year-End Fundraising Drive With a Thank You

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Your year-end drive likely features written and email appeals delivered between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. That’s good … but … Before you make your appeals, you have an important opportunity to say “thank you” — and to do so in a way that is fresh and vibrant. Thanksgiving offers you a perfect hook for kicking off your year-end drive through a Thank-A-Thon — a “Thanks Bonanza” that you can start preparing for now. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thanking donors and doing so in ways that do not come attached

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