Category: Individual Giving

Giving Tuesday vs. Donor Advised Funds

Giving Tuesday vs. Donor Advised Funds

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA As Giving Tuesday comes around on November 30, I am asking you to think deeply before you commit to promoting it. My annual struggle over whether to include Giving Tuesday (GT) in my year-end fundraising plan is in full swing. This year, I am distracted by the gargantuan untapped revenue that you can access from those donors with Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) — upwards of $140 billion. I am asking myself if instead of focusing on Giving Tuesday, would it be more lucrative for me to focus on cultivating and soliciting those donors with Donor Advised Funds? Your

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Moving the Needle

Beyond Major Gifts: Transformational Donors

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA To quickly understand the difference between a major donor and a transformational donor, here are three examples of very different donors, all of whom at one time were LAPA clients: first, a mega wealthy donor; second, a thoughtful philanthropist who made good use of his family fortune; and third, a widow who leveraged her own gift and invited her family and friends to join her. Michael Bloomberg gave a historic $1.8 billion gift to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) entirely for financial aid, allowing JHU to begin accepting students without regard to their ability to pay.

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Why Donors Stop Giving to You

Why Donors Stop Giving to You 

As year-end giving is now upon us, discovering why donors stop giving will provide you a keen understanding of what you need to improve on to get higher fundraising returns.

A new Bank of America report found that 28% of wealthy donors stop giving to a nonprofit that they supported in the previous year.

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Donor Advised Funds: 7 Myths Debunked

By Al Cantor November marks the tenth anniversary of Professor Ray Madoff’s New York Times op-ed calling for new rules that would accelerate grantmaking from donor-advised funds. Over the years since, as the amount of money in donor-advised funds has grown from $25 billion to $142 billion, the DAF industry has pushed back strongly against Madoff and other reformers, relying on a familiar set of arguments to justify the status quo. These assertions have long rung hollow. Now, thanks to research that has come to light in the last few months, it’s increasingly evident that the talking points of the DAF industry are utterly

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The Power of Giving Circles

by Roger Craver A wise fundraiser constantly searches for new approaches. “New” in terms of sources and approaches to giving beyond the conventional landscape on which most fundraisers graze. I write to sharpen your focus on the growing importance of the giving circle when it comes to diversifying and democratizing philanthropy. According to Philanthropy Together, there are 2,000+ giving circles in the U.S. involving approximately 150,000 donors who have contributed $1.29 billion. You’ll find a treasure trove of info on giving circles when you visit the following links to Philanthropy Together’s website: Find a Giving Circle Support a Giving Circle Start a Giving Circle

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August is Make-a-Will Month

Baby Boomers will pass on more than $30 trillion in wealth to the next generation over the ensuing 25 years — and they are deciding right now who to leave their estates to. Further, the Coronavirus pandemic has stimulated a rapid rise in estate planning and legacy or planned giving, as well as a drop in cash gifts due to economic uncertainty. That’s why taking advantage now of August being the National Make-A-Will Month is a great fundraising step. You have a significant opportunity to increase your nonprofit’s planned gifts by making your donors aware of this. Charity Navigator has

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How Much Time Should It Take To Close a Major Gift?

How much time should it take to close a major gift? The short answer is less time than you think.   You see, I have observed that fundraisers spend far too long cultivating donors. Cultivation can even mask procrastinating over making the ask!   I hear this from fundraisers quite frequently: “I don’t feel like it’s the right time to ask this person for support. I am scared they will say ‘no,’ and then what will I do?  So, I keep ‘cultivating’ them.”  Such delays lead to protracted cultivation and solicitation period and likely a missed opportunity—or clarity about the donor’s intent to

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Donor Advised Funds: Why Community Foundations Should Endorse the ACE Act

By Alan Cantor Watch a recent in-depth LAPA webinar on the subject of Donor-Advised Funds Some people simply can’t take “yes” for an answer. How else can one explain how some community foundation leaders rejected the thoughtful set of reforms contained in the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act — a series of measures to reform Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) that would actually serve community foundations well? For years, the lobbying arm of community foundations — the Community Foundations Public Awareness Initiative — has embraced a business model in which it fights any form of reforms around DAFs, no matter how mild.

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New Donor Giving Trends

By Laurence A. Pagnoni Fidelity Charitable conducted an initial survey of 3,055 charitable individuals in March 2020. They then conducted a subsequent survey in January 2021 to detect any shifts in donor attitudes and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events of 2020. You can read the full survey results here. There are more than a dozen takeaways, but here are the top four: A quarter of donors have donated to charity through a social media platform, and 4 in 10 have made donations through crowdfunding platforms. The study doesn’t say so, but if 25% of donors donated

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Your Questions, Our Answers on Starting Over with Individual Donors

The questions below were asked by attendees at our “Starting Over” webinar of April 21, 2021, presented by Roger Craver & Laurence A. Pagnoni.

The questions are fascinating, and we hope you’ll find our answers equally so. The webinar focused on the new rules of individual giving fundraising. We welcome your input as well by posting on our blog.

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