Category: Major Gift Fundraising

Hot 2018 Trend Tip Boost Major Gift Solicitation of Older Donors Now

Hot 2018 Trend Tip: Boost Major Gift Solicitation of Older Donors Now

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Overwhelming 2018 data indicates significant charitable giving increases in giving by high-income donors (incomes over $1 million annually), but an overall decline in giving for lower-income individuals because of the new tax laws. The increase in donor-advised funds also supports the data. Adding to this data, the 90/10 rule (90% of the dollars will come from 10% of the donors) applies. It tells you that you should be spending 90% of your time working with the top 10% of the donors, not the other 90% who will only provide 10% of the donations. This was

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How To Wreck The Stewardship Of A Major Gift

How To Wreck The Stewardship Of A Major Gift

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A friend of mine who sits on a nonprofit board has been working to cultivate as a major donor a very wealthy businessman with a strong interest in the nonprofit’s cause—the environment. In fact, the businessman has financed and participated in numerous field projects that have contributed to environmental knowledge. It seemed like a match made in nonprofit heaven. Since my friend has a journalistic background, he decided to interview the businessman about his latest environmental activities. The interview would appear in the next issue of the nonprofit’s journal and serve as the initial step

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Major Gift Officers Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Major Gift Officers: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Mark W. Jones is a leader, fundraiser, communicator and mentor. His frequent speaking, teaching, and writing activities have earned him recognition in the advancement field as a thought leader on matters of professional development, talent management and leadership. He can be reached directly at mjones@advancementresources.org  The rate of turnover among fundraisers remains high, and among no cohort of advancement professionals is this movement more pronounced than major gift officers (MGOs). Recent studies and surveys by CASE, AFP and others suggest the average tenure of a front-line fundraiser is now somewhere in the range of 1.5 to

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Is Proportionality Limiting Your Large Gifts

Is Proportionality Limiting Your Large Gifts?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Have you ever wondered why you’re not getting larger individual donations or funder awards? It is perplexing, isn’t it? You did your research and you knew that the donor/funder made larger gifts, but they haven’t made them to your agency! This is frustrating. You wonder, “Was it how we asked? What happened?” Generally, the reason is rooted in the principle of proportionality. When proportionality is at work, most fundraisers are not aware of it. You see, from my experience, most donors or funders usually give in proportion to your annual budget or campaign size, at no more than 10% of the goal. So, for example,

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What Do Fundraisers Do (And why it matters)

What Do Fundraisers Do? (And why it matters)

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Having worked as a professional fundraiser for more than two decades, I am convinced that a better understanding of our work is needed. People generally know what an accountant or bookkeeper does. By virtue of television, people think they know what a lawyer or forensic scientist does. But when it comes to fundraising, there are two common misperceptions. One: those high-end fundraisers who work for the most distinguished hospitals, universities, and museums and earn high salaries are thought of as miracle workers who weave magic spells over wealthy philanthropists and mysteriously produce large sums of

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Year End Focus On Major Gifts

Year End Focus On Major Gifts

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Fundraisers often refer to the 80/20 rule: that 80 percent of your funding typically comes from about 20 percent of your donors. This rule especially comes into play as part of your year-end drive because it is the optimum time of year to discuss major gifts during your personal donor meetings. These donors are the people whose donations will spearhead your year-end campaign, and they require a much higher degree of personalized attention when appealed to. By Labor Day, you should have finished segmenting your donors and then begin preparing, sometime between mid-October and mid-December,

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Fear Of The Ask

Fear Of The Ask

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Let’s jump to the worst possible “phone scenario.”  You make the introductory phone call, and the potential donor immediately says, “What are you asking me for? Money?” This is not the time to obfuscate. Say it proudly, “Yes, eventually, but not now. At this point, I just want to meet with you to discuss an opportunity for involvement in a program that I think will interest you. I am hoping that once you get to know us better you will be inspired to give, but you are by no means under any obligation to do

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Staying the Course $ 1 Million from Private Foundations

Staying the Course: $ 1 Million from Private Foundations

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A landmark one million dollars has been raised for a tiny Upper West side church, Trinity Lutheran, one of the smallest clients LAPA has ever worked with. But there’s a huge, cautionary lesson here for your grants work, allow me to explain. Trinity, a neighborhood fixture on West 100th Street and Amsterdam Avenue for more than 100 years, is a congregation of only about 200 people, located in a 40-square block neighborhood of 48,983 persons between 100th and 110th Streets, just south of Harlem. The Church prioritizes those who find themselves increasingly pushed to the

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Give or Get Don't Forget a Gift of Significance, Too!

Give or Get? Don’t Forget a Gift of Significance, Too!

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Over the past decade the ubiquitous “Give or Get” policy has defined the approach of securing a financial commitment from your board members. Each board member is asked to personally contribute and/or raise an identical amount of funds.  However, the threshold set, say $5,000, may be too high for some and too low for others.  It’s not based on the real consideration of your board members past giving, or their capacity to give, their potential. When you find that a board member truly “gets” what your organization is doing, loves it as much as you

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