Category: Major Gifts

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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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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Gift Charts

Gift Charts Are Fundamental

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA The adage “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” applies to gift charts. A gift chart shows giving levels from low to high and informs fundraisers on how many donors they need at each level of giving to reach the fundraising goal. As such, gift charts are central to careful development planning. They are also useful for all sizes of nonprofits — not just large campaigns or large organizations. Taking a short amount of time to make, a gift chart will deepen your ability to manage your time and staff resources to focus

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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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