Category: Strategy

Which Donors Should You Focus On

Which Donors Should You Focus On?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Focus on those donors whose values are aligned with your mission. What is Value-Alignment? Q:  A reader writes, “Laurence, you mention “value-alignment” a lot in your blog posts when talking about the donors and funders who potentially can give the most to my nonprofit. What is a “value-aligned” donor and why should I focus on them?” A: Laurence’s response: Our real values are not what we talk about, but they are shown in what we do, how we live, and where we put our financial resources. We fundraisers determine a donor or funder’s “value-alignment” by

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How to Set A Real Fundraising Goal

How to Set A Real Fundraising Goal

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA “We want to raise one million dollars.” I hear this so often that I may run into the sea and head for the proverbial “Gilligan’s Island” to hide.” “Why one million, I ask, as opposed to two-million or $500,000?” What I usually learn is that the goal is just a round number the exuberant administrator gravitated toward. It feels large, it looks shiny. Instead of leaving your fundraising goal to chance, here are five-steps to ascertain exactly how much revenue you need. A real fundraising goal must, well, be REAL. Follow these five steps to

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Building Reserves in the Nonprofit World

Building Reserves in the Nonprofit World

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Most nonprofit organizations live in a “hand-to-mouth” world where revenues are spent as they come in. It’s a dangerous way to live, because the inevitable interruptions in funding can cause an organization to fall into crisis. This includes job losses, disruptions in services, and enormous stress on the surviving staff. Several years ago, a world financial crisis resulted in reduced funding for virtually every nonprofit. Not all of them survived. The ones that did typically had to cut, scrape, and beg. Even in the best of times, maintaining a consistent revenue stream isn’t easy. The

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Fundraiser Paralysis Overcoming the Fear of Making a Mistake

Fundraiser Paralysis: Overcoming the Fear of Making a Mistake

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA This is part two of a four-part series covering the most common roadblocks to successful fundraising. To read part one, The Most Common Roadblock to Successful Fundraising, click here. To tweet this article, click here. The second most common cause of fundraiser paralysis is the fear of making a mistake. What if I offend the donor, or ask for too much money? What if my timing is wrong? Well, to paraphrase Terry Axelrod, the founder of Benevon, by the time the fundraiser asks for money, the donor should be so connected to the mission of

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