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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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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3 Ways Integrated Planning Helped My Nonprofit

3 Ways Integrated Planning Helped My Nonprofit

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA “Plans are worthless, but planning is invaluable.” – Peter Drucker You may recall that I had the good fortune of being a Peter Drucker fellow. I think of his teachings often, and I have even dedicated my upcoming book to him, “Fundraising Truths to Live By,” which should be out later this year. Drucker showed me how to integrate planning into my daily work. He taught me to not wait for a new plan to be written or an old plan to be updated. The latter is what many nonprofits do. Every three to five

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