The LAPA Blog

Tips on Advanced Fundraising

Board Development
Michael Davidson

Achieving Board Diversity and Inclusion

By Michael Davidson This is a critical time in our history as we finally begin to acknowledge our national failure to take seriously our commitment to equity and the strength we derive from our diversity. Implementing the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) carries some special challenges for Boards of Directors. Specifically, they will need to: Commit to the importance of implementing these values by including members who

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Development Consultant
Laurence A. Pagnoni

Philanthropy Operations: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

By: Laurence A. Pagnoni What the heck is Philanthropy Operations, and why is it important?   The fundraising positions of Director of Development or Chief Development Officer are familiar, but what do Directors of Philanthropic Operations (DPOs or Ops. Dir.) do? And why is the function less well known? (Those of you in higher education may know the function as “Advancement Services.”)  A focus on Philanthropic Operations becomes necessary as

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Assoc. Fundraising Professionals
Laurence A. Pagnoni

How to Pay for Fundraising, and Why Commission-Based Fundraising Is Unethical

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA, Chairman Paying a fundraiser based on the revenue return you potentially will receive exposes you to pay a much higher fee than you should. It’s an unwise business proposition. The Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) even deems it unethical. In AFP’s position paper, they describe six specific reasons why. AFP believes that individuals serving a charity for compensation must first accept the principle that

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Case for Support and Development Operations
Josh Birkholz

Five Ways to Make the Case for Advancement Operations

By Josh Birkholz How do you make the case for non-frontline roles? Leaders are more likely to interact and prioritize the frontline officers, but a balance must be met to maximize ROI. Here are five ways to make the case for organizational support staff. Making the case for program investment and seeing the resulting growth in giving may be among my favorite roles as a fundraising consultant these past

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Individual Giving
Laurence A. Pagnoni

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,’

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Annual Funds
Laurence A. Pagnoni

Six Steps To Setting The Right Fundraising Goal

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA  Knowing how much revenue you’re raising is essential. It seems obvious doesn’t it? Yet many fundraisers don’t know how to go about setting the right goal. There’s often silence whenever I ask a Chief Development Officer or the CEO, “How much revenue are you seeking to raise?” Recently, Jane, a mid-career Development Director, was honest with me: “That’s a seemingly simple question, she said,

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