How To Turn Your Nonprofit Prospects Into Donors


If you serve on a nonprofit Board, are the executive director for a nonprofit, or are responsible for raising funds for your nonprofit, The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution, book by Laurence A. Pagnoni is a must-read for you.

Pagnoni bridges the gap between theory and practical methods and shows you (often via real-life case studies) how to:
  • increase your access to wealthy donors
  • raise your community profile
  • stretch gifts
  • operate major campaigns
  • avoid revenue plateaus
  • create a fundraising culture within your organization
  • take specific actions if your Board's core strength isn't fundraising
  • conduct challenge gift campaigns
  • integrate social media into your existing fundraising methods
  • create a planned giving program
When it comes to transforming prospects into donors, Pagnoni suggests you follow these basic five steps:
  1. Get to know your prospect
  2. Get your prospect involved
  3. Ask for a small gift of financial support
  4. Ask them to open their network of contacts
  5. Ask for a major gift
And, during those conversations, ensure you are answering for your donor prospect:
  1. Why this initiative?
  2. Why now?
  3. What will the donor receive? (i.e. "Thanks to you, x more abandoned dogs can be sheltered for another month.")
Pagnoni also recommends that each year, you conduct a Thank-A-Thon, ideally, the week before Thanksgiving.
  • There is no "ask"
  • Have your Board and staff members do the phone calling (provide each caller a list to work from)
  • Encourage each caller to practice before making their first official call
  • Phone on a weekend afternoon or weekday early evening
  • During the call, thank the person for their involvement, membership, donations
  • Have answers ready for questions that may come up about volunteering opportunities,etc.
  • Leave the "thank you message" on a voice mail if you don't reach the person live
During and after your Thank-A-Thon, feel proud when you'll likely hear from many of the people you called that:
  • "You are the only or one of few organizations that's ever called me to say thank you."
Pagnoni has spent 25 years in the nonprofit sector as a fundraising consultant and as executive director of three nonprofit organizations.

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