A Minute With Jose Lugaro, Development Director, The LGBT Community Center
FS: Can you share a recent fundraising success?
JL: Earlier this year, the center received a generous grant in the amount of $690,000 to continue and expand our transformational Foster Care Project (FCP) over the next three years. The FCP works to address the serious challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in New York City face in being placed with affirming foster care homes. While not a first-time grant, it had been several years since we received funding from this particular source. The lesson to be learned through this success is the importance of maintaining relationships and keeping funders informed as much as possible. Other organization initiatives had not been appealing, but this one clearly was. Continuous engagement was key.
FS: Any major difficulties or setbacks?
JL: Engaging the corporate community is critical to the future of our development efforts. We are actively working to move those relationships beyond just event sponsorship and into more substantive relationships, working with employee resource groups and integrating resources both human and capital into the center at large. The center, like many not-for-profit organizations, is behind in efficiently using technology to expand our base of individual donors. We are thrilled to be investing in new technology and a more sophisticated digital strategy in the coming year.
FS: What is your fundraising philosophy?
JL: Every dollar we raise has a direct impact on the community we serve. The more people we engage, the better our fundraising efforts and the stronger our community.
FS: Any advice for other organizations?
JL: Create a culture of fundraising throughout your organization. Everyone has a role to play in development efforts.