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Jun 3, 2020

In this episode of Nonprofit Architect, Travis features Angi Francesco, one of the leaders at Squam Lakes Association (a watershed association). Angi is the Director of Development at the SLA and she gives us some insight into her career both as a fundraiser and as a professional speaker.

Listen now and be enlightened by Angi

Conversation Highlights

[01:26] Angi shares the origin of the Squam lakes association.

[02:30] She narrates how she started fundraising from childhood. 

[04:47] Takeaway #1: Fundraising is easier if you're already a part of that community and you know people.

[06:25] Takeaway #2: Events are not generally the cornerstone that should be holding up your fundraising plan for your nonprofit organization.

[08:40] If you want a "friend-raiser" or fun for the community just to create awareness about your organization then events can be used.

[11:40] Takeaway #3: Angi states that she is yet to meet anyone in any career, whose career would not benefit from an improvement in communication skills.

[16:15] Angi points out as a professional speaker the importance of having a professional headshot and "Bio" that are ready to go as a professional speaker.

[19:47] Takeaway #4: The more clicks someone has to do on your website to make a donation, the less likely they are to follow through.

[25:00] Angi highlights the benefits of being a member of the SLA. 

[29:02] If you're looking to found an organization but you want to control, then you should consider incorporating your business as a "B Corp".

 [34:35] Before starting your own nonprofit organization, consider if there is another organization for that population in your area that you can put your effort behind and support.

[35:05] If you're starting a Nonprofit there's very little chance that you would be making a reasonable salary doing it within the first two years.

[37:22]How to contact Angi.

Remarkable quotes

[04:45] "It's really hard to walk into a community and be a fundraiser when you don't know anyone".

[19:47] “The more clicks someone has to do to on your website in order to make a donation, the less likely they are to follow through”.

[28.52] "Nonprofit is a way of incorporating a business that requires you to have board members and essentially give up control".

[34:35] Angi's advice before starting a Nonprofit; "Look hard at what already exists in your area for the population that you are trying to serve".

Angi Francesco is the Director of Development at the Squam Lakes Association (SLA) in New Hampshire and. She is responsible for fundraising and oversees all public relations and communication from the SLA. Angi works on developing major donors strategies and pipelines, the annual appeal asks, membership appeals planned to give, and grant writing - or as she likes to call it: fiction writing for nonprofits. Previously, she was at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, where she grew support from major donors by 15% and increased giving for Program Support by 34% over two years. She also established a monthly giving program that continues to grow and thrive.


Today, she is fundraising through a pandemic - and some things are still bringing in funds. She holds a BA in History from Northern Vermont University and a Masters in Communication from SNHU. She lives in Holderness with her seven-year-old daughter and two snarky and incredibly co-dependent felines. Because of the coronavirus, she now also harbors four COVID refugees who escaped from Queens, New York seven weeks ago. Her sister, brother-in-law, and their two young sons have survived life in NH so far, and the cats have not yet been released into the wild. 

Angi Francesco

Director of Development

Squam Lakes Association

534 US Route 3

Holderness, NH 03245