Douglas Lawson Associates, Inc.
The Experienced Fundraising Professionals

lawson associates, inc.

How We Work



The common philosophy of every Lawson Associate is our belief that good fundraising occurs when we offer opportunities to prospective donors.  Furthering the goals and aspirations of our clients is a process that excites every Lawson Associate.  By finding ways to offer meaningful opportunities for donors to give, we share in advancing the great causes of our clients.

Lawson Associates helps make philanthropy happen. By working with clients to identify prospects, cultivate relationships and solicit donors, Lawson Associates assists organizations in reaching their fundraising goals.

The Lawson Associates commitment is to provide each client with customized assistance to reach his or her fundraising goals. Our relationship with our clients is as important to us as their relationship is with a donor. The team brings its history of working with thousands of clients and raising over two billion dollars to each of its clients. Our ability to assess an organization’s current fundraising climate, strategize and provide innovative and creative solutions for reaching goals is unprecedented. 

Every Lawson Associate believes that to be effective, counsel must be an active participant in the fundraising process. In addition to providing excellent strategy and guidance, Lawson associates participates directly in money raising by being an integral part of each “Ask.” Understanding that through the passion for helping others, men and women do great things, Lawson associates works closely with each client so that through our association together, great things can occur.


Commonly Asked Questions


All Board members, staff, and volunteers have questions they want answered before entering into a formal professional relationship with LAWSON ASSOCIATES. These are the ten most frequently asked questions:

  1. Is Fundraising Counsel Necessary?
    Fundraising Counsel should be retained only if it is determined that the organization's staff is not experienced or sufficient enough to manage the Campaign. Usually an organization's staff is capable of successfully conducting the Annual Fund Campaign but not able to maintain both the annual and the proposed Capital or Endowment Campaign.
  2. Why is it necessary to conduct a Feasibility Study prior to launching a Campaign?
    The answer is three fold: to determine an organization's readiness to conduct a Campaign, to establish a Campaign Goal that is attainable, and to produce a Campaign Plan that will be successful. Often a Feasibility Study uncovers Pre-Campaign weaknesses that can be corrected before a Campaign is begun such as staff enlargement and training, and the need for public awareness that will insure the Campaign's success.
  3. Are Fundraising Planning Studies and Strategic Plans good ideas?
    The lack of planning is one of the major reasons that nonprofits fail to raise the funds they need. One of the best uses of Fundraising Counsel is to utilize the company's planning capabilities.  Fundraising Counsel brings objectivity and experience to the planning process which enhances the staff's capabilities.
  4. How long will it take to complete a Campaign?
    A Campaign's length is directly related to the Campaign's Goal. Campaigns with goals of up to $20 million take thirty six months with smaller goals taking fewer months proportionately. It takes up to sixty months successfully to conduct a Campaign with a goal over $20 million.
  5. What role does staff have in a Campaign?
    Staff is responsible for either implementing the Campaign Plan, or for coordinating the Plan's implementation activities of fundraising counsel. While being the main liaison for the Campaign with Fundraising Counsel the staff maintains the annual fund's integrity.
  6. How can we identify New Major Gift Donor Prospects?
    One of the main deficiencies of an organization's capabilities of successfully running
  7. a Campaign is the lack of enough major gift donor prospects. Fundraising Counsel can fill this void by identifying new individual, foundation, and corporate major gift donor prospects.
  8. What does a Campaign cost?
    A successful Campaign should  cost between 5% and 10% of the Campaign's goal. These costs include the Fundraising Counsel's fee and all other Campaign expenses.
  9. How do we pay for Fundraising Counsel?
    Fundraising Counsel fees are a part of the costs of a campaign which also include staff expenses, travel, literature, postage and other miscellaneous Campaign expenditures. Fundraising Counsel fees are paid from funds designated for Campaign expenses and are reimbursed from Campaign funds raised. Other Fundraising Counsel fees are paid by Board members or other volunteer donors as their contribution to the Campaign.
  10. Is LAWSON ASSOCIATES different from other consulting firms?
    Yes. LAWSON ASSOCIATES is one of the only Fundraising Counsel firms in the world that actively participates with volunteers and staff in Major Gift Solicitations. In addition, the experience gained in over thirty-five years with thousands of significant clients is an invaluable asset that each client gains through its association with LAWSON ASSOCIATES.
  11. What is the process for retaining LAWSON ASSOCIATES?
    A professional relationship with LAWSON ASSOCIATES begins with an inquiry from a potential client (800-238-0004 or and continues with a sharing of information. A time and place for interviews with Lawson staff is established and this is followed by a formal proposal from LAWSON ASSOCIATES.