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Since the Great Recession began, many organizations still face floundering annual funds. For some nonprofit leaders, the idea of evaluating their annual giving halfway through the year causes them to break out in a cold sweat. You might be one of those leaders…

 While July is a great time to and “catch your breath” from all the work you’ve done so far, it’s also a natural opportunity to take a step back and evaluate your efforts.

How to Resurrect Your Annual Fund in the Next 6 Months

If you’re worried that 2014 is going to be another year with a declining annual fund, here are three things you can do to reverse the trend over the next six months:

1.     Be specific about what you want to accomplish in the next 6 months

Know what kind of impact you want to make in the next six months. In addition to great storytelling, you need to establish expectations that will build trust and confidence with the people that support your organization. Donors respond more generously when they know how their giving will make a measurable difference.

2.     Provide and promote multiple giving methods

This includes direct response, online giving, and special giving options. Your annual campaign is a great way to encourage automatic giving through an online giving system you provide or by encouraging donors to use their bank’s bill pay option to give on a regular basis. Providing other ways for donors to give might not have an immediate effect. It will, however, grow over time.

 3.     Take time to say, “Thank You!”

Never underestimate the power of saying thank you. Consider organizing your staff or a volunteer team for a thank-a-thon. Call everyone who has made a pledge to tell them, “Thank you for helping fund our efforts.” Send handwritten thank-you notes from key leaders in your organization. Try a combination of the two. You donors want to know their pledge was noticed and that it matters. Sometimes simply thanking your annual giving donors is the reminder they need to give again.

The Same Strategies won’t Produce Different Results

You remember the definition of insanity, don’t you? It’s doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

What are some new strategies you plan on implementing in the next six months to improve your annual giving fund?