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See GivingDNA in action alongside your peers in fundraising. Tour the Platform on 5/26/21 @ 12pm CDT.

During the Great Recession, nonprofit organizations faced the common challenge of making cuts to their fundraising budgets. Oftentimes, those waning budgets translated into a necessary reduction in staff and the size
 of an organization’s fundraising investment.

The outcomes were predictable: declining revenue and lapsed donors. Why? Because the component of the overall fundraising program that supports the operating budget was neglected. As a result, the annual fund was one of the hardest-hit areas of many nonprofits’ budgets.

In our free resource, Resurrecting a Declining Annual Fund, I take some time to outline the foundational elements needed to effectively breathe life back into your fundraising efforts. Today, we wanted to highlight some of the most important concepts that today’s nonprofit leaders need to know from the resource.

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Resurrecting Your Annual Fund

If you’ve been struggling to get your nonprofit’s annual fund back on track and are starting to feel the pressure, here are 10 things you need to know:

  1. In today’s nonprofit world, improving your annual fund often requires leaders to learn how to do more with less. (tweet that)
  2. You can’t continue to do the same appeals and expect better results just because the economy has improved. (tweet that)
  3. Remember, you aren’t the only #nonprofit that suffered a declining annual fund during the Recession. (tweet that)
  4. The best way to improve your annual fund through acquisition is to get new donors more involved and build their loyalty. (tweet that)
  5. Reactivation is an often-overlooked annual fund strategy, but it can be the most efficient. (tweet that)
  6. The cardinal sin of fundraisers is to accept lapsed donors as a part of life and then rush to replace them through acquisition. (tweet that)
  7. Every day that goes by that you aren’t talking to your lapsed donors, you can be sure another nonprofit is. (tweet that)
  8. Donors who give year after year are the golden goose of the annual fund (and they should be treated that way). (tweet that)
  9. Reactivated donors have shown a higher propensity to give and be retained than new donors. (tweet that)
  10. Reactivating donors is a “zero-risk” opportunity — the outcome is often far greater than the work put in. (tweet that)


What are you doing to get your annual fund back on track? What has made the biggest difference in your success?