Stepping up endowment fundraising in a challenging economy

Stepping up endowment fundraising in a challenging economy

It can be difficult to engage fundraising activities when the economy is strong, let alone when the economy is shaky. But a challenging financial environment is no time to ease up on managing your fundraising efforts with help from your Board of Directors. As we wrap up FY 2023, consider getting started right away on steps to increase board engagement with fundraising and especially endowment fundraising.

Set the tone early
Make sure that your first board meeting of the new year includes a segment on fundraising and the status of your endowment, even if your endowment has taken a hit in the rollercoaster stock market. Most endowment funds are down, and it’s much better to be up front with the information than to sweep it under the rug. Everyone is in the same boat, and board members will be expecting this information.

Inspire action
After the fiscal-year-end 2023 reports are out of the way, jump into a thoughtful and confident discussion about 2023-2024 fundraising. Share with board members that your team is prepared and geared up for an enthusiastic fundraising initiative, starting right now. While other nonprofits may be hunkered down, worried, and reluctant to ask donors for money, you’re not. You know that this is a great time to show donors just how important it is to have a strong endowment to ensure that your mission stays strong during challenging economies like this one.

Give specifics
Provide donors with information about the new Legacy IRA provisions, remind them about QCDs and gifts of appreciated stock, provide dates for upcoming events where endowment conversations could take place, talk about your relationship with the Community Foundation via your endowment fund, and so on. Specifics like this will help board members see that you are taking decisive action to make 2023-2024 fundraising a success.

Ask for help
Your board member are often happy to help with fundraising but they don’t exactly know how to do it or what to say. Make it very easy for them. Start by suggesting a one-on-one conversation with each board member to discuss how they can get involved. Then, in these one-on-one settings, find out if the board member has suggestions for prospective donors you can contact or introductions they could make. One-on-one discussions are an easy way to get board members involved in fundraising without putting them on the spot in a board meeting.

Above all, connect with the Community Foundation any time. Our team looks forward to helping you grow your endowment and making 2023-2024 a winning year for your organization and its future.

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