six tips for navigating year-end fundraising during a recession

Six Tips for Navigating Year-End Fundraising During a Recession

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising—or many things in life, for that matter—you can plan and prepare, but there will always be things out of your control. As economists now predict a recession in the last quarter of 2022—the most critical time of year for fundraising—you may be thinking about how this will affect your year-end fundraising campaigns. While it’s great to plan for, don’t let it deter your plans. Here we provide six tips to make your year-end planning recession-proof.


Don’t let fear deter you—but consider adjusting your goals

Giving generally increases year over year, and recent years have seen record-breaking donations, even amidst the chaos of the world. Keep asking your audience for support, and don’t pull back on your volume out of fear—however, it is good to adjust your goals and be conservative in case there is an effect. Build momentum, start asking early, and ask often. Set a foundation now to ensure a successful year-end.


Make a case for your nonprofit

With strapped funds, make a case for why your nonprofit should get donor support. Show supporters what their donor dollars have done and can do, and thank them for keeping your mission going.

And don’t forget to cultivate your donors. Remind them that the organization’s impact is not possible without them and share essential info without asking. You can still provide a way to donate should they want to— for example, donate buttons and links to your donation form on images— and you might be surprised at how much money you can raise for your mission without even asking. Learn more about successful donor cultivation so your organization can optimize donation funds.


Don’t shy away from the big moments

You may think you won’t be able to break through the noise—and decide not to put effort into end-of-year fundraising campaigns. While it may seem tired and competitive, Giving Tuesday and the final days of the year are, without exception, the highest yielders. Be sure to maximize these crucial timeframes. 


Lean into tried and true tactics

Make sure to use the most reliable tactics to bring in donor dollars. The tried-and-true matching gift is critical to maximizing your revenue. You can also use deadlines, countdown clocks, supporter records, and any approach that has proved to work for your audience.


Focus on retention

Any good fundraiser knows that people who have already given to your organization will always represent the most cost-effective people to re-engage. Take another look at your renewal strategies and see if you can be more aggressive. If monthly giving wasn’t already a focus, then make it so. And if it is a focus, consider opportunities for building a strong monthly giving program. Read more about our most useful donor retention strategies.

Talk about the recession’s impact on your nonprofit

Whether you’re a food bank affected by the rising cost of goods or just finding that the recession is causing your nonprofit to take a hit, don’t be afraid to mention it. Tell your supporters exactly why giving is crucial, especially during this tough economic time. This will help drive them to have a reason to give.


So while you should be aware of the recession and set expectations accordingly, once you have a plan, don’t be afraid to move ahead and forge on. Check out more of our best year-end planning tips.


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