Monitoring Your Nonprofit's Cash Flow in a Changing Economy

Part of the Fundraising For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As if a fundraiser’s job weren’t hard enough, sometimes the economy takes a tumble, causing contributions to your organization to slow down. You may need to revamp your fundraising message to make it clear that demands on your program are up, but donations are down. It’s also a good idea to take a look at your budget to see what you can live without until funding picks up again.

Use the following tips to help you get started:

  • Know what your organization needs, daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.

  • Make contingency plans — know when changes in funding will affect programming or staffing.

  • Increase your efforts to add to your annual fund.

  • Be as realistic as possible — and be candid with your board, staff, and constituents.

  • Use the downturn in giving as a prompt for your givers.

  • Maintain an attitude of “we’re all in this together.”

  • Cut costs where you can — by reducing print pieces and increasing e-mail contact, for example.

  • Use your resources — past board chairpersons, engaged donors, fundraising professionals — to help you navigate through challenging times.

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