Annual giving strategies


Everything….and I mean everything starts with a plan.  Here’s some thoughts on creating an annual giving strategy for your organization.


Clear, measurable and documented goals and results

  • Master timeline of activity, with staff responsibility assigned
  • Annual work plan in place with specific dollar and donor-based outcomes
  • Reports allow for effective evaluation of progress, and staff are empowered to make program changes based on data
  • Formal final report based on the work plan is created, reviewed and discussed before plans are finalized for the coming year

The annual fund maintains healthy growth

  • Donor-retention rates are carefully monitored
  • New donors are acquired each year to compensate for natural donor attrition.

The annual fund has a strategic focus

  • Continually works to identify potential donors
  • Strong commitment to personal solicitation for high-level annual-fund support, and it involves asking people to consider an increase

The annual fund is a visible priority across the organization

  • Leaders and staff are able to articulate the case for annual-fund support easily
  • Annual fund is a visible priority in all fundraising outreach-campaign, annual reports, website, public remarks, events, board members

The annual fund has highly visible and engaged volunteer leadership

  • Annual fund has a core group of volunteers willing to invest time and energy
  • 100% leadership (Board) participation
  • Staff support volunteers with reporting tools, personalized training, marketing materials
  • Vehicle for volunteers to provide feedback on an annual basis about their experience

Annual fund gifts are stewarded well

  • Accurate, timely and personal acknowledgement for annual fund gifts is provided
  • Donor records are maintained rigorously
  • Use of annual-fund gifts is clearly articulated to donors in a compelling way

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