How Nonprofits Can Use Fundraisers to Build an Annual Fund

An annual fund lays the groundwork for all fundraising activities in a non-profit organization. The main goal of this fund is to establish a base of donors who regularly give to the organization in order to reach your fundraising goals. There are many ways to grow an annual fund, from one-on-one meetings with prospective donors, to mailings targeting many people at once.

donate to the annual fundOne surefire way to see new donations come in, while giving you plenty of face time with current or potential donors is through fundraising events. Events are an excellent way to gather people who are passionate about your cause and create some momentum for your annual fund. Here are some tips on incorporating fundraising events into your annual fundraising strategy:

Host several smaller events rather than one large one

A large event can suck up a lot of resources, whereas smaller events allow staff to continue working on other projects while planning events. Hosting several smaller fundraisers will also give you more face time with donors throughout the year.

Keep events fun and exciting

For your team a fundraising event is seen as an opportunity to talk to donors about your work, but for attendees, it is also a fun day or night out. It’s your job to make sure that people enjoy themselves and are excited to give to your cause.

Host celebratory events

Hosting a celebratory event for donors when you reach a fundraising goal is a great tactic to make your donors like they’re appreciated beyond just the money they give. Take the topic of donations off of the table and show donors how much you appreciate their support. This is a great way to build donor loyalty.

Keep in mind that you can plan the best fundraising events in the world, and still fall short of your annual goals. When planning events and an annual fundraising campaign, there are a few crucial things that should be incorporated into your strategy.

annual fund celebration

Focus on the donors

It surprises many people to learn that the majority of money given to non profit organizations comes from individuals, not from grants. A common mistake for many nonprofits is to pursue countless grant opportunities and overlook the power of cultivating dedicated individual donors. Donors should be the main focus of your annual fund.

Put time and thought into donor loyalty

Cultivating loyal donors will make reaching fundraising goals much less challenging, especially because loyal donors often make multi-year pledges.

Stay in touch, but don’t be overbearing

It’s important to keep in touch with donors without making them feel as though they’re constantly being approached for more money. Thank your donors, provide them with ways to follow your work and engage with your cause, and when the times right, approach them for another gift.

Let us know if you have any questions about using events to increase your annual fund.

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