The Annual Fund Is Obsolete: Three Follow-Up Thoughts

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    Three Additional Thoughts: The Annual Fund Is Outdated

    1. If a mechanism you’re using to raise funds for your programs/operations is called the “Annual Fund,” and if you solicit the same constituency more than once each year, then a response you’re likely to get from donors is, “I already gave this year.”

    You may not hear them say it but, for sure, many of them will be thinking it.

    2. I’ve met many board members, executive directors, and development staff who believe that it “isn’t nice” to ask people for money more than once a year. That means that those folks are uncomfortable asking for money, which makes them (want to) believe that there’s something socially improper about doing so.

    To them, “begging” bears a stigma, and they believe their friends will avoid them if they “bother” them too often !! These folks are often identifiable by the emphasis they put on writing grant applications — the more, the better.

    Hey, I’ve also met many folks in the non-profit sector who believe that asking for money, even once a year, is tacky/low-class/shameful/etc. Those people hire development staff to bring in the money … so they won’t have to !!

    3. The Annual Fund folks at the vast majority of colleges and universities are the least experienced people on the development staff. Why do you suppose that is ??

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