How to Fundraise in Tough Times | npENGAGE

How to Fundraise in Tough Times

By on May 21, 2009


These days there are countless presentations, seminars, articles, blog posts, tweets, and all sorts about raising money in a recession. This blog entry will not be yet another one.

The secret to fundraising in tough times is simply to start or continuing doing all the things you should do when times are good.

1. Have a fundraising plan and a goal.
2. Know your donors.
3. Use multiple channels to engage and build relationships.
4. Ask in meaningful, personal, and appropriate ways.
5. Thank them and steward them.

That's it. That's the list. Successful fundraising is still about doing the basics very very well.

If you are doing the basics, then keep doing them. If you haven't been doing the basics, then start doing them and keep doing them.


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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