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Pre-Recession Planning for Nonprofits: How to Future-Proof Your Fundraising Program


Though the U.S. economy grew at a healthy clip of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019,[1] many nonprofit leaders are still left wondering: when will the next recession hit?

Philanthropic giving has long been tied to the fortunes of the economy, so we understand their worries. However, fear and panic do not make good strategic partners. The truth is, no one can say with absolute certainty what will happen and when. With that in mind, we urge you to dispense with any alarm you might feel and move into planning mode. 

Download our strategy sheet for pre-recession planning.

In this spirit, we created a strategy sheet with detailed recommendations to help you “fix the roof when it’s sunny out,” including: 

  • Invest in relationships.
  • Get the right people on the bus.
  • Invest in tools and systems that will support you well into the future, no matter what it holds.
  • Avoid surprises with your board.
  • Find your North Star.

There’s no better time to plan for a future downturn than a season of economic plenty. This resource explores what we learned from the last recession and offers practical suggestions to help you maintain a strong fundraising program—boom, bust, or otherwise. 

While navigating a downturn is always challenging, we’ve found that the proper planning can make all the difference. We hope these recommendations help you build a resilient fundraising program and carry out your mission, no matter what the future holds.

If you have questions or want to discuss additional strategies, don’t hesitate to contact me.

[1] “U.S. Economy Powers Ahead In First Quarter: 3.2% Growth,” NPR, April 26, 2019, by Scott Horsley.

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Sarah Marino
Sarah Marino brings to each engagement a tailored approach and an appreciation for the uniqueness of every cause and community. She is committed to helping organizations embed a culture of...
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