8 Tips for Raising Funds in a Recession

We have been in a very positive economic ride since Covid in the fundraising space. A positive economic outlook brings donors to our doors in many cases. With the questionable outlook of our current environment, there are questions about the continued availability of funds from donors. What should nonprofits do?

1. Remain optimistic

Being positive will create opportunity in your organization. Every recession has an end date and some only last for 2 months. Think about what your organization can do to help those impacted. Be the organization sharing good news.

2. Cut expenses to strengthen your cash position

Fundraising during a downturn can be slower. Cut frivolous spending. Take a look at your wants and needs. In my office we are evaluating every penny we spend.

3. Be profitable

Look for events the are profitable and use this time to eliminate outdated or unprofitable activities.

4. Keep in touch.

There are hundreds of new and free tools to help you connect with constituents. They need and want to hear from you now. Let them know that you are serving your clients through these challenges.

5. Ask what else can we do

Are there other things you can be doing? Do you have extra office space you can lease? Do you have expertise in an area you can sell? Do you have team members that would prefer to be part-time? Are there things you can do that will help you accomplish your mission that are not in your mission.

6. Be realistic.

“Scale back ambitious campaigns, but don’t give up on them. To remain competitive in challenging times you must persevere. Remember your mission and vision are not any less significant today. Be sure to keep campaign donors and volunteers in the loop on any goal adjustments to avoid challenges down the road.” Nonprofit Times.

7. Get social.

We all know social media is where people are. Most people check some form of social media daily. Make it a point to share your good works and message in that space. In addition, advertising on social media is very effective and affordable. This is a great way to educate prospective donors and keep in touch with current ones.


No one wants to donate to an organization that might not be there next month, and no one wants to bail out an organization that is not making good choices. DO NOT ASK YOUR DONORS TO SAVE YOU. Make a strong conservative plan for your organization that allows you to be successful even if this recession lasts for five years. I always say, plan for the worst and pray for the best!

Good luck my friends, we can do this!!

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