3 big mistakes that could really hurt you in the recession

At some point in the weeks or months ahead, the crisis we’re in will shift from being a health crisis to being an economic one — a recession. We don’t know how deep it will be or how long it will last but we know to expect it.

Recessions happen. They have an impact on fundraising.

But many of the most damaging impacts of recession on nonprofits are self-inflicted.

Here’s some help for avoiding a lot of that potential damage, from the Fundraising Coach, at Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes of Fundraising in a Recession:

  1. Becoming Pessimistic. Assuming “nobody is going to respond” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even in tough times, donors still love you. Some of them might need to cut back — but that’s not a given. Your job is to be there with amazing opportunities to make the world a better place. Like you always do.
  2. Cutting fundraising and marketing budgets. Cutting fundraising now is the guaranteed way to make sure your suffering is greater and lasts longer. Thousands of nonprofits shut down after the last recession. Not in the depths of it, but a year or more later, when their lack of fundraising caught up with them. If you need donors, you need them now.
  3. Apologizing for asking. It’s okay to ask. Even in hard times. Donors who need to say no will say no. That’s their choice. Just make the case. That’s how fundraising works, especially when times are hard.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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