What to do first when you face a financial crisis

It’s simple and it’s scary.

If you are facing a financial crisis, there are just two things you can do:

  1. Spend less.
  2. Make more.

Of those two, spending less is usually a lot easier.

But you need to think twice about how you approach the challenge of a financial crisis, according to the Bloomerang Blog, at How Nonprofits Can Weather an Economic Crisis/

You can cut program expenses, but that undermines your very reason for existing. You can cut fundraising and marketing, but that will just lead to more cuts in the future.

It’s much better to increase your revenue.

Easier said than done but here are some things you can consider:

  • Prioritizing and segmenting donors to maximize your fundraising potential.
  • Ramping up your monthly giving program.
  • Adding peer-to-peer strategies.
  • Adding additional, specifically targeted direct mail appeals.
  • Becoming more aggressive with online fundraising.
  • Meeting virtually with major donor prospects.
  • Asking for special gifts from major donors.
  • Turning fundraising Galas into virtual events.
  • Becoming more strategic with suggested ask amounts.
  • Using psychology and neuroscience-based tweaks.
  • Reworking your website home page and donation landing pages to be more direct, donor-centered and user friendly.
  • Using a lightbox to call attention to any crisis campaign in which you may be currently engaged.

You’ll notice that quite of few of these things actually require you to increase spending.

During a crisis?

You should consider it. Because it takes money to make money.

And all cutting does is make you smaller.

Many of us face hard times in the coming months.

This is a question you may have to face.

Just make sure you don’t automatically choose the easy path of cutting everything in sight. That may solve the problem short term, but it seldom solves the problem for real.


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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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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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