For most shops, the past several years have been a financial roller coaster for annual giving numbers. As annual giving recovers momentum this year, now is the right time to invest time and energy in planning for the long term. One of the most critical lessons that can be learned from the past few years is the importance of not remaining at the mercy of macro-level trends in giving. Rather than invest in the same efforts year after year, take a proactive approach to annual giving planning so that you can deploy your solicitation tools in support of specific, long-term goals.
This week, we reached out to five leading thinkers on the issue to learn more about the shift in thinking that needs to occur in order to position the annual fund strongly for the future:
- Jessica Neno Cloud, assistant director for fundraising initiatives and planned giving for the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation
- Brian Daugherty, director of development and alumni relations for the School of Law at the University of San Diego
- Heather Grieg, interim senior director for Georgetown University Medical Center's annual fund
- Chris Harmon, leadership giving officer with Gettysburg College
- Janine Kraus, assistant vice chancellor for annual giving programs at Texas Christian University
Here are their insights.