Make no mistake about it, 2024 is going to be a tough year for nonprofits. Inflation continues to soar, and the stock market is going to remain flat at best. Donors with capacity will give, but it is going to be very intentional. They want to see the impact in a tough economy, especially if they are asked to increase giving. We have seen tough times before. Let me tell you what you should not do: 

1. Do not fire the fundraising force

Even if organizations that survive 2024 will be those that invest in fund development, not cut it. Stay the course. Do not decrease your spending on development. Your net revenue will not be as good, but in the long run, you will be in better shape retaining your staff and maintaining your current fundraising expense level. 

2. Do not overspend.

Tighten the program belt.  2024 is not the year to launch new programs and expand spending. This is going to be a year to stabilize spending and maintain what you have.  Identify those programs that are working well and those that are the most profitable to your ministry. Then do more of that. Focus on what you do well and what you do efficiently. 

3. Do not lose donors. Retention is mission-critical. 

This year it is vital that you focus sooner on retention. Rather than following a standard 18-month cycle, do not let donors lapse past 12 months before you sound the alarm bells. Begin reaching out earlier in the year for renewed gifts. Create an aggressive “win-back” effort to get lapsed donors back on board faster. Most importantly, emphasize the importance of monthly. 

Roy has worked with over 70 missions, shelters, and food banks. You can reach Roy at

Giving is Down! 

Giving to your ministry is going to decline. Get ready for it, but do not fire the people in charge of raising income. As a matter of fact, fight for more fundraisers on your team. Work to consolidate your staff and let your development people know how important they are to the organization this year more than any other. The nonprofit giving programs. People want a donor experience in which they can “set it and forget it.”  Sustained donor programs are the future of all giving. Nothing makes a stronger case for monthly giving than a downed economy. Automated giving, whether monthly or quarterly, is easier for the donor, and it becomes the lifeline for any charity.