The Donation Maximization Blog

The 10 Key Objectives of an Annual Fund Manager


10 Key Objectives of an Annual Fund Manager

While all fundraising campaigns, events and efforts are important, none is more critical than the annual fund, which is the cornerstone for the entire fundraising program. And we've summarized the top 10 key objectives an Annual Fund Manager should always have on his or her radar.

Consequently, few roles in a nonprofit are as vital as the Annual Fund Manager, who leads the way in planning and implementing strategies to broaden a donor base, increase average donation size, boost donor retention, and cultivate major donors.

Specifically, here are the 10 key objectives that these multi-tasking, multi-faceted and multi-talented professionals are expected to achieve:

1) Setting standards, policies and protocols for all members of the fundraising team.

2) Establishing cohesion and integration, so they work together as part of a holistic ecosystem (e.g. direct mail, emails, online giving, phonathons, social media, etc.).

3) Securing repeat donors by keeping them engaged and excited about the organization’s essential work.

4) Increasing repeat donor amounts by validating the importance of previous contributions, and creating a compelling vision of the future.

5) Securing new donors by expanding the donor base.

6) Cultivating donors up the giving pyramid

7) Identifying major donors as early as possible in their giving history.

8) Establishing habits and patterns of giving, and applying this insight across campaigns.

9) Deepening ties to the community and support network – which includes donors, as well as all other stakeholders (e.g. volunteers, partners, etc.).

10) Developing reports and other communications that ensure accountability and keep stakeholders informed.

What’s more, while we have listed these responsibilities as 10 standalone objectives, in the “real world” they overlap and integrate as part of a holistic system. For example, progress (or lack thereof) towards one objective invariably influences another. As such, Annual Fund Managers must have their eye on the big picture, as well as the granular details.

Indeed, while it is a difficult job, it is very easy to grasp why great Annual Fund Managers are highly sought after – and invaluable to the current and future success of their organizations.

CASE STUDY: A local PBS station

Recently, KLRU, the PBS affiliate based in Austin, Texas, partnered with ExactAsk to help them get the most value from their thousands of contributors. Specifically, the station’s Annual Fund Manager was concerned that while they had increased their overall roster of small and mid-sized donors, the annual donation amount from these two groups was falling.

Click below to read the case study, and discover how we helped KLRU’s Annual Fund Manager tackle many of the objectives listed above, and boost donations by 76 percent in just 16 days!

Download Case Study


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