The Annual campaign may be the most common fundraising effort among nonprofit organizations. It exist primarily to offset the shortfall in income knows as the operating deficit. While principally a small-gifts campaign, an annual campaign may also solicit major donors and even some grant-making organizations for larger gifts.
In many ways the annual campaign is the bedrock of an organization’s fundraising efforts. That’s true in part because the breadth of outreach incorporated into the typical annual campaign makes it an important component of donor recruitment and retention. The annual campaign also gives an organization the opportunity to build a base of volunteer fundraisers and leaders it can then call upon for endowment and capital campaigns.
The annual campaign pays off in three ways. It reduces an organization’s operating deficit, helps build and maintain an organizational commitment to fundraising, and recruits and sustains a base of committed supporters.