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  What do institutions typically count in their annual fund? Frequently Asked Questions

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Variety of responses to this question, since annual fund is counted in a variety of ways at different institutions.
  • Only gifts and pledges that were solicited by annual fund.
  • All gifts and pledges below a certain amount, for example, all gifts/pledges received during a year less than $5,000 whether or not they were actually solicited by the annual fund.
  • Some annual funds are broken down between restricted, unrestricted, temporarily restricted and count in different ways. In some cases annual fund programs may be cost recovered by unrestricted donations so this is all that may be counted.
  • A large number of non-profits count everything raised in a given year as annual fund, since their organization's fundraising strategy is strictly annual campaign based.
  • It's also important to define the relationships of major gifts to the annual fund.

    For example, if an annual fund is counting all gifts under $5,000 and a major donor is making a $6,000 payment per year, then this is also repeatable annual giving, and in this case, there should be two definitions.

    One which is annual fund, by specific solicitation techniques, and annual giving which represents all of the repeatable giving on an annual basis from all donors.
  • The definition of annual fund often differs from an accounting perspective as compared to a fundraising perspective. Annual fund performance over previous years generally includes pledge and all amounts, whereas, the definition of annual fund from an accounting perspective may be the unrestricted cash received during a fiscal year.
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