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Navigating Your Windfall with Yield Giving & Other Unusual Gifts

So, you’ve just received a financial windfall. Maybe it’s from Yield Giving or some other unusual gift, like a donor bequest in their will.

First things first—congratulations! This is a big deal, and your whole organization should celebrate.

Let’s dive into how you can make the most of this opportunity while avoiding some of the tensions that a large influx of funds can sometimes bring.

You’ve Got the Gift, Now What?

Before you start daydreaming about how to spend your windfall, hit pause.

Everyone will be coming at you with their wish lists and that’s a good thing. We need our people to think big if we’re going to build the kind of equitable world we want.

And we need to remember that these types of gifts are one-off events and not recurring donations. We recommend you think about using these kinds of gifts to do some things you might not be able to otherwise.

Do You Need to Grow Your Reserves?

Time to take stock—literally. Check out your current financial health.

Are your reserves looking a bit thin? If so, beefing them up with part of your new funds can give you peace of mind and a safety net for those rainy days.

Not even sure if you have reserves?

Use our reserves worksheet to help you know where you are starting and how much to put aside for a healthy cushion.

If You’ve Got Enough Reserves, Consider One-Time Projects

Got a solid financial cushion? Awesome!

Now’s the time to think big. Consider those one-time projects you’ve been dreaming about—upgrading your tech, sprucing up your office, or working with consultants to upgrade your website and donation platforms.

These one-off investments can make your life easier and your work more impactful over the long-haul.

Expanding Personnel: Plan Carefully

Thinking about adding some new faces to your team? Great idea—but tread carefully.

These gifts won’t be coming in again so you need to know exactly how long you can maintain the new staff, including increases to pay and benefits. Give yourselves plenty of runway to ramp up fundraising to fully cover the new staff before the gift funds run out.

Expanding your team can supercharge your efforts, but it’s essential to have a solid plan so you don’t end up biting off more than you can chew.

Take Your Time!

Don’t rush into decisions just because you’ve got a financial boost. It’s natural to feel pressure from the built up demands and expectations for these funds.

Take a breath and take your time to make thoughtful, well-informed choices that align with your mission and future plans. Hasty decisions can lead to regrets, so savor the process.

Where Should We Keep the Money?

Let’s talk about where to stash your cash. Money market accounts are a smart choice—they offer higher interest rates than regular savings accounts, giving you a safe place to park your funds while earning a bit extra.

If you’re in it for the long haul and have good cash flow, consider a series of certificates of deposit (CDs) for even better returns.

Investing in Your Community: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Feeling community-minded? Check out Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

They help finance projects that benefit local communities. Here are some handy links to get you started:

Use Unexpected Gifts for Lasting Change

There you have it! With a bit of planning and a dash of patience, you can turn your unexpected gift into a lasting boon.

Take a moment to relish the possibilities and make thoughtful choices that align with your goals.

Here’s to making the most of your windfall!


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