ANONYMOUS QUESTION: Unneeded Restricted Funds

In every Nonprofit Jenni Show podcast episode, I answer an anonymous question submitted by someone who works for a nonprofit or serves on a nonprofit organization’s board of directors. These questions may cover controversial topics, or may just come from someone who doesn’t want to be publicly associated with asking the question. Please subscribe to my podcast to make sure you catch all the advice I give from my anonymous Q&A segment!

In my recent episode on board and committee development, I answered the question, “If a donor restricts funds for a program that no longer needs funding, what should I do with that money?”

This sounds cliche, but the most important thing you can do all the time in the nonprofit world is be honest. Go to your donor and let them know that your program has already been fully funded, no longer exists anymore, or doesn't need funding anymore for another reason. Your donor won't be upset; they chose to contribute to your organization because they believe in your mission and work. Make sure your donor feels appreciated and needed.

Then request that you be able to use the restricted funds for another purpose. You can either try to suggest another program that has a similar focus to the program they originally wanted to fund, or simply explain the importance of general operations funds and ask that you be allowed to use the donation for that purpose. After all, if you can't pay for your general operations, that program won't exist long-term anyway.

I host an anonymous Q&A segment in every Nonprofit Jenni Show episode, and I go into more detail than I do with this blog! Be sure to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform so you won't miss any of the other Q&A segments.