Nor is it a Fund, but more on that later . . .

annual

adjective an·nu·al \ˈan-yə(-wə)l, -yü-əl\
Simple Definition of annual
  • : happening once a year

  • : covering the period of a year

  • of a plant : living for only one year or season : having a life cycle that is one year or season long

(“Annual.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.)

fund

noun \ˈfənd\
Simple Definition of fund
  • : an amount of money that is used for a special purpose

  • funds : available money

  • : an amount of something that is available for use : a supply of something

(“Fund.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.)

So, then, an “Annual Fund” is an amount of money that is used for a special purpose happening over the course of a year.

If your fiscal year is July 1 – June 30, does your mission end at 11:59:59 on June 30 and start again at 12:00:00 on July 1?  Is there a split second when that mission is fulfilled and then starts again?

From the organizational perspective, yes, we can say that “Last year the annual fund raised $500,000 and hit goal!” But from a donor-centered perspective, the “annual fund” is ongoing and never-ending.  An annual fund donor is supporting the heart of the mission, the very reason for its existence.  And that’s not just a one-year thing.

Sure, “General Operating Support” isn’t sexy.  Neither is “annual fund.”  But if your mission doesn’t end, neither does your annual fund.

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