[NPFX Ep. 50] Inflation and Impact: How Nonprofits Are Navigating Economic Realities (with Ali Colbran and Nicole Williams)

donor retention financial stability nonprofit fundraising nonprofit strategy podcast

Welcome to The Nonprofit Fundraising Exchange, a podcast from IPM Advancement. Our mission is to empower nonprofits to succeed so they can make the world a better place.

Today’s topic: Inflation and Impact — How Nonprofits Are Navigating Economic Realities

With inflation rates peaking at 9.1% last summer (the highest since 1981), nonprofits are feeling the strain. Higher prices drive up the cost to provide programs and services while also increasing demand for those services; on the fundraising side, every dollar raised has less buying power. In today's episode, we'll look at how two nonprofits fighting food insecurity are overcoming these challenges and growing their operations despite economic realities.

Time-Stamped Episode Shortcuts

  • Introductions and background info [1:10]
  • How the COVID pandemic and economic challenges like inflation forced a change in strategy [3:53]
  • Quantifying the impact of donations to engage and steward donors [14:13]
  • How donor behavior has changed due to inflation [18:55]
  • Keeping donors engaged through volunteering and other ways they can support the cause [22:48]
  • Engaging corporate partners in creative ways [24:30]
  • What to do when recurring donors cancel because they can't afford to keep donating [27:29]
  • Fundraising ideas for engaging local businesses [30:53]
  • Why consistent contact with donors matters [32:36]

Special Offer: Free 30-minute consultation for NPFX listeners

Additional Resources

Subscribe to NPFX


Ali Colbran, Director of Development at Feeding San Diego, is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing Feeding San Diego’s fundraising program, including major gifts, grants, corporate partnerships, annual funds, and development operations. Ali has 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Her previous development work supported UC San Diego, The New Children’s Museum, Sacramento Children’s Museum, and the California Association of Museums. She has a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ali is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego.

Nicole Williams is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foodbank of Central Alabama. With 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, she's managed federal, local, and privately funded projects to lead the Community Food Bank in its current growth and expansion. A graduate of Samford University, Nicole has lived and worked in Birmingham for over 30 years. She currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of Feeding Alabama, the State Food Bank Association and on the Board of Directors for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). She was named in the Who’s Who in Nonprofits by the Birmingham Business Journal in March of 2023.


Russ Phaneuf, a co-founder of IPM Advancement, has a background in higher education development, with positions at the University of Hartford, Northern Arizona University, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. As IPM's managing director & chief strategist, Russ serves as lead fundraising strategist, award-winning content creator, and program analyst specializing in applied system dynamics.

Rich Frazier has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. In his role as senior consultant with IPM Advancement, Rich offers extensive understanding and knowledge in major gifts program management, fund development, strategic planning, and board of directors development.


On average, new IPM clients see a 34.8% increase in direct mail fundraising acquisition response rates within the first year of working with us. Want to learn more?

Contact IPM