When most people think of summer, they think of the saying “fun in the sun.”

If you work in the world of nonprofits, the first word that comes to mind is “slowdown.” The summertime is when organizations experience a decrease in giving and donor engagement. Because this is also the season for vacations and traveling, those donors who are usually active and involved temporarily vanish.

Or at least that’s what it feels like.

However, just because your donors are on vacation, doesn’t mean your work stops. Below, you’ll find a list of a few ways to make the most of the summer slowdown. If you enjoy what you read, make sure to subscribe, so you’re notified when part two (Making the Most of the Summer Slowdown-Fundraiser Edition) is published.

  1. Office Inventory and Equipment

    You’ve been telling yourself for two years that when you have the time, you’ll get new furniture and equipment for the office. Well, you now have that time. Instead of getting the staff to vote on the best ergonomic desk chairs or the new coffee machine when everyone’s schedule is packed, use the summer slowdown when people have more availability and the bandwidth to provide better insight. This way you won’t be chasing people down trying to prevent someone from getting fussy because they hate the new mouse pads. Not to mention, we all know how fast sticky notes and pens go missing. Use this time to do a full inventory and restock in prep for fall!

  2. Digital Security

    When was the last time your organization’s passwords were updated? If you don’t know, that’s a sign your digital security needs some looking at and passwords are a great place to start. Consider positions with high turnover and if old staff could still have account logins for the organization. Those are the accounts you’ll want to look at first followed by a password sweep to see if the same password (or a similar variation) is being used repeatedly. This is important because using the same password makes your online accounts easy targets for hackers. Besides passwords, I’d recommend setting up two-factor authentication for your accounts. You can connect most of this to your phone, so you’ll receive immediate security alerts if someone tries logging in without permission.

  3. Staff Check-In

    Besides the infamous summer slowdown, this season is also known for staff retreats which is the perfect time to check in with your team. Sure, many supervisors have weekly or biweekly check-ins with their supervisees but the staff retreat is a chance to check in on a larger scale. What do I mean by that you ask? Some examples.The suggestions staff make to their managers that seem to never make it to the top of the organization now can be discussed openly and voted on by their peers. Departments that have overlapping work but are siloed, can figure out how to work together more collaboratively. Smooth out that workflow!

    Last, but not least, if you have a staff retreat planned during the summer slowdown, take the chance to bond. In the end, that’s what’s most important.

If you’re interested in making the most of your summer slowdown, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to see what we can get done over these next few months!

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