In my last post, I gave you some ideas on how your organization can get the most from the annual summer slowdown. While this season isn’t the busiest for most nonprofits, the department that gets the most heat (no pun intended) is development. Yes, the mighty fundraisers are hit the hardest this time of year, and often there’s a lot of pressure to get results.
You know, make magic happen, basically.
So, how do fundraisers get the most from our summer slowdown? How do you pull some positive from what’s a really challenging time of the year for donations?
I have a few ideas!
1. Don’t Let Your Donors Forget You!
Sure, donors may not be responding to your phone calls or emails because their ears are full of sand from the beach or they’re traveling somewhere with no cell service. That doesn’t mean the work stops. Your organization still has a mission and a job to do, so your donors may be on a vacay, but you still need to keep your work on their mind.
How do you do that?
First, keep your social media active. Let your community know about new hires, summer interns, program outcomes, partnerships, and anything you’ve got going on. When donors finally get off the beach, you want your post to be one of the first on their feed.
Next, start throwing in subtle hints about the next big project in your newsletter. If your organization has an annual event right after summer, tell your community now. Don’t wait until the month before when you have three months to gradually let them know it’s coming.
And remember, the vacation ends at some point. The slowdown is not forever.
2. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
With the sun out, there’s going to be lots of barbecues and family gatherings. There’s no rule that says donors can’t have fun while raising money for a good cause, and if you have a well prepared fundraising toolkit readily available, your donors are pretty much set.
If you’re wondering what should be included in a fundraising toolkit, here are a few of the essentials:
- Staff contact email for any questions
- Organization Logo
- Mission and Vision
- Fundraising Ideas
- Donation Instructions (Based on the different methods of giving e.g. check, ACH, cash, etc)
- Sample Language for Promoting On Social Media
3. Strategize for Your Major Donors
Use the summer slowdown to think about how you can further engage your major donors, prospective and current. Like many nonprofits, you might have a general step-by-step process you follow to (hopefully) convert someone new to your organization into a major donor. But that process doesn’t work for every donor.
Now is the time to think outside the box and develop tailored plans for those donors you just haven’t been able to get yet. This could mean rethinking your approach. Which of your programs would appeal most to the prospect, or what values do they want in an organization?
Ultimately, the question is, what makes them want to give?
Use this time to find the answer.
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!