If you’re already thinking about summer campaigns whilst wearing a sweater, you’re in good company. The strongest campaigns start months in advance, and successful summer fundraising is no different.
While summer tends to be slower than other months when it comes to donations, it doesn’t mean it’s time for your fundraising to take a vacation too. Instead, adjust your summer fundraising strategy to test out new tactics, connect with donors, and plant the seeds for hugely successful fall and year-end campaigns.
Put the fun in summer FUNdraising
Summer is fun, and your fundraising strategy should be too! And given summer is typically a slower fundraising season, it’s a great time to sprinkle in some more excitement to your campaigns by testing out new tactics. Here’s are a few FUNdraising ideas.
TAP INTO SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
No, we’re not saying you have to dance on TikTok. But you can infuse more playfulness and humor into your social media campaigns. From adding upbeat music to showing off team challenges to playing up summery themes—beach, vacations, barbecues—you can add some fun to your campaigns while still driving home your organization’s mission.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR VOLUNTEERS
Your volunteers work hard. Show them some love while inspiring the next wave of volunteers. One way you can do so is to select a volunteer or two to highlight each summer month. Share what they do for your nonprofit, why they choose to support your cause, and how volunteering for your organization has impacted them. End each feature with information on how to volunteer and support your organization—and don’t forget to provide a link to a specific sign-up page.
HOST A FUNDRAISING EVENT
Summer is the perfect time for fundraising events that bring people together to support your cause. From a community yard sale to 5K race to big golf outing, there’s countless ideas that can work for your budget, campaign goals, and staff’s bandwidth. And moreover, hosting an event will expand your organization’s reach, attract new donors, and create a lasting impression for future donations.
Connect with donors
Amidst all these summer campaign strategies, your fundraising campaigns still need to connect with donors and move their hearts and minds. Fast-track that process by showcasing the impact of each donation, your success stories, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your organization.
SHOW DONOR IMPACT
Donors appreciate knowing how their money is contributing to your nonprofit. One of the best ways to do that is to quantify the impact of each donation level. Craft a short list and an eye-catching graphic that conveys how donations are being spent—for example, $10 = 5 hot meals, $50 = 100 flashlights for an interactive art exhibit, or $100 = 30 medical kits. Make the impact examples unique to your organization, incorporate your branding, and always include a call-to-action to donate.
SHARE YOUR SUCCESS STORIES
Your organization moves mountains—tell everyone how. How are you helping your community? What goes into launching a new program or exhibit? Where does your nonprofit make the biggest impact? It’s easy to bypass communicating this when you’re in the midst of a fundraising campaign and your “why” is so internalized. But take a step back and showcase your nonprofit’s boots-on-the-ground work. Share stories from volunteers, staff, and the people you serve to develop an instant connection with prospects and donors alike.
GIVE A BEHIND-THE-SCENES PEEK
Transparency is a great way to create trust with your donors and prospects. A great way to do so is by pulling back the curtain to reveal some behind-the-scenes action. What does a typical day look like at your organization? Who’s coordinating your volunteer events? How do you install those incredible exhibits? Show how much goes into running your nonprofit and all the background players that help make the magic happen.
Set the groundwork for year-end campaigns
The ideas above might sound “soft” in comparison to other direct response fundraising tactics, but the real goal is to build a strong list of supporters and expand your organization’s awareness. In this way, your supporters and prospects will be ready to donate during year-end campaigns (if not sooner!).
In addition to the previously mentioned strategies, you can further build and strengthen your relationship with your donors by:
- Staying in touch in a variety of ways, including email, mobile, and direct mail
- Inviting supporters to follow your nonprofit on social media
- Fostering your connections through quality content that highlights all the incredible work your organization does
Looking for more information?
For more information or assistance with developing your summer fundraising campaign, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.