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Summer FUNdraising 101: Creating Memorable Experiences


How are you optimizing your fundraising this summer? Summer’s longer days and warm weather present countless opportunities for you to create memorable experiences that engage your donors, strengthen relationships with your existing supporters, and unleash a new wave of generosity.

With summer being right around the corner, we put together a list of experiences—both in-person and virtual—that can help you elevate your campaigns, expand your reach, and make a lasting impression.

In-Person Fundraising Experiences

  1. Host an ice cream social. With ice cream being a universal summertime favorite, hosting an ice cream social can be the cherry on top of your existing campaigns. While they can certainly be a standalone event, ice cream socials pair particularly well with other community events and allow you to sprinkle in additional touchpoints that raise more funds and share your message.
  2. Organize a field day. Who said field days were just for kids? Organizing a good old-fashioned field day is a great way to gather new and existing supporters to enjoy some fun in the sun while celebrating your mission. Through a variety of games and contests, you can connect with a wider audience, increase donations, and inspire attendees to champion your cause during and after the event.
  3. Put on an outdoor movie screening. While they’re not too common anymore, outdoor movie screenings still spark that quintessential summer feeling, making them a must-attend event for people of all ages. Whether it’s a small viewing in your parking lot or large crowd at a local public park, putting on your own outdoor movie screening can effectively engage donors and provide you with multiple fundraising streams—ticket sales, popcorn sales, and raffle sales to name a few.

Virtual Fundraising Experiences

  1. Hold an online workshop. An online workshop is a wonderful way to gather your community, share more information about your organization, and highlight the importance of your cause. Workshops also pave an avenue for more open-ended discussion with your attendees, giving you with the opportunity to truly get to know your supporters and gain better insight into their donation behaviors, motivations, and preferences.
  2. Plan a virtual game night. Make your events more interactive with a virtual game night. They not only offer another avenue to raise funds for your cause, but also serve as a key educational tool for your organization. Whether it’s a one-time Bingo game or weekly trivia, your game nights can incorporate essential facts about who you are, why you do what you do, how you accomplish impressive feats.
  3. Conduct a social media contest. Social media is an integral part of our lives, so it’s only fitting to utilize it to generate more engagement and donations. Create a social media strategy that encompasses polls, challenges, and giveaways to help you spread your message on a grand platform and ramp up your fundraising.

Regardless of whether you’re organizing in-person or virtual experiences, creating special moments for your supporters improves engagement, attracts new donors, and enhances your overall campaign. And the more you consistently connect with your supporters throughout the year, the more in tune they are when it comes to year-end campaigns, which really impact your programs and your bottom line.

Looking for more information?

For more information or assistance with developing your summer fundraising campaign, check out our summer fundraising toolkit.

Questions?We’d love to help.

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