Let’s face it. Summer is not often a great time for fundraising. Kids are out of school, families go on vacation, and you are far from the momentum of end of year giving. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to engage donors. Here are some things to keep in mind to keep your fundraising hot all summer long.
1) Go where your donors are. If you work at a nonprofit in a city such as New York, you know that many donors head for the Hamptons for the summer. In Colorado, people head up to Aspen, Telluride and other beautiful places. Why not have an event out there? Although many donors will not be interested in meeting you during the summer, you can try to go to them so they are more inclined to spare an hour or so.
2) Wish them a happy and safe summer. It is not the end of the world if you don’t get meetings during the summer (and if you work somewhere that has a weekly goal, run for the hills yourself). If a donor is too busy, wish them a happy summer and tell them you will reach out to them in the fall. Maybe keep them posted on events via email, mail, or social media. If a donor is not available, don’t be a nag!
3) One great way to reengage donors if you work at a nonprofit that helps children is to have a ‘back to school’ event. Invite your major donors and their families to a kid-friendly event after school gets started up again (wait a few weeks so your event doesn’t conflict with all the craziness of back to school). Parents are always looking for a way to engage their children in philanthropy – make your nonprofit the one they want to support.
4) Plan ahead. If you know that your donors head for the hills in June, be as proactive as possible in April and May to get in meetings before they disappear. That way you won’t be panicking all summer about your lack of communication.
5) Enjoy the summer yourself! Plan events with the development staff and other org staff that get you out of the office to enjoy the sun! There will be plenty of time to get down to business later.