3 Ideas for Summer Fundraising to Sustain Donor Relations

Before you know it, your development team will be diving into fall events, Giving Tuesday, and year-end appeal planning.

Summer is the perfect season to explore new fundraising ideas so that your donors do not take a vacation from your charity, too.

3 Summer Fundraising & Donation Ideas

  1. Try a Giving Day.
  2. Give a donor cultivation tour.
  3. Start a summer stories series.

The Challenge of Summer Fundraising

In general, summer is the lowest giving season of the year. Some refer to it as the “summer drought” or “summer slump.” This happens for several reasons: donors go on vacation, donors prefer giving in the holiday season, and donors often have planned giving for mainstay charity events and year-end gifts.

Summertime Fundraising – an Opportunity You Should Not Ignore!

While it may be the lowest giving season of the year, summer fundraising is heavily underestimated; it is full of potential.

First and foremost, summertime development initiatives advance donor satisfaction. And donor satisfaction improves donor retention for your important fall fundraising.

Second, summer fundraising is less competitive. There are fewer nonprofits vying for your donor’s attention. Therefore, your organization has more of their time and attention (even if they are working ‘summer hours’).

Third, and finally, summer fundraising is a good time to take a risk on new development initiatives because less is riding on it. Plus, your development team is generally larger (i.e. summer interns) and has more time than in the fall, winter, and spring.

Summer is the time for you and your development team to hone in on fundraising skills like grant writing, individual donor meetings, networking with organizations, CRM training, researching foundations, collaborating with other nonprofits, event planning — you name it; summer is the time to take a fundraising risk.

3 Donor Campaign Ideas for Summer Fundraising

  1. Try a Giving Day.

    These 24-hour social media campaigns are generally somewhat easy summer fundraisers to put together if you have a realistic goal communicated with a sense of urgency. These are especially effective if you can connect your campaign with something that is newsworthy. For inspiration, check out these five stellar examples.

  2. Give a donor cultivation tour.

    Invite your donors to tour your facility. If that is not possible, do a virtual tour on Facebook and Instagram. Tours are great for connecting with donors face-to-face or screen-to-screen. This time is invaluable for building genuine rapport. These are also a great way to connect with some of your loyal supporter’s networks and follow-up with an individual meeting — all well before your fall ‘asks’.

  3. Start a summer stories series.

    Prep your donors for the fall with an inspiring communication campaign. Remind them why they love you and how their previous donations are making a tangible impact. Consider sharing stories of those in your network you don’t normally highlight in your social media, website, or newsletters. For example, your donors, organizational partners, volunteers, interns, staff, and Board of Directors.

Get Started: Steps to Take Now-

Start by focusing on engaging with your donors to sustain relationships. This means:

Try new and interesting outdoor fundraising initiatives.

Brainstorm at your next development meeting initiatives that would be quick to throw together, cost-effective, and most importantly, engaging for your sleepy summer donors. Of course depending on your location and your venue not all of these outdoor events might work:

  • Sports Tournament
    • Beach Volleyball
    • Golf
    • Swim, bike or run a thon
    • Cornhole
  • Family Fun
    • Pool Party/Fourth of July Party
    • Outdoor Arts Show
    • Outdoor Summer Concerts
    • Outdoor Film Showings
  • For Foodies
    • BBQ Cook Off
    • Eating Contest
    • Farmer’s Market Booth
    • Food and/or Drink Festival

Communicate messages that inspire donors.

Review your organization’s messages from the past 12-months.

  • Are they inspiring?
  • Are they describing the impact of the gift?
  • Are they making giving feel good?
  • Are they tailored to individual appeals?
  • Do any of your messages not include an ask?

Make sure your organization has the right tools to advance your summer fundraising initiatives.

Having the right technology is critical and this is where boodleAI fits in! Our data enrichment platform helps your team decide who to offer these great fundraising events to and/or how to do something after the event with the data you’ve collected. We make your information actionable, helping you to target your ideal donors in a meaningful way that ultimately increases your donations.

With boodleAI Your Nonprofit Can:

  • Discover the right new donors
  • Increase retention and repeat donors
  • Identify potential high value donors
  • Locate new markets with ideal prospects
  • Perfect fundraising strategies
  • Maximize campaign strategies
  • And so much more

What summer fundraising ideas are you trying this year? Let us know over on LinkedIn.