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Raising Bucks in the Heat of Summer

This is an update of a July, 2010 post on fundraising strategies to beat the summer doldrums.  I’ve updated it for summer, 2012:

Raising funds is a challenge. And for some reason, reaching out to donors in the summer can feel like a lost cause.  No worries.  With vacation time and other distractions, it’s the eager-beaver nonprofit professional who can get ahead of the game by doing a few easy things that’ll generate some $$.

  • Thank Your Donors Again. Of course, you thanked your donors after your annual appeal. And you followed up with those who missed you the first time around. Now is the time to thank again. And, in your note, comment on a project underway this summer, or one you’re contemplating for fall. You can ask if your donor can make an extra gift. You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll receive. And don’t lose the theme…save it for the next annual appeal as a reminder to your loyal donors.
  • Host Informal Social Event. If you have a favorite cafe or bistro, accessible to your local donors where you could host a cocktail or non-alcohol reception that might be of interest to donors, particularly to those retired and looking for something interesting and fun to do. If your mission is health-related, feature a speaker who’ll talk for a few minutes and answer questions. If you’re arts-related, perhaps a performer (a musician to play a short program, or an actor who will read a short story) would pitch in because they want to see you succeed.
  • Promote Memorial or Special Honor Gifts. Should local funeral homes have reply envelopes available for your organization?  In your next newsletter, tuck in an envelope promoting special honor (birthday, anniversary, other milestone) gifts so recipients can send a check or credit card authorization and indicate person for you to thank whose special day they’d like to honor.

A relatively modest investment of time can generate a few thousand dollars of income at a time when incoming gifts are slow. This can help you identify other times of year when it would be natural to build in a special activity or mailing or constant contact outreach that could bring some helpful dollars in.

If you’d like some help designing one of these or another idea, just call or e-mail and we’ll see if we can find something that fits well for you.

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