It’s summertime – A beautiful season of flip flops, half-day Fridays, a ripe mix of sand and chlorine, and the taste of coconut La Croix in the air. While you may think that fundraising is taking a break for the next three months, think again, because summer provides a great opportunity to fundraise like a boss and have a lot more fun doing it. Grab your favorite backpack! We’re going to show you the right items you need before you head off to fundraising summer camp! Here are my five tips on what you’ll need in your fundraising camp arsenal:
#1: Roll with the Season & Rock Your Flip Flops.
Don’t be afraid to get into the summer spirit with your fundraising activities. Roll with the theme, make it fun, and remind supporters that your mission doesn’t take a vacation. How about a summer flip flop drive for the homeless? Or a picnic drive for underprivileged youth who aren’t getting meals they usually receive at school? YMCA does a great job of this with their “summer matters” campaign – an effort that asks supporters to donate and “send a kid to camp” or “teach a kid to swim.” It’s a great example of how you can capitalize on the season, and campaign according to what your mission is this time of year. So grab your swimming gear, dive in and get your pun on!
#2: Take Your Map & Follow the Summer Crowds.
While people are summer vacationing, they may not be checking their inbox, but they are certainly hitting up Facebook, Instagram and other social channels like it’s going out of style. So what do you do? Meet your audience where they already are. You could play on the selfie obsession and turn it into something that promotes your cause. A “summertime selfie for good” campaign perhaps? You can also take it beyond the posts and explore running some (very inexpensive) Facebook ads that would help you gain a new level of awareness.
#3: Ab Roller, Anyone? Focus On Your Core.
Okay, you don’t actually have to pack an ab roller, but now is indeed a good time to strengthen your relationship with your core supporters. While many people may be tuned out in the summer, think about running a campaign or two that focuses on your most loyal supporters. Here are a few things you can do to shape those core muscles and get them ready for prime time at the beach:
- If you have a sustaining program, try a “summertime sustainer” campaign. Again, make the theme fun and engaging. Push to have your lapsed sustainers renew with you while having current sustainers up the ante and increase their gift by a small percentage.
- Do some data scrubbing and search through all of those donors who have given several times over the years, but who are not yet a sustaining donor. Focus on their loyalty and campaign for them to become a sustainers.
- Launch a stewardship campaign to simply say thank-you. Do it on social media too! Again, go where the summer crowd goes.
#4: Don’t Forget your Beach Towel.
The summer slump is a great time to focus on data – wipe down and clean up! If running a summer campaign is too much work for your vacationing office, use the downtime to your advantage. Get that big organization project done – you know, what you’ve been putting off all year. Here are a few things you could do to clean house, and get tuned into your online metrics before the Fall fundraising starts:
- Have a data de-dupe project you’ve been putting off? Now the hour has come! Use the extra time to focus on tidying up.
- Reporting. Are you measuring and tracking everything you should be? What about online donation conversion? Do you know where on your website people are “falling off?” Could improvements to your online forms make it easier to donate and increase that conversion rate? Asking yourself these questions is important in knowing where your organization stands, and what needs to be improved going forward. You can find out more about data measuring and testing in the Kimbia Fundraise Smarter, Not Harder eBook.
These are all great conversations to have with your internal staff during the summer months when things are slower than normal.
#5: Always Plan for Sun & Slather on That SPF
If nothing else this summer, use the slump time to plan ahead. If you think it’s too early to start writing up your fall event-coaching messages, it’s not. Think Christmas in July isn’t really a thing? It is, so go ahead and get started on your EOY campaign content, or at least hold a few brainstorming and planning sessions. The slow months are great time to sit back, evaluate what you are doing, and plan for the busy seasons.
What are your summer plans? Have questions about any of the above tips? Comment below!