How to Conquer the Summer Fundraising Slump

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 25.6.2020

girl playing beside body of water during daytime

The first quarter of the year has been tough on some nonprofits. According to a report by The Chronicle Philanthropy, nonprofits saw a 6% decrease in individual giving in the first quarter of the year. The same report estimates that the industry could see a $25 billion decrease in revenue if giving continues to decline at the same rate. As nonprofits work to recover from the financial hit from the first quarter, they enter another fundraising challenge: the summer.

The summer can be one of the most difficult times to keep donors engaged. Between family vacations and activities, summer can be rough for nonprofits. Some organizations give up on fundraising altogether in the summer to focus on internal trainings and planning. This is the year to change course and dedicate some time to summer fundraising. Here are some tips to get your organization through the summertime slump.

Share your plans for the summer

This is a good time to let your donors know about any plans you have for the summer. If you have programs that have traditionally operated during the summer and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the time to let your donors know of any changes you have had to make to your programming.

If you have had to modify your programs or services for the summer explain the changes to your donors and how they impact your constituents. In situations where you have had to cancel summer programs its important to explain the reasoning. It is also important to express any optimism you have about the future of your summer programs. With that optimism, you should create a fundraising campaign for future programs.

Keep an eye on the future

In situations where you have had to cancel programs and make major adjustments for the summer programs, it is important to share your plans for the fall and future. Donors understand that organizations may have had to make significant changes over the last several months and they need to feel that there is hope for the organization’s future. Presenting a plan that moves your organization forward will keep your donors invested in your future.

This is also a time to get your donors to invest in your future plans with a recurring donation campaign. As part of this campaign, you should provide your donors with updates so that they can see your progress. Create content that inspires your donors to share your cause with their network to expand your reach.   

Host Summer Themed Fundraisers

Hosting a summer-themed fundraiser can get your donor excited about your cause and could attract new donors. Before the new normal, organizations hosted summertime themed events including volleyball tournaments, barbeque competitions, and block parties. With social distancing becoming the norm, it will be important to find new and engaging summer fundraisers.

Consider hosting events like virtual runs, walks, and parties for your summer fundraisers. Adding virtual and innovative summer-themed fundraisers will help your organization thrive throughout the summer.

Need help managing your summertime donors? Contact us today for a demo.

Photo Credit: Leo Rivas

Topics: COVID-19, Donor Relationships, Virtual Race, Virtual Meetings, Virtual Runs, Donor Retention