Summer is here, and I have to say, I’ve never been so excited about summer in my entire life. You see, I moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, last fall. And, now that I’ve survived my first winter and the snow has finally melted, I am loving the Minnesota spring/summer weather!
Everyone is out walking their dogs, riding their bikes, eating at outdoor cafes, you name it. It is an amazing time overall, but the summer also makes me a little sad. Because, you see, I’m a fundraiser. And, every year I see a severe dip in nonprofit fundraising during the summer months (see chart). For some reason, it seems like nonprofits simply throw in the beach towel and don’t even try to raise funds in the summertime.
While it might be difficult to focus on fundraising when the weather is great, and staff and donors are on vacations, I’m here to tell you this is an opportune time to take advantage of this typically quiet time to stand out from the crowd and get the attention of your supporters and even potential new donors.
So, ready to launch that summer campaign and raise some funds in the sun? Here we go!
Summer Fundraising Ideas
Create a “Summer Giving Day” – Forget GivingTuesday and all the issues around that. Why not create your own day of giving in the middle of summer? Instead of being just another nonprofit in a crowded field, you can easily stand out and get the attention of your supporters. This can be as simple as creating a reason for the giving day, telling all your supporters about it, and generating some excitement around YOUR special day of giving.
Outdoor Movie Event – Rent a blow-up screen, pick some summer movies, and invite your supporters. Sell tickets, concessions … and why not add a mobile action to the event?
Pub Crawl – You know many of your supporters will be heading out to the pub to grab a pint or a glass of wine anyway. Why not turn their desire for a drink into a great reason to network, learn more about your cause, and of course, raise some money? You can sell tickets for the event, pass a donation bucket at each pub stop, sell event apparel, and even add in some peer-to-peer fundraising, as well.
Organize a Dog Walk – Everyone is already out walking their dogs … why not create a simple event to capitalize on that? This is way easier than trying to organize a 5k walk/run, as there are no chip timing, race awards, water stations, etc. – just a bunch of folks getting together to walk their dogs and raise funds for charity. You get bonus points if you make it a peer-to-peer fundraising event! This is much easier than you think, with the right online fundraising tools.
Kickball Tournament – Looking to get your younger supporters engaged and involved with your organization? Did you know Kickball is the hot “social sport” for young adults? Since every nonprofit I talk to is trying to get younger supporters more involved, this is a great win-win. Create a Kickball Tournament that raises money through team entry fees, event apparel, donation requests during the event, and you guessed it, peer-to-peer fundraising! If kickball is not your thing, you can also create a fundraising tournament with Cornhole, Washers, Disc Golf, Sandcastle Building … you name it.
In the end, launching and creating a summer fundraising event is great for raising some extra money when you normally don’t bring in that much. It can also help your fundraising the rest of the year! The Donor Experience Study found that 63 percent of donors are more likely to financially support a nonprofit after having a positive event experience.
So, no more excuses. Launch a summer fundraiser this year and let me know how it goes. I just may feature you as a case study next summer.
For more on summer fundraising, read my blog from 2015, “Summer Puts the Fun in Fundraising!” In this post, I give three reasons why you should launch a summer fundraising campaign. Check out the post for the reasons why, as they still hold true today.