What are your plans for the summer? Most folks think about vacations, beaches, and BBQs. How about adding a fundraising campaign into your plans?

fundraising trendsAt Abila, we typically see a severe dip in fundraising during the summer months, especially July and August (see graphic). Traditionally, the reasons for this have been the difficulty getting in contact with your supporters as they, too, are thinking vacations and beaches. Plus, nonprofit professionals are taking time off themselves. (Is that allowed?)

While this may have been the case when you mostly used direct mail or traditional fundraising methods, now with online fundraising you have a 24 hour per day , 7 day a week, 365 days a year system that actually “travels” with your supporters. I mean, who doesn’t check their email and hop on the Internet on vacation? And once launched, you don’t even have to be there to run it.

So, if that’s the case, why are most nonprofits still not running fundraising campaigns in the summer? I believe it’s mostly out of habit and not looking at the big picture.

3 Reasons Why You Should Launch a Summer Fundraising Campaign

  1. Other nonprofits are not doing it. This is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make “an ask” when other organizations are simply not getting their message out there.
  2. End-of-Year (EOY) fundraising is very crowded. Once we hit November/December every nonprofit on earth is in full fundraising mode. If you are anything like me you probably receive 50 fundraising appeals during the last two months of the year. Do you want to be a part of all of that noise or would you rather make your appeal during a less crowded period where you can really make a splash?
  3. Summer is a great time to test new campaigns. Is there a smaller campaign you have always wanted to try? Interested in seeing if peer-to-peer fundraising or a “donate your birthday” campaign would resonate with your supporters? A summer campaign would be a great time to test these new ideas in a low risk environment.

Just Launch It

So, my big advice is to not just think about summer fundraising, but to get out there and launch a summer campaign now! As online fundraising gives you the 24/7/365 employee you always wanted, you can pick up that beach ball without dropping the fundraising ball!

If you are interested in running a summer campaign, let me know. I am always happy to talk to nonprofits looking to test and try new ideas. Check back with the Forward Together blog at the end of this summer to see highlights from a few of our customers who are launching summer campaigns.