Six tips for strong summer 2021 fundraising

May 20, 2021

During last year’s “lockdown summer,” many organizations found that their donors remained engaged and generous—a captive audience who wanted to do something concrete and positive in a tough situation. This summer, with travel and escape top of mind for so many, it will be more challenging to command attention and build urgency.

Here are six ways to focus your energy and maximize your efforts:

  1. Look for Opportunities – Find moments across the summer where you can fundraise for your organization, especially digitally. Be creative in seeking opportunities to build a case around issues, events, or partnerships that can both demonstrate your mission and be a way for donors to invest in your important work.
  2. Celebrate Successes – Pull back the curtain. Show donors specifically, and often, how they are making an impact with their gifts. This should include things that may not typically be featured in your fundraising appeals. Go beyond simply announcing the total dollars raised. Find ways to celebrate successes and how they positively impact your community.
  3. Set Goals – Often, summer fundraising is thought of as “bonus revenue.” Challenging goals are not set, and teams don’t work as hard as in other key campaign times. Especially as we move out of our long lockdown, any fundraising that can be done to capture new donors and increased gifts will help build revenue strength for the long term. Set some ambitious goals and create plans for how to achieve them.
  4. Highlight Your Partnerships – The pandemic has demonstrated our deep need for community connection. This summer demonstrate some of the partnerships that your organization has built to make your community better and stronger together.
  5. Improve Your Recapture Processes – Make time to investigate your monthly donor recapture program, ensure that it’s fully functional, know what’s working well, know your ROI on each channel, and know how you compare with other organizations. Improve what you can and recommit to tracking and continued improvement to keep these valuable donors active with your organization.
  6. Clean Your Data – Just like a good summer closet cleaning, this is an excellent time to do some data cleansing to be prepared for strong and efficient fundraising in the fall.