A row of empty swings on a playground swingset
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Is Summer The Time To Stop Fundraising?

A row of empty swings on a playground swingset

The difficult months for fundraising are upon us!

There is a period of time every year where fundraising seems to come to a screeching halt. That doesn’t mean that communication isn’t essential to your overall fundraising strategy during this time.

While it may not be the ideal time to do a big fundraising push, it’s an excellent time to make meaningful tour dates, one-on-one coffee dates, thank you phone calls and all those things that help create relationships…with donors, key stakeholders, potential partners and volunteers.

Once you’ve had a donor become engaged with your cause, they want to feel connected to it, even if they are away.

5 ways to communicate with donors during the difficult months:

  1. Provide an update on how your latest initiative is going. Depending on the last conversation you had (you’ve had one, right?!) this is a great time to provide an update on the things you had discussed.
  2. Say thank you and state what improvements, changes, pivots the organization has made as a result of donors (doesn’t need to be specific about their gift, unless theirs is restricted funds).
  3. Improve your newsletter and send the fresh look for their feedback. Even if they don’t give any feedback, they may like being asked. Again, this isn’t a blast out to your entire database, but a personal touch to a handful of key people.
  4. Tie in current events. If it’s a slow time, talk about certain developing strategies that you are hoping will come together shortly. You can always run ideas by people, keeping in mind there is a fine line in sounding like you don’t have your act together, and asking for input or advice.
  5. Make an ask. Depending on the donor, depending on the size of gift, depending on conversations you’ve had in the past, you can feel free to make an appeal.
    Another way is to ask for a connection to someone in their network that they feel would be interested in the work you are doing.

There is lots of evidence that says if you don’t communicate with your donors, they go away. (Click to tweet)

Communicate just as you would anyone with whom you’d like a long-term relationship.

On the flip side, there is also evidence that says making another ask doesn’t lead to donors leaving. Even if they choose to ignore this one. They are still in our court.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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