Ahh summertime. Just the word “summer” or “summertime” evokes memories of childhood fun, time spent at the beach, family barbecues and other such warm occasions.
However, when it comes to fundraising and meeting with donors during the summer, this usually takes a backseat.
After all, donors are away in the Catskills, visiting Israel or touring an exotic location. Likewise, your students and congregants are traveling or have sent their kids to camps and are “maxed out” until it’s time to purchase High Holiday seats.
And so, to help you still utilize this time period, we present you with three great ways to help you avoid and beat the “Summertime Fundraising Blues”:
1. Use Summertime for Chazara
Veritus Group suggests that you, “review your individual strategic plan for your donors to remind yourself of your solicitation strategy. If you are soliciting a number of your donors in September-December, you need to start that solicitation process now. This is not the time to relax, but to start executing on reporting back and setting up your ask for these donors.”
Also, consider the fact that you have almost completed half the year already if your fiscal year is on a calendar basis. As such, one of the important questions that Veritus Group says that you should ask is, “where are you on your revenue goals?”
If you are behind, use the summer to be creative and either find a way to fundraise during the summer (if you are looking for some fundraising ideas to do over the summer, check out this link) or setup a great fundraiser that will start after the summer months so that you can still finish the year off well.
It goes without saying that summertime is also a wonderful opportunity to check on your professional and personal goals. How are you doing against those goals? What do you have to tweak or adjust? Now is the time to move on it.
2. Schedule Away!
Start scheduling meetings now — before it’s too late!
You might ask “why?” or “what’s the rush?”
The reason is because the chances are that “your” major donors are also major donors to other organizations. Get a jump on them and start scheduling face to face meetings with your donors.
We suggest that you either take advantage of the weather and do something outside with them such as golfing or agree to meet with them in another location than just an office or Beit Midrash.
Or, if you can not meet with your donor during the summer, at least call their secretary and ensure that you have a chance to meet with them before they receive many Rosh HaShanah appeals from Jewish organizations around the world. After all, as is true with everything in life, “the early bird gets the worm!”
3. Surprise Your Donors
If you hear that your donor is going to vacation in Israel with their family, find out where and send them a card, deliver a nice bottle of wine or a Shabbos bouquet of flowers, etc.
If this is cost prohibitive, or if they aren’t heading to Israel where you know someone who can easily drop off something at their hotel or vacation rental, research and email them with a list of some cool things for them to do (in Italy, Hawaii, or wherever they are off to). You can also send them a couple of links via e-mail of Kosher restaurants or a local Shul. These little things can make a difference and it shows you care about them.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful and that they allow you and your organization to continue to use the summertime to still move in a positive direction and ward off any summertime fundraising blues. Remember: you will see results from any preparation or work you do now. We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below as to how you utilize the summer?
In the meantime, we extend our warm wishes for continued success and…enjoy the summer!