The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Summertime Shifts: Keep Connecting Through Fireflies, Fireworks, and Family Vacations

Summertime Shifts: Keep Connecting Through Fireflies, Fireworks, and Family Vacations

Nothing is more important than crafting content that’s relevant to your readers. But it’s challenging when they’re distracted by the delights of ice cream, the beach, and after-dinner badminton.

Summer is just different. Even though schooldays ended eons ago for most of us, our focus, attitudes, and readiness to act change as the weather warms.
Over the years, I’ve heard from many of you that you feel the same, as do your supporters and prospects. And you’ve asked me how to connect in the context of sizzling summer distractions.

Here are three ways to up your summer communications game:

  1. Change timing and/or frequency. A quick poll of nonprofit communicators found this to be the most common summertime shift.

    • No Friday sends.
    • Send less frequently.
  2. Shift your topic, tone, and/or language to make it seasonally relevant and fun.
  3. If you know your people are on email less and Facebook more, follow them where they are. This applies whatever the season.

Here’s more summertime shift guidance from some of the best fundraisers and communicators I know:

  • Make your content more fun, light, active, and short attention span friendly, advises Kivi Leroux Miller from Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

  • Craft your asks to be short, sweet, and personal, like this creative appeal from Food for the Poor, suggests fundraiser Pamela Grow.

  • Be aware that you’re communicating to people who are on or just back from vacation, says John Haydon. That could mean sending an email twice (with a fresh subject line the second time), with round two going to those who didn’t open the first, and extending a campaign period into early fall.

Whatever summertime shifts you consider, it’s ideal to base them on what you know about your people, anecdotally and/or via data on last summer’s responses. If possible, measure before and after each shift, and make only one change at a time so you know what does or doesn’t work.

What summertime shifts do you make in your fundraising campaigns and communications? Please share in the comments section!

More Summer Stuff


With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.

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Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

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