Focus on your Fundraising Foundation: Build a Summer Campaign

Summer is here! Though the summertime is typically a slower time for nonprofits, it is the perfect time to dive into fundraising to ensure your nonprofit is ready for year-end. Turn up the heat this summer and create a fundraising plan that will engage and renew donors, attract prospects, build awareness, and plant the seeds that sustain your organization. Use this summer to create a campaign that will:

  • Raise funds to support a new initiative.
  • Grow your supporters.
  • Expand the impact of your annual gala.
  • Position your nonprofit for year-end success.

Establish Action Plans

To create the most compelling summer campaign that will generate the greatest impact—financial, engagement, awareness—consider your fundraising and non-fundraising objectives, and then answer the following questions:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish?
  2. What would the ideal results look like?
  3. Who are you trying to target?
  4. What do you most want them to do for your organization?
  5. What call to action would motivate your target audience?
  6. Would a one-time donation or recurring gift raise the most funds?

Choose Your Focus or Theme

A good fundraising campaign calls for so much more than simply communicating your organization’s financial needs. Develop a campaign theme and call to action that is compelling, donor-centric, and tells a personal story.

Focus your appeal on an individual and their story to better resonate with donors on an emotional level. Incorporate photos that capture who your donor can help and what they can achieve through your mission and programs. Imagery can create a powerful attachment between your donor and your subject. Use similar imagery on your donation page to continue that connection through the entire donation process.

Create Appeals and Assets

The design of your appeal is the heart and soul of your summer campaign. Its impact and effectiveness will directly determine your fundraising results. Create an appeal that:

  • Features donor-driven, inspiring content.
  • Shares a relevant story that climaxes with an emotional hook.
  • Focuses on the impact a donor’s gift will have.
  • Specifies a call to action with a sense of urgency.
  • Include images and materials that demonstrate value and quality.

Get Creative

Use this summer to get creative, step out of your comfort zone, and try something new. If you have some ideas in mind but haven’t had the time to implement them, take charge this summer to experiment and test your fundraising ideas. A creative summer fundraising plan doesn’t need to require a heavy lift! You can:

  • Host a summer barbecue, pool party, ice cream party, or block party
  • Coordinate a car wash
  • Launch an interactive photo contest with a specific hashtag
  • Send your donors a summer themed direct mailer
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