While you are dipping in the pool this Summer, your ministry budget may also be taking a dip. I call it the “Summer Slump”. It’s common in nonprofit fundraising during the months of June, July and August. Let’s face it… many supporters are spending their money differently in the Summer. However, this doesn’t mean you should put cruise control on and abandon all fundraising efforts.
Here’s a list of 3 things you can do in July to put the petal to the metal and the dreaded “Summer Slump” in the rearview mirror!
1. Run a list of supporters that gave January – June of 2018. Run that same list for January – June of 2019. Who is missing? These are your lapsed donors. Take time this Summer to get in touch with them. Make a phone call. Send an encouraging handwritten note. Invite a few of them to coffee or lunch. Be intentional about reconnecting this Summer. It will pay off! Sometimes immediately. Once I called a lapsed donor and he said my call reminded him he needed to send me $5,000. Don’t assume just because you haven’t heard from someone they are no longer interested in your ministry.
2. Send a mid-year impact report to your supporters. This can be in form of an infographic, downloadable PDF, blog post or direct mail. Celebrate the life impact that has happened so far this year and THANK them for making this possible. If you really want to WOW them, make it personalized by reconfirming the purpose of their gift(s) in the report and show them the direct impact their personal giving has made so far this year. Example: Suzanne, your gift this year of $350 has provided 10 ultrasounds resulting in 4 teenage moms choosing life for their babies. You should feel really good about that!
3. Launch a Summer Matching Challenge. Take this month to secure a major gift with the purpose of using it as a 30-day matching challenge in August. Supporters like to see their gift leveraged. I have never had a supporter tell me no when I’ve asked if I could use their gift as a matching challenge to encourage other supporters to double their impact. Matching gifts have been statistically proven to increase the rate at which people donate and their average gift size.
The bottom line is this…not many ministry leaders are fundraising during the Summer. That is all the more reason why you should!