Fundraising 101

End of Summer Stewardship

For many non-profits, summer is a time when active donor work slows down. Donors and lay leaders may not be as available or accessible.  People travel, spend time with their children and families and take a break from work and volunteer responsibilities.

The beginning of fall signifies a return to work and the beginning of solicitation season – a time when many organizations are holding annual benefits and starting to prepare for the end of calendar year direct mail appeal. As an organization however, it is very important to take time to connect with your donors in a meaningful way prior to jumping right into solicitation. As you would with a friend you haven’t seen all summer, take the time to catch up and share what you have been doing, before you ask for their support once again.

  • Send an end of summer newsletter highlighting your work and programs
  • Make personal phone calls to your top donors to welcome them back from summer vacation and remind them of the date of your upcoming fall benefit
  • Share a story of a client you served this summer through a programmatic eblast with your constituents
  • Use social media to show the impact your work has had during the summer months and invite others to share meaningful activities they have done
  • Mail a personal note to donor prospects, wishing they had a fun summer and inviting them to meet for coffee in the fall (then make sure you follow up with a phone call to set a date!)
  • Reserve time in your fall board meeting for members to share a highlight of their summer

There are many ways to connect with donors to share your stories, impact, and innovative ways your organization makes a difference in the lives of the people you serve. Taking the time now to steward your constituents and thank them for their part in making the work possible, will help to further strengthen the relationship and lay the groundwork for a productive and meaningful rest of the year.