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Fundraising in July

It’s like those “Christmas in July” sales and campaigns, only for nonprofit fundraisers.

For some of you in nonprofit fundraising, July is the start of the new fiscal year. For others, you may be half-way through.

Regardless of where in your fiscal year July lands, unless you’re a southern California beach nonprofit filled with beach-goers who are donating, July can be a slow month in giving.

Your organization’s budget probably reflects this.

Still, there are actions you can take to keep fundraising and relationship building alive and well in July, setting you up for fall campaigns.

My biggest suggestion for July fundraising has to do with organizational cash flow. Does it help to have donors donate in July rather than December?

If you answered yes to this, do the following:

Create a list of those donors you are most close with along with those donors who are your missions’ biggest supporters. Start having conversations with them about their giving, specifically the timing. Let them know about wanting to raise more money in July (or any particular month) and ask them if you can add value to their donation by having them donate in a specific month.

It’s rare when a donor says no.

This does not necessarily increase your overall donation, but it can make your finance people breath a little easier in July.

I have also had success with e-appeals going out the second week of July, not during the 4th of July week, that are part “hope you’re enjoying summer” and part “before you head to the beach can you donate to support survivors of domestic violence?”.

Summer appeals are probably the weakest as for as overall fundraising, and I suggest at least giving it a try to see if my experience matches your donors giving.

To be honest, most of the work for successful July fundraising is done before July, just like other types of fundraising.

Consistently building and strengthening relationships with your donors.

Thanking them promptly.

Sharing your impact.

Letting your donors know how you used their donation.

Being out and about in your community sharing your mission and impact.

Laslty, be sure to take some time off in the summer. Our work as nonprofit fundraisers is vital to our missions, and self-care along with time off when it’s slower are keys to success.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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