July 3, 2014

7 Ways to Make Money in the Dog Days of Summer

1. Create a Challenge. For example, to support The Food Bank of Manatee, local leaders challenged businesses, civic, faith-based organizations, networking groups, communities, and clubs to collect 1,000 pounds of food or raising $1,000 or a combination of the two this summer. Along the same line, you can develop a social media campaign. Run a hot sizzling summer campaign whenever it’s over 95 degrees, such as, “Our puppies are hot—help us keep them cool with your $10 donation.” Folks from the U.S. Northwest dub summer, “The 100 Golden Days.” Play with the heat, the gold, or the many other themes of summer.

2. Give Thanks. Every day its above 90 degrees reach out to ten donors. “It’s sooo hot I figured I’d catch you in… I’m calling to say thank you.”

3. Craig’s List five items you no longer need.

4. Get Ahead. Plan and draft your annual appeal for the holidays.

5. Pre-sell. Set up a pre-ticket sale for your next event. Offer a bonus with early purchase. Selling tickets in advance also offers peace of mind and allows for better planning.

6. Build Capacity. Summer slumps are typical. How will you anticipate one and alleviate its effect this year and in the future? What will you do differently come fall?

7. And Now For Something Totally Different. Summer vacations. Travel. School is out. People are distracted but also relaxed. Use this opportunity to invite small groups for a conversation. Contact your special friends (donors) and learn their plans for the next 60 days. Identify a sub-group that will be in town on a specific date. Plan an event just for them. If you usually do formal, do casual. If you typically do casual, dress it up. Simplest? Serve fresh fruit and cheese and ask for advice. How might we improve our services? Use our facility differently? Take advantage of the change affecting your work? Select the question or questions where you need fresh thinking. Test the adage, “If you want money, ask for advice.”

Every day is a good day to help a nonprofit to grow resources to support your mission, the dog days of summer are no different.


Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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