Summer is wonderful for so many reasons. It’s a slower time, a time when we’re more relaxed, more willing to take off, freer to connect with our families and change our routine.
Which means it’s also a time when our big donors are less receptive to our message.
They’re on vacation. They’re exploring some (kosher) tropical island retreat. Or they’re home, but they’ve got kids in from yeshivah and college, and… well, they’re busy with other things.
So we have this dilemma. We want to keep our donors connected. But we don’t want to do it in a way that could hurt our relationships.
Summer vacation isn’t the time to wave extra fundraising content in donors’ faces. Nobody likes to be bothered when in summer mode.
But. Even in summer mode, not too many people would mind a thoughtful surprise gift or message of appreciation. (Do you know anyone who wouldn’t?)
The name of the game in summertime fundraising: very personalized touch points.
Donor away on vacation?
- Have something - food, flowers, a Shabbos kugel - delivered to their hotel or apartment.
- Send a book that might interest them for in-flight entertainment
- Mention some tidbit of info that could enhance their vacation (“Oh, I have a cousin in Paris, if you need any community info I’d be happy to get you in touch!” “When I took my family to the Rockies, we absolutely loved X activity. I imagine your grandkids would love it too! Here’s the info.”)
- If you can’t do any of the above, even a quick Erev Shabbos text could be impactful (“Hope the change of scenery gives you an extra restful Shabbos!”)
What about if you’re the one on vacation, and want to let donors know your thoughts are still with your organization - and with them?
- Send a postcard - with a warm personal note, of course. It’s cute, nostalgic, and shows you’re really thinking of them.
- Whatsapp a short video Dvar Torah sharing a meaningful thought connected to your trip.
- Buy a souvenir that shows you know what they like (“We’ve been having a great family vacation in Cape Cod. We just did a museum tour that made me think of you and your love for American History. I knew I had to send you a copy of the fantastic documentary we saw on the history of the area. Enjoy!”)
Remember - these touchpoints are all about the donors themselves. Don’t include much, (if anything), about your organization in your communications. Feel free to think out of the box so you can show a real understanding of what they find meaningful.
Assuming you’re not yet in summer mode… take a few minutes now to plan a little summer touchpoint for each of your top donors.
Not sure where to start? Go through each top donor name and consider these questions:
- What are his/her likes and interests?
- What can you do for them based on where they (or you) are?
- How can you be helpful to them?
- What’s easy enough for you to do that you’ll actually get it done?
Remember - you can make a huge impact even with a tiny gesture. Why? Because fundraising is all about relationships. Every bit of nurturing you give those relationships makes them stronger.
Keep enjoying your summer,