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Summer Preparations for Development

Summer preparations for development

I have written on this subject before but it is important enough to look at again. What does the development officer do during the months of June, July and August? How do you make productive use of your time when most donors are beyond contact and response rates to mailings are at their lowest?

Here are some ideas for you to consider as you prepare for your summer of development activities:

  1. Make sure you still stay in communication with your donors. What will they receive from you this summer? A newsletter? An email report? Remember, they still want to know how the ministry is doing and what is happening. Keep them connected.
  2. How will you ask your donors for support? Remember, you still need donor support throughout the summer and need to remind your donors of this. Yes, the response rates are lower. But I have seen some organizations that have received very positive response rates for very urgent (not crisis) needs. Keep them connected to the need.
  3. Pre-Summer Slump. Many organizations ask their donors to give an extra gift before the summer giving drops off. Many faithful friends do just that. They know they need to give a little extra to make up for those who are too busy to remember to give in the summer.
  4. Major Donor break. While many major donors will be thankful for the break in attempts to contact them in the summer, others may want a specific contact schedule. The key is, ask them. Do they want the summer off? Do they want a monthly email report on a project? Demonstrate that you are there to be helpful to them in their stewardship.
  5. Your time to plan. As you can imagine, the summer is a bit slower in the development office. And now is the time to plan for:
    1. Fall Development Strategies
    2. Updates to all communication pieces for the fall giving season
    3. Finalization of special events
    4. Grant application preparation
    5. Updates to the Development Calendar

Ok, that should be enough to think of for this month. Make good use of your summer and you will be ready for a full and successful fall.

I hope you have a great time this summer with family, friends, and rest!