Summertime is a sweet time of year for many. Whether you’re traveling to the beach for a well-deserved vacation or amping up operations to prepare your nonprofit for the fall, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the season. Is your nonprofit planning on holding a fundraiser or other event this summer?
Today, we’re outlining ideas and tips for fundraisers that are perfect for the summer.
Finding The Perfect Fundraiser
Deciding the right summer fundraiser for your nonprofit will depend on a multitude of factors. Who are your volunteers and how many of them will be interested in participating? Is there a certain demographic that you want to reach? What are your goals for the fundraiser?
Before you start planning, take a step back and look at your goals for the fundraiser. Decide on a goal amount and use that to jumpstart your planning. One thing to also keep in mind is the cost of overhead that goes into planning certain fundraisers. While some may be free to put on, some require supplies, pre-planning, or food. Knowing your budget and your goal is extremely important before getting started.
If you’re looking to host a summer fundraiser that will raise money for your nonprofit or a specific project, here are some great options for all budgets and goals:
Host a car wash: A timeless fundraiser, this idea can get a variety of staff members and volunteers involved. Find a place in town that is okay with hosting car washes that will serve as the home base. All you need to prepare is signage, some marketing tools, and car washing equipment. Decide on a suggested donation, set a date, make a goal, and get to work! Not only can it be fun to meet new people and spread awareness of your nonprofit, but kids and families who volunteer will love being outside in the summer sun and customers will love the win-win!
Host a swim-a-thon: If your town or city has a local swim team, ask them about partnering together for a swim-a-thon. This can work for other sports teams as well. Talking with the team, you can come up with a plan to have the team members swim a certain amount of laps for pledges made by friends and family. It’s a great way to get the whole community on board and let kids stay active.
Host a BBQ or cook-off: When hosting a BBQ, enlist volunteers and staff members to man the grill at a local park or other venue of choice. Asking volunteers to bring a side to share can make the event feel more community-focused as well. Hosting a cook-off is another fun way to raise funds and get people involved. Challenge supporters to cook the best BBQ or bake the best cupcakes can be a fun way for people to be a little competitive while being supportive of your mission! Sell tickets for food or offer a one-time entry fee as a way to raise funds.
Host an outdoor concert or another entertainment type: Summer weather calls for evenings outdoors! Check with a local band or venue to see if they would be open to playing for or hosting your fundraiser at a discounted rate. Different entertainment options like magicians, comedians, and more can also be a great way to entertain others while selling tickets to raise funds for your nonprofit.
The opportunities are endless!
Once you’ve got the fundraiser nailed down, it’s important to get the word out! Especially in the summertime with people traveling and schedules up in the air, getting news of your event out into the world is more important than ever. Be sure to use social media as much as possible. Create flyers and graphics on free sites like Canva or send out invitations to your email list with free sites like Evite. Be sure to make an event on Facebook and share to your nonprofit’s page, to community pages, and everywhere else you can find! You can never share too much.
Posting flyers in public places, having information on your website, and spreading the word through staff and volunteers is another great way to get the word out. Make sure that the events are family friendly, since in the summer kids are home from school. Be your own biggest fan as you promote this event.
One other thing to keep in mind is to utilize the fundraiser or event as a way to spread your mission. You may be able to have conversations with people in the community you’ve never crossed paths with before. Look at it as an opportunity to broaden the reach of your nonprofit and share your mission with others. Now that you’re set up with some ideas and execution tips, it’s time to get creative.