It’s summer, yea! Those of us who live in colder climates relish these few months of warmer weather, a slower pace, and a vacation to someplace fun.
While I hope you get a chance to slow down and take a vacation this summer, that doesn’t mean everything in your organization has to come to a screeching halt. In fact, summer is a great time to tackle a few projects and get ready for a busy fall.
Here are a few things you can take on this summer.
Clean up your mailing lists
If you haven’t touched your database since your year-end appeal, now is a good time to clean up your mailing lists (both mail and email).Take care of those address changes, returned mail, and bounced emails.
Be meticulous. Go through your mailing lists and check for typos and duplicate addresses. Then please, please segment the people in your database by current donors, lapsed donors, volunteers, event attendees, etc.
Don’t pass this off to a volunteer. Have someone who knows your donors take this on. Tedious, yes, but it will pay off if your donor gets a personalized letter with her name spelled right.
Freshen up your appeal letters and thank you letters
If you’ve been using the same appeal letter and thank you letter templates for awhile, it’s time to stop. Freshen them up with some donor-centered content.
Gather some engaging stories and photos
You know what else will make your appeal letters and thank you letters shine – engaging stories and photos. Take some time to gather stories and photos this summer. You can also use them in your newsletter, other updates, and on your website.
Create an attitude of gratitude
Make this the year you do a better job of thanking your donors. Handwritten thank you notes will make your donors’ day. One thing you can do is create a thank you photo and use it to make cards. If cost is an issue, see if a print shop will make them for you pro bono.
In addition, think about making a short thank you video. You can put this on your thank you landing page and share it by email and social media.
Update your website
Has it been awhile since you’ve updated your website? People still use the internet as a primary source of information and potential donors could go there to find out more about your organization.
It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, but make sure it’s up-to-date and easy to navigate on all devices.
Don’t take a vacation from your communication
Stay in touch with your donors throughout the summer. In fact, send them something special. Maybe the thank you video you made or a postcard update.
Be sure to plan for communication staff vacations, too. Keep those email and social media updates coming.
You may be working at a slower pace this summer, but don’t let things come to a screeching halt. Use this time to make some improvements and get ready for the fall.