How Nonprofits Can Beat the “Summer Slump”

While many nonprofits struggle to engage donors during the summer months, it’s a great time to take stock in your organization’s communications strategy and start charting a course for the months ahead. Here are a few areas we recommend examining based on current trends in the industry.

1. Calculate your org’s digital maturity

SalesForce’s latest Nonprofit Trends Report shows that orgs with high levels of digital maturity have exceeded goals for program delivery, marketing, and fundraising this year, despite ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.

Use the formula below to calculate your organization’s digital maturity and identify areas of improvement, from data-driven decision making to personalization and forecasting.


2. Revisit your foundation strategy

The crises of 2020 spurred foundations to not only give more to nonprofits, but to rethink how they give. A few points from the latest Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) reports:

  • 75% of foundations are providing a higher proportion of unrestricted grant dollars compared with before the pandemic
  • 80% raised policy and systems change as important issues, especially around advocacy and organizing
  • 90% are making new efforts to support organizations serving communities disproportionately affected by public health and economic consequences of COVID-19. This includes people of color, people with disabilities, people from lower income communities, and undocumented immigrants.

This shift from disaster response to a focus on building more equitable systems makes it a good time to evaluate your organization’s funding strategy. Check out a grant database to learn about new opportunities, or consider revisiting your mission statement to ensure it clearly addresses both immediate and long-term impact.


3. Diversify your social media presence

SimilarWeb shows that social traffic to the top 100 philanthropic sites has become less dominated by Facebook over the past three months, with increased traffic coming from Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 10.12.23 AM

If you’ve been primarily focused on Facebook this year, it’s worth taking a look at your organization’s content strategy across these additional social channels to establish a more robust presence or try out new fundraising features. Jump into a timely conversation about your cause on Twitter using relevant hashtags, try out donation stickers on Instagram Stories, or consider optimizing your YouTube channel for high-volume search terms.

Thanks for reading. We hope this list helps strengthen your organization’s fundraising efforts. We’ll continue to monitor trends and stay in touch. In the meantime, if you feel like your organization needs more support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to help.

Related Articles

What to expect when you’re rebranding
I’ve heard more than one CMO over the years jokingly refer to his or her corporate rebrand project as, “my baby.” And with good reason: like the lead-up to becoming a proud new parent, these…
Read More
New year, new initiatives, new RFPs
It’s that time of the year when budgets renew, priorities change, and organizations refocus. And with big goals looming large ahead, you may be looking for an outside creative partner to help deliver expertise, guidance,…
Read More
Rethinking your donor engagement strategy? Start here.
As summer comes to a close, we’ve rounded up the hottest nonprofit sector stories, data, and trends to help take your fall fundraising efforts to new heights. 1. Not just for retail: The surge in…
Read More
Three ways to optimize your holiday giving campaign
With one week to go until Giving Tuesday, nonprofit marketers are gearing up to drive millions of dollars in donations from U.S. consumers. Fundraising platform Classy reports that since 2012, “awareness of the day has…
Read More