Summer Fundraising Ideas 2021

Summer can sometimes be a fundraising “low point” because it’s hard to break through the fun, sun, and activities to get donors’ attention.

But we also know that summer offers valuable time to connect with your community and get ready for your fall and year-end campaigns. 

To help you have a great summer, we’ve compiled some of the best tips we’ve seen to gain awareness and support for your organization in June, July, and August.

Increase awareness in new places

Take your organization to where the people are. We love tip #15 in this article from Classy about partnering with a local farmer’s market. You could also think about using local beaches, parks, or community celebrations as outreach venues. 

Build your lists

Hosting an event is a fantastic way to build your list. Causevox’s article about creative summer fundraising includes hosting a Summer Movie Night. (Click through to see a helpful list of things you will need: permit, projector, sizeable white sheet/projector screen, sound system, food, and beverages). While it’s easy to get wrapped up in event logistics, don’t forget your event gives you a huge opportunity to recruit new supporters. So make sure you’ve thought about messaging before, during, and after the event that inspires the crowd to support your work. 

Deepen connections with donors

Never forget that your current donors, no matter how small of a group, are always the best place to start your fundraising activities. So take some time this summer to get to know them better. We love these tips from DonorBox, especially #7 about hosting a group hike. Summer is also a great time to engage with your donors’ whole family. GivSum recommends using June 8 (World Ocean Day) as an excuse to get out to the beach with some games and sand-castle competitions.


Make some specific asks

While summer is not usually the best time to launch an extensive campaign, it’s quiet fundraising-wise, so why not try some small summer campaigns? In this list of summer holidays, Whole Whale includes a few campaign ideas. Our favorite is using “National Repeat Day” on June 3rd for emailing one-time donors and asking them to become recurring monthly donors.

Raise funds with summer events

Finally, there’s no end to what kind of event fundraisers you could try this summer: 

From car washes to scavenger hunts, to a battle of the food trucks, to a swim-a-thon, to everyone’s favorite — an Ice Cream Festival. Phew! Now we’re excited about the summer!