Nonprofits are hot. In fact, LA Times notes that 2013 may have been the biggest year ever for charitable donations, with human needs and disaster relief services being the top categories for which money was given. If you count on the busy holiday season to raise most of the money for your nonprofit organization, you’re not alone. But summer isn’t necessarily a slow season, either. Here are four ways to make this summer a sunny one for your nonprofit business:
- Start a blog. If you’ve been putting off blogging or just doing it sporadically, now is the time to get serious and plan out your content strategy. This is especially important if your company is off the main grid of charities and other nonprofits. Donors want to be educated about your organization, and a blog is a great place to do just that. Make sure you use your blog to highlight all your fundraising efforts (e.g., any events you’re attending, fundraisers you’re sponsoring, etc.). Include keywords and social share buttons to increase your reach.
- Start a crowdfunding page. Research firm Massolution estimates that $5.1 billion has been raised via crowdfunding in 2013 – almost double the amount raised in 2012. Crowdfunding makes it easy for individuals to give (72 percent of charitable donations comes from individuals, according to npEngage, a nonprofit resource). Check out the crowdfunding websites Indiegogo, Crowdrise, and FirstGiving to get started. Fees include payment processing and your listing on the site.
- Hire summer interns. High school and college students are always looking for community service projects to get involved in, and summer is a perfect time to get the hours they need for credit. Make sure you’re not just getting free labor – give the students real responsibilities, such as creating marketing campaigns to raise funds or redesigning your website.
- Check for summer events. Contact the special events department in your local communities to see what events your nonprofit can have a presence in. Local chili cook-offs or 10K races are perfect venues to spread the word about your organization. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you could pitch an event of your own and get other nonprofits and for-profit businesses to participate.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.