Almost all nonprofits know that the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is when the majority of giving occurs. How can we leverage giving throughout the rest of the year? Here are some ideas to help incentivize gifts beyond the holiday season.

  1. Throw an outdoor party.
  2. It’s always a little sad when the holiday season is over, but at least the beautiful weather up ahead is an opportunity for more fun! Take advantage of the sunshine by throwing garden parties, pool parties, and outdoor auctions. Explore your options to fundraise in interesting ways and get people excited about your cause, meeting you and your team, and maintaining a relationship!

  3. Host mission trips and travel with eligible voluntourists
  4. Whether you’re a local trying to attract volunteers to your community, or you’re part of a global effort and planning a trip yourself and fundraising for the cause, your organization could be a part of the billion dollar industry that is voluntourism. Yes, billion. People want to do good and they want to travel. During the off-season, planning mission trips or organizing these trips to your community is an excellent way to stay current and innovative.

  5. Engage with the communities you work in or with.
  6. The off-season is the perfect time to work on your relationships with donors and potential local partners. Use this time wisely to build rapport for the big giving seasons. It’s a perfect opportunity to meet with businesses in the area who might be interested in donating services, event spaces, or pledging gifts. Throw educational seminars and tours of the facilities to give people an idea about how you operate in order to boost transparency and donor engagement.

  7. You can’t say no to brunch
  8. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Children’s Day… whatever the occasion, use it as an excuse to brunch. Pinterest some good mimosa recipes and let the networking begin!

  9. Throw a sporting event
  10. Get outside! Gather sponsors and volunteers and host a marathon, 5K, bike race, or triathlon. Create a theme surrounding a fun holiday to maximize visibility to locals and tourists.

  11. Roll up your sleeves
  12. Ask your staff and volunteers to pledge their time to do handy work for members in the community in exchange for donations. These opportunities are great for people who want to support your organization but don’t have the means to donate money. Helping local community members or business owners with odd jobs is an excellent way to meet new people and introduce your organization. Sell them on the value of giving back!

  13. Donation based fitness classes
  14. Attention to the office fitness fanatic! Help your organization lead a free fitness class for the community. Use public parks, recreation centers, beaches, or lakesides (if you’re lucky). Logo some organization t-shirts, towels, and water bottles and get active!

There is no off-season really. It’s as simple as this: the same effort at different times of the year might yield different results, and that’s okay. Find what works for you, become a presence in your community, and let your reputation and impact takeoff. Happy Fundraising!