With Memorial Day behind us here in the US, in my book it is now officially summer. And for those of us who work in the Jewish philanthropic world, that means it’s time to decamp to the summer spots where our major donors can be found relaxing, entertaining and open to more casual and personal engagements. Smart fundraisers know that these sweet months of sun, surf and fresh mountain air offer special opportunities to work with their supporters and build relationships with them and their summer friends that can reap benefits long after the season ends.
One easy way to leverage the summer outreach effort is to use social media tools to let people know about your organization’s programs and events that might be happening in that beach house down the road or to invite friends to meet up on a Saturday morning for coffee and a klatch at the local coffee house where they can schmooze and maybe even learn a bit about some aspect of your work. The idea is to be casual, open and present. People who are on vacation are often more open to meeting new people, learning new things, if you make it easy and nonthreatening to them. Focus on engaging not on asking and let your leaders lead and encourage them to be the ones tweeting and posting on Facebook to their personal networks. Your job is plan, help execute and be ready for follow up.
So, enjoy the summer season and spend some time getting to know some new people. You may just be planting a great harvest for the fall.