‘Tis the season’ is not just a phrase that can be heard around the winter holidays. The popular saying can be heard at multiple points throughout the year in reference to many and various things. Think of it this way: there is a season for strawberries, a season for crawfish, and a season for certain kinds of sports. So naturally, it would make sense that there must be a season for fundraising, too, right? Although something like fundraising can be done at any point during the year (and really, the more opportunities for raising funds, the better) there are certain months that may bring in more donations than others. Such months are the ending months of the year, from October to December, when fundraisers have the chance to truly flourish.
Closing Out the Year
Let us think about it rationally. The end of the year closes off everything that has happened before it. Businesses are shutting their books as they prepare to enter the New Year. November and December are great times to not only wrap up loose ends, but to also participate in the spirit of giving. ‘Tis the season’, remember? The generosity and kindness that comes around the holidays often pushes business and other organizations to donate to charities. It helps, of course, if they are genuinely interested in the charity or believe in the charity’s mission statement, but the strong possibility of donating is still there. It is just a matter of putting your nonprofit out there and proving that you are worth donating to.
Advertising and Marketing
While it would be nice if businesses or organizations came to you, the truth is the majority of the time a nonprofit will have to make their presence known themselves. Advertising and marketing are an essential part of any business, regardless if they are nonprofit or for profit. A strong effort goes a long way year-round, but it can especially prove successful during the pinnacle of fundraising season. If a business is already looking to give back and donate, then a nonprofit should be just as eager and ready to network and prove that their organization is a top tier candidate for donations.
What to Do For the Rest of the Year
So now that we have discussed fundraising season and the perks that surround it, we should take a glance at the rest of the calendar. Surely there is still hope for the slower, less generous months of the year, such as the summer? The answer to that question depends on the fundraisers in question. Seasonally appropriate fundraisers are never a bad idea, and they can draw in crowds if they are carried out properly and efficiently.
A barbeque fundraiser or carwash are great ideas for a slow and hot summer. You are technically not in fundraising season, but you are still creating an opportunity to build up your organization and collect funds from interested parties. Companies might find themselves dragging just as much as nonprofits during the off season, which means they might be looking for events to participate in while they are not doing much business. Therefore, planning seasonally appropriate fundraisers are great ways to collect donations when fundraising season is not in full swing.
Take Advantage of Your Downtime
If you are just starting out as a nonprofit and have not really had the time to plan or orchestrate any fundraisers for your organization, there are other things to busy yourselves with. You can take advantage of the offseason by using that time to get everything in order.
This can include the paperwork that needs to be filed with the IRS and state, such as your incorporation or 1023 application, building a website for the organization, and networking with organizations you may do business with later down the road. This way, by the time the end of the year rolls around you will be prepared and equipped to bring those fundraisers and administrative plans you made over the summer to life. Taking initiative, regardless of the season, can only help you achieve your goals.
Another good way to participate in fundraising off season, or even in season, is attending another nonprofit’s fundraising event. It is not necessarily eyeing up the competition, or promoting your own nonprofit at a place where you are the visitor and not in the spotlight. If anything, it is mostly about providing support to another nonprofit organization. You may learn things you were not already aware of, or be inspired from the event to form your own. Who knows? It may be the best thing you could have done to get your creative juices flowing and really map out fundraising ideas for your nonprofit.
If you would like to know some more information concerning fundraising in season and off season with nonprofit startups, or if you want to know how you can complete the steps towards forming a nonprofit successfully, please contact our expert team at 407-857-9002. Alternately, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. However you reach out to us, whatever that may be for, we look forward to assisting you in any way that we possibly can.