5 Ways to Counter the “Summer Slump” with Direct Mail


Your organization may be very familiar with the “summer slump,” when the temperatures rise but gifts and revenue starts slowing down. Raising funds during the summer can be even tricker with direct mail: holiday weekends cause extra timing concerns, donors may be away from home, and mail might be piling up in their mailbox. 

But the summer slump is not unbeatable! Here are five ways to counter the slump and make the most of the summer: 

What You'll Learn

Plan for planned giving

August is National Make a Will month, and the perfect time to mail a postcard or letter inviting donors to consider your organization when doing their estate planning. Include a QR code to your planned giving webpage as well as a personal contact that donors can reach out to for help with the process.  

Introduce a “summer pledge”

Charitable giving during the summer is not always top of mind for donors. On top of that, you likely will be mailing them less during these months. A “summer pledge” appeal tackles both these challenges by asking donors to pledge a gift each month of the season—or to even share an extra-generous gift to cover the entire summer. The package includes three or four gift vouchers and matching reply envelopes for each month. This message can tie in perfectly with monthly giving pushes. 

Reach out to your mid-level donors

Donors giving above a certain level will likely have a stronger vested interest in your organization’s work, and how you’re putting their gift to use. Target your best mid-level donors and prospects over the summer with a unique appeal that speaks to their interests and takes them “behind the curtain” of your work. Mailing a smaller group will be less expensive, and these engaged supporters are more likely to pay attention when they see your logo in their mailbox.  

Thank your supporters

A purely transactional relationship will start to feel stale, so make sure donors know you appreciate them! Use the summer for stewardship by mailing a simple letter or postcard that shares some impact stats, quotes, and reminds donors how important they are to your mission. 

Print ahead for summer months

Gang printing an extra quantity of a successful acquisition package or evergreen renewal appeal during the first half of the year will save you time and money. Bringing down the overall cost of summer mailings will improve your ROI and allow you to budget more for mailings during crucial times of the year like year-end. 

If you’d like help putting these tips (and more!) into action, reach out to Faircom New York today. Our experienced team can work with your budget and program to make the most of every season. It’s never too early to start planning for next summer! 

About the author
Diana Lee
Associate Vice President of Integrated Marketing

Diana has over 13 years of experience in direct response fundraising. She launched her career at New York cultural institutions like The New York Public Library and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she managed the membership and Annual Fund programs. Prior to Faircom, Diana oversaw the fundraising campaign strategies for organizations ranging from environmental to advocacy to animal welfare. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in European history and still loves traveling through the continent exploring all the castles, churches, and historical sites. She currently works with Learning Ally, National Hemophilia Foundation, and National Urban League, among others.

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