As the school year wraps up and students head away for the summer, new opportunities arise for your advancement programs.
Now, students who have just spent months focused on coursework and exams are in a different state of mind. That means your advancement strategies should be too.
With some strategizing, you can make the summer months among the most beneficial to your development activities, even if some of your students are further away from campus. Here are a few suggestions:
Discuss how you can help them after graduation
During the school year, it’s normal for students to become laser-focused on their day-to-day schedules. Between long days of class, readings, essays, and studying, they can often lose sight of their long-term goals.
In the summer, students can take a step back and regroup. Without the stress from daily school work and striving for grades, they can revisit their personal and career objectives. That makes it the perfect time for outreach about how your advancement programs can help them down the road. Promoting how your alumni relations team can help them with networking, resumes, career paths and more has a much greater chance to solicit a gift now than it does during the busiest parts of the school year.
Promote advancement programs to student families
Your team is likely running a wide variety of advancement programs throughout the year. Each of these programs may have a different target group. You may spend time seeking major gift pledges from certain alumni. At other times, you may run initiatives that try to get new alumni involved in advancement programs for the first time. Or, campaigns may target the families of current and former students who want to support their child’s institution.
The summertime is a great chance for activities based around that last group. As many students return home from campus and share their highlights of the year, their parents will see more value in the school. With the encouragement of their children, you may find parents more willing to contribute in these months.
Read More: How to craft a successful pledge proposal
Share the projects that will impact the year ahead
Many advancement projects will be designed to impact the students on campus. Due to that, they often are being finished over the summer months so that they are ready when school begins again in the fall.
Soliciting students, families, and alumni around the completion of these projects can be very influential. Many of these initiatives will be nearing the finish line, making appeals that ask for one more donation effectively. As the benefits of these new advancement projects are about to be felt, it will be easier for potential donors to see the impact and contribute towards it.
Run a variety of fundraising events
With students more spread out geographically over the summer, you have an opportunity to be more creative in the type of fundraising events you run. You can go off-campus and put on events in towns where a lot of your students live in the summer. Or, you can run on-campus events that urge students and alumni to return for a day of fun and fundraising.
As mentioned above, it’s likely that your students will be stress-free and able to more easily participate in the summer. Plus, with work schedules often more relaxed, it may also be possible to re-engage alumni who couldn’t otherwise make the time.
Planning a major pledge drive this summer?
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