May is upon us, kids are back and forth at summer camps, beach trips are only weeks away and “Ohh, those summer nights.” As wonderful as these warm months are, summer activities can cause even the most dedicated members and avid attendees to choose pina coladas over the pew, the monthly meeting or the weekend volunteer event.
Here at Rubicon, we find that many of the nonprofits, clubs, places of worship and other community organizations we work with face similar challenges to our small business customers and partners. So, as we enter the hot summer months ahead, we decided to tap into our wonderful-world-of-waste network and serve up the best insights from membership groups across the U.S. that we’re proud to help empower.
So, what’s a nonprofit, faith-based or community organization to do when the summer-slump in attendance hits? Here are a few innovative ways to keep your members engaged through these warm months and beyond:
- Cabin Fever
Summertime is full of various outdoor concerts, events and festivals that your members will be attending. Tap into All Events to discover these local activities and see where your organization could have a presence. Can you host a booth at a local fair where your members can sell their specialty goods? Maybe partner with one of the newest restaurants in town and host a catered outdoor party. Or find another awesome nonprofit to team up with and have a volunteer day outside. Engaging with others in the community not only makes events more appealing to members, but builds brand awareness for your organization.
- Be Social
While many nonprofits are already tweeting up a storm, some smaller community associations and places of worship are still hesitant about entering the social media realm. But they shouldn’t be. Social media is the 21st century ‘Town Square.’ Your members are gathering on social media, connecting with others and getting news and event updates hourly. Utilize this new pathway of communication and be social. You can post sign-ups for your family events and volunteer days, then create polls and surveys to gather feedback and recommendations from your members. Your members will also be able to share any updates you post, which will help grow awareness for your events and happenings.
- Holidays – They Bring Folks Together
Father’s Day and Independence Day fall right in the heat of the summer. Use these holidays as opportunities to schedule fun, themed events for after your service or membership gathering. Father’s Day Fiesta, anyone? Encourage members to bring friends and family to the events, this way they don’t have to choose between conflicting events in their busy schedules. The more the merrier!
- Say Yes to Youth
School being out for the summer months often turns schedules crazy. Offer a solution and an opportunity to “come on by” by hosting a week-long summer day camp. Allow older kids to volunteer to mentor. This creates an opportunity for them to feel like they really have a role in your community, while also providing the younger kids a mentor closer to their age and you with some extra hands on deck. Or, try scheduling a monthly post-meeting or after church “Kid’s Day.” Kids will have a fun-filled afternoon of activities with their friends, while parents can have a relaxing day to themselves. They say it takes a village – and they’re right!
- Opportunity Awaits
Despite implementing these awesome recommendations, the summer-slump is likely to make an appearance in your member turnout, but do not fear! At the very least, use these slower months to plan and focus on events for the Fall. Putting events together last minute can cause you to go over budget and miss key opportunities, so take this time to strategically plan and save some pennies. Hey, what better time to craft your social media calendar?