Monday Mixtape 021: Make The Most of Your Summer Fundraising Slump

Monday Mixtape 021: Make The Most of Your Summer Fundraising Slump

Here’s your Monday Mixtape, a weekly newsletter from CauseVox designed to jumpstart your week, challenge your thinking, and inspire you to keep at it.

Each week, we’ll hand-pick must-read articles, thinking, resources, and stories for nonprofit fundraisers and leaders and drop it in your inbox. Have suggestions or questions? Let us know at Enjoy this week’s Mixtape!

Do things start dragging for your organization during the summer? Between people out on vacation, heatwaves, and holidays, it’s easy to lose your momentum.

Or, is summer your high-energy time? Maybe July hits, and you spring into action, like some kind of sun-powered superhero. (I’m looking at you, people with summer camp programming).

Whether you need to keep the good energy zipping along, or a major power dose to pull yourself out of a slump, this week is all about tools for rallying your organization, your supporters, your volunteers, and yourself.

Here’s this week’s mix:

“Be a positive energy trampoline – absorb what you need and rebound more back.” 
—Dave Carolan

Track #1: The More You Energize Your Co-Workers, The Better Everyone Performs by Wayne Baker at Harvard Business Review

Does the way you interact with your coworkers affect your energy at work? Studies suggest that relational energy is contagious. In this piece, Wayne Baker reports on the results of a series of four studies on workplace energy and gives four suggestions for building energy in the workplace.

What makes people feel energized? Baker writes: “[Energizing interactions] include instances when we create a positive vision, when we contribute meaningfully to a conversation, when people are fully present and attentive, and when we have an interaction that gives us a sense of progress and hope.”

I think Baker’s ideas for building energy in the workplace would also be applicable to energizing volunteers. He recommends building high-quality connections between workers, creating energizing events, using tools to promote a “giver” culture, and trying out mapping energy at your organization.

Track #2: Volunteer Management: Engagement, Retention, and Maximization by Me 🙂 at CauseVox

Energizing volunteers is a major component of volunteer management. When volunteers are excited and engaged, they are a nonprofit’s secret weapon. In this piece, I share a 3-part strategy for engaging, retaining, and empowering volunteers.

This post takes a holistic approach to volunteer management. It has concrete suggestions for each part of the strategy but also considers the emotional experience of volunteering. This is important because emotions are often the deciding factor of whether or not someone will volunteer, or keep volunteering, with your organization. So focus on the details, but don’t miss the big picture of how volunteering feels.

Weekly Wow: eSight Raises Over $4M Through Peer-to-Peer

This week, we’re celebrating the success of eSight, a forward-thinking company that has raised over $4 million with their Make Blindness History campaign on CauseVox.

The peer-to-peer campaign is part of eSight’s effort to help people afford their life-changing technology: glasses that help the visually-impaired see. Wow!

Track #3: 4 Signs You Are A Burned Out Nonprofit Fundraiser by Beth Kanter at Beth’s Blog

It’s normal to get tired and lose energy from time to time. But if you feel exhausted all the time, you may be heading towards burnout.

Take a look at Beth’s insightful post to see if any of these four signs seem familiar, so you can avoid crashing. Watch out for: getting irritated by little things, losing your ability to concentrate, dragging through the day when you’ve had adequate sleep, and feeling like you must overwork to keep up.

Burnout is an occupational hazard for nonprofit fundraisers. For a lot of us, the circumstances that can cause burnout are just another day at the office–high expectations, inadequate resources, constant demands on our attention. But burnout isn’t inevitable. If you see the signs, you can head it off with self-care.

For each sign, Beth offers a solution to help get your energy back, and start feeling better. As she says, “[S]elf-care isn’t a luxury—it’s the key to being productive at work. When you are overworked and super stressed, you will not perform at the top of your game. Take better care of yourself so you can raise more money for organization’s mission to save the world.”

Track #4: Create A Welcome Email That Rallies Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers by Candace Cody at CauseVox

Rallying your peer-to-peer fundraisers keeps them going, builds excitement, and makes them feel like the important part of your community that they are. In this post, Candace explores an often-overlooked but important rallying opportunity: your welcome email to peer-to-peer fundraisers.

This is the email peer-to-peer fundraisers receive as soon as they join the campaign. Candace provides an example of a rallying welcome email, and then outlines six best practices: warmly welcoming fundraisers to the community, telling a brief story, reiterating your campaign goals, challenging your fundraisers, linking to your campaign overview and fundraising tools, and providing them with a direct login link to the campaign and a contact person.

Your welcome email offers the chance to build energy and rally your fundraisers from the very beginning of the campaign. Get the most out of it with Candace’s tips.

Bonus Tracks:

Motown is my energy secret.

When you need a quick boost

By the way…

Want to become an expert at rallying your community, and adapt to the changing fundraising climate at the same time? Check out our Community-Driven Fundraising webinar on July 12 at 2 pm EST.

In this free live-training, you’ll learn about new trends in fundraising and donor preferences, and how a community-driven fundraising approach can help you cut through the noise, reach new donors, and transform your supporters into advocates.

Save your seat today!

Thanks for reading!

– Megan

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P.S. Questions about this week’s mix? Suggestions for next week? Don’t leave me in the dark. Let me know by emailing me at

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