With school either almost or already out and the official start of summer just a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about how to fill all those upcoming marvelously long hot days (I moved from New England to Florida on purpose!). While the Dog Days of Summer do not make up all the days of summer, sometimes the lack of regularly scheduled activities for your nonprofit can make the time drag out. How to fill the void? Here are some ideas to consider.
Rather than let all the days of this summer slip past with nothing to show, make some plans that fit into this time of the year. Embrace the season’s activities and include your nonprofit in the fun!
- Staff Summer Treat: Your staff worked hard all year fulfilling your nonprofit’s mission. Why not reward them with a day of team building? Perhaps a morning of volunteer work at a local food bank followed by an afternoon of relaxation by a neighborhood pool could help build inter-personal bonds that could benefit your nonprofit’s overall operation.
- Vacations Happen: This is the time of year where your office staff may be lighter due to personal time away. It’s important that you give your staff time to be with family and friends. But while your staff is gone, people from out-of-town have entered your locale and may be looking for ways to give as part of their vacation experience that could coincide with your nonprofit’s advertised mission.
Prepare for the Future
Sometimes the quiet times can be the best times to sit, reflect, and plan for what’s next. Use this time constructively to build your nonprofit’s roadmap for the future.
- Analyze the Past: Set a day aside and gather your staff to engage them in a retrospective activity designed to analyze how well you accomplished your organization’s recent goals and what you might do differently moving forward. Be sure to record the results of the meeting for future planning.
- Ongoing Strategy: Gather some planning tools and map out your organization’s strategy for the next year. Once you have drafted a plan, be sure to share the results with your staff for input and any needed adjustments.
Take Time to Learn
While traditionally the cooler months of the year are when most learning takes place, reconsider this and enroll in a personal enrichment opportunity. And with tourist season in full swing, it could be a good time to visit a local educational attraction.
- Take a Class/Seminar/Workshop: Research your local colleges and find out what they offer for continuing education classes. These are often much lower in cost than traditional courses and are often scheduled after working hours or online. Additionally, your organization’s supporting society may offer low-cost (or even free) single-day seminars or workshops on a topic that could help advance your mission.
- Visit a Historical Landmark: Make learning fun! Plan a trip to a local historical landmark. Perhaps one that mirrors your organization’s mission in your area. This could also be included as another opportunity for a staff team building experience.
Rather than looking at the long summer days as potential doldrums, consider adding some sparkle to the hot months by beating the heat and embracing all the activities the season has to offer you and your nonprofit staff.