Creative Summer Fundraising in a Tourist Community

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With summer coming up, many beach towns and tourist destinations are experiencing an increase in sidewalk traffic, a decrease in inclement weather, and a persisting need of funds for local nonprofits.

While your favorite vacation destination might be plentiful in coastline or booming with developed real estate, the nonprofits in tourist communities can get lost in the excitement of the boondoggle.

When you have a nonprofit, based in a location that you know will be getting a lot more foot traffic during a certain time of the year, it is important to “plan prior; execute throughout” (prior to and throughout the “on-season”). For example, if you are located in a beach town, plan your event or fundraising campaign before the weather begins to warm up so that as soon as the first string of sunny days arrives, you and your organization are ready to make the most of your time.

Here are some easy and efficient options:

1. Movie Night

Planning a movie night can be a great and easy way to raise money. Especially if you ask for donations from parents in return for volunteers of your organization offering to watch and feed their children. This means parents looking for a night out will be jumping at the opportunity for someone else to feed and entertain their children, while simultaneously supporting your cause.  

2. Cookout

Within a tourist community, the infrastructure needed for a barbecue themed fundraiser is almost always present. With just a few grills and some volunteers each donating a burger/hotdog component, condiment, or side dish, you can successfully host a social event where your guests will feel indebted through food and hospitality, hopefully gaining your organization donations.

3. Jazz Night

Many resorts will often have musical talent performing after dinner while many of the guests or members socialize over drinks. This setting is quite conducive to soliciting generous gifts because of the relaxed, care-free energy created by the environment.

4. Art

Fortunately,  beach communities are often full of artists and especially artists with connections to nonprofits. Local artwork can be sold or auctioned off at galas, in parks, or on the walls of popular tourist destinations. Art can be your secret weapon when fundraising on account of the fact that it is often donated to nonprofits and it does not have an objective price to limit generous donors.

5. Local Traditions

Often, in communities that have a history of seasonal residents, there may be traditions in place which can provide a socially institutionalized structure to a potential fundraising opportunity for your nonprofit. With events that already encourage community interaction with nonprofits, it can be almost easy to provide a reason for people to give!

People who are visiting will feel especially compelled to donate to a nonprofit that has a mission of bettering a known issue within the local community. In this way, it is important to know what the most immediate needs of the community are and how that can relate the most quintessentially to the imagined culture of the community. This will allow donors to feel that they are leaving the place in a better condition than they found it.


If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!