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Simplify Summer: How Summer Programs Can Bring Together Community For a Cause

From summer camps to retreats and from academic enrichment to alternative breaks, summer programs offer a fun way to make an impact in your community. While summer programming is essential for parents, kids, and communities alike, it can also be difficult to manage, especially if volunteers are helping get your program off the ground. Fortunately, using a digital community engagement tool can help make the management process easier, so that you can also enjoy a little fun in the sun! In this post, we will share how you can: 

  • Recruit and manage dedicated volunteers and coordinators 
  • Connect to potential participants and streamline registration, payments, and waivers
  • Ensure safety through public health measures 
  • Raise funds through craft fairs and other opportunities 

Summer programming varies in scope and purpose, whether it’s school districts offering educational opportunities to keep students engaged, institutions and business communities sharing professional skills and leadership opportunities, or local programming run by organizations, volunteer centers, and city departments. No matter how you are involved in these endeavors, the tips in this blog will ensure that your summer programs will run smoothly, keeping the focus on making connections, being creative, and most of all, having fun. 

For help setting up your summer program, schedule a call with our team, and read on for our top tips for success! 

Recruit and manage volunteers and coordinators

When recruiting volunteers, make sure you’re getting your message across to a wide variety of audiences in your community, using partnerships and digital platforms to spread the word! Leverage a membership application that collects important details about your potential program volunteers, behind-the-scenes coordinators, and others who will help make your summer program successful.  

Once they’re on board, schedule shifts, offer flexible timeslots or strict schedules, and easily communicate with volunteers on the go from the GivePulse downloadable mobile app (iOS and Android), email, or SMS texting to make sure you have up-to-date information about your program experience and can fill any gaps before the kids arrive. 

Summer camp counselor application on GivePulse

Find your attendees

Digital community engagement platforms allow you to recruit both volunteers to help run the program and students who will be attending! Using ticketed events, you can collect guardian and emergency contact information, gather customized registration questions from participants, and process payments for summer programs if needed. Parents and guardians will love the ease of filling out one single form to cover everything from contact information to allergies and more!

Summer Camp registration page on GivePulse

Ensure community health

While testing continues on vaccine viability for young people, it’s especially important to continue screening your community’s health! Use GivePulse’s symptom screening to make sure your volunteers, attendees, coordinators, and parents are safe at all times. Consider requiring agreements to health and safety protocols such as mask wearing for anyone who is not fully vaccinated or maintaining social distance. In this way, you will ensure that everyone has fun without risking COVID-19 or any colds and flus. 

Auction your crafts

Finding revenue sources can be difficult, especially if you’re offering a free or budget friendly experience for your community. In addition to crowdfunding and other donation opportunities, be creative with the resources you already have! Have your attendees create arts and crafts that you can sell to your community as mementos that will ensure your program’s longevity. 

Summer camp arts-and-crafts sale page on GivePulse

End of summer party!

Nothing closes off a summer program like a fun summer send off! Your attendees can showcase the new skills they’ve learned over the summer. Create an event to get a head count on how many parents, grandparents, family, and friends will come and enjoy this experience with your attendees. After all, we wouldn’t want to run out of summer sandwiches! And make sure that you’re continuing to follow safety protocols by using public health checks to keep the focus on fun. 


If you’re interested in setting up your own summer programming, schedule a call to chat about how you can streamline the volunteering and participation for the ease of you and your community.

About the Author

As GivePulse’s Community Success and Support Manager, Mariana Prieto enjoys working with nonprofits and corporations that are driven towards community impact. When she’s not working, reading, or going on walks with her dog, Charlie, you can find Mariana making travel plans. Her favorite places to visit are her first and second homes, El Paso, Texas, and Disneyland. Mariana has a deep passion for connectivity, relationship building, and dessert before dinner.

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