Summer can be the best time of year, or it can be the most frustrating and fruitless. If you’ve already found some success for yourself, it’s often a time to enjoy the spoils of that success in recreation, rest, and celebration. If you’re involved in advocacy, it’s likewise a time to consolidate gains, and build resources for the future. After all – all those successful people with money are enjoying their vacations, and they’re going to need galas and parties to attend for a good cause!
However, much as the summer job market can discourage those seeking a long-term position – the managers are on vacation, the openings are seasonal – summer can be a time of frustration and disappointment for those who are just beginning to move forward with their cause.
The problems are myriad – scheduling important meetings becomes more difficult than normal, as vacation schedules must now be juggled alongside all the usual commitments. Trying to assemble a fundraiser or rally becomes twice as trying, with the season already crowded cheek-to-jowl with established events by big names and groups.
Woe unto the LGBT group that tries to launch itself in the summer – Pride can seem like the best time to do that, but history is littered with organizations, businesses, and causes that spent all their efforts on a big Pride launch, only to be forgotten by participants about as quickly as the outrageous outfits, jam-packed parties, and drunken hook-ups. Without an established base and a solid foundation, launching an effort in the middle of the most cacophonous season of LGBT life is an invitation to disaster.
But don’t despair entirely of getting something started in the Summer. Think of the farmer with a field of wheat, or late-season corn. Summer is the time of endless toil, efforts always under threat of storms and draughts, but which must, must go forward if there is to be any hope of an eventual harvest.
So now is the time to build contacts – go to some of those fundraisers and events hosted by established groups, and find like-minded activists! Summer is the time to brainstorm and build up a stockpile of ideas and initiatives that will carry you through the next year. Summer is the season to organize, prepare, and set yourself up to hit the ground running when the seasons change and attention turns once more to politics, public action, and year-ending philanthropic binges.