Choosing the date for your fundraising event is among the most important decisions you will make during the event planning process. You have 365 days to choose from; however, only 75 dates are ideal for fundraising events. Let’s consider some factors as you dwindle your dates down to that perfect night.
Consider your Competition
Think about this: according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the United States. Even though you aren’t competing with everyone across the country, this statistic is valuable to understand. It means that you need to be aware of a lot of local competition when you are picking out your event dates. For example, you don’t want to compete with another local event on the same evening. Worse yet, one with a similar cause and, more than likely, an overlapping donor base.
Don’t Forget About the Weather
Each season brings with it different weather-related challenges. Snow can affect those all along the Snow Belt during the winter months. Consider daytime events in winter; many prefer driving during the day instead of risking the icy roads at night. And don’t forget about hurricane season! Late summer and early fall bring hurricanes to certain parts of the country. Just be aware that you may need to postpone your event if one of these giant storms hits your area during the week of your event.
Avoid National Holidays
While some organizations thrive with their long-established holiday events (like a New Year’s Eve Ball), these holiday fundraising events do not work in most cases. National holidays bring out a lot of competition! Your donors have a lot of things going on. Parties, barbeques and other events become your competition on these days. For this reason, it’s best to avoid those national holidays.
Other Dates to Avoid
· Martin Luther King Day (1/16/23)
· Presidents Day Weekend (2/18/23 - 2/20/23)
· School Spring Break (March and April 2023)
· The week before and after April 15th (tax time) * (4/2/23 - 4/22/23)
· Passover Week (4/5/23 – 4/13/23) and Easter (4/9/23)
· Mother's Day (5/14/23)
· Memorial Day Weekend (5/27/23 - 5/29/23)
· The last two weeks in August (vacationers' last hoorah and kids back to school and college) (8/20/23 - 9/2/23)
· Labor Day Weekend (9/2/23-9/4/23)
· Rosh Hashanah (9/15/23 - 9/17/23)
· Yom Kippur (9/24/23 and 9/25/23)
· Halloween (10/31/2023)
· Thanksgiving Week (11/23/23 - 11/29/23)
· The first week in January (1/1/23 - 1/7/23)
· Giving Tuesday (You will be competing with every organization on that date) (11/28/23)
· The last two weeks in December (12/17/22 - 12/31/23)
*Psychologically, people are more concerned about their finances before and after they have paid their taxes. So for fundraising purposes, staying away from this time of the year is better.
Stay Away From Big Sporting Events
Look at the calendar and map out all the significant sporting events. For example, you want to plan something other than a big event on Super Bowl weekend. People love their football! This weekend gets consumed with Super Bowl parties and other related events. It's not a good idea to have your event compete with one of these sporting events. Even the dates with smaller events, like the Kentucky Derby, are good to avoid.
Next year especially, the stars alight for soccer fans. The FIFA Women's World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand this Summer. So be mindful from July 20th, 2023 - August 20th, 2023, as soccer fans this year will be glued to their television to watch this once-in-a-four-year event!
Also, May 6th, 2023, will be your date for those Kentucky Derby Day events!
*BONUS TIP: Country clubs often have televisions in the bar areas. If you have your event on a night when there is a big sporting event, make sure your venue keeps the TVs from being turned on during your event.
Other Distractions in 2023?
Over the past three years, many organizations have had to change how they interact with their donors and raise funds. While organizations have risen to the challenge, live events are irreplaceable. This year, watch out for more organizations returning to in-person events in your community.
What Night of the Week is Best?
This is one of the most common questions that we get. To get the best results, we recommend a Saturday night. People are rested and willing to go out for the night. Friday nights are your next best bet. People are willing to go out knowing that they have the next day off from work. But try to wrap it up before 9 PM (most people are tired from a long week of work). Tuesdays and Wednesdays can work, but don’t let them run too late. Thursdays often attract a younger crowd. These nights can be very hit or miss. The success of a Thursday night will likely hinge on your audience. If you are reaching out to an older group of donors, we suggest you stick with Saturday nights.
After analyzing the calendar for 2023, AmFund predicts the most popular Spring 2023 fundraising date to be: April 29th, 2023.
The American Fundraising Foundation helps more than 500 organizations annually and has distributed over 40 million dollars to worthy nonprofits nationwide. Our experienced Development staff will ensure that your next event is primed to bring in the necessary funds to support your worthy cause. Contact us today if you need further assistance landing the best possible date for your 2023 fundraising event.