AmFund's Worst Dates to Hold a Fundraiser in 2024
Choosing the date for your fundraising event is among the most important decisions you will make during the event planning process. Although you have 365 days to choose from, only 75 are ideal for fundraising events. This blog will consider important factors as you narrow your options to the 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 (1/15/24)
· Presidents Day Weekend (2/17/24 - 2/19/24)
· School Spring Break (March and April 2024)
· The week before and after April 15th (tax time) * (4/7/24 - 4/28/24)
· Passover Week (4/22/24 – 4/30/24) and Easter (3/31/24)
· Mother's Day (5/12/24)
· Memorial Day Weekend (5/25/24 - 5/27/24)
· The last two weeks in August (vacationers' last hoorah and kids back to school and college)
(8/18/24 – 8/31/24)
· Labor Day Weekend (8/31/24-9/2/24)
· Rosh Hashanah (10/2/24 – 10/4/24)
· Yom Kippur (10/11/24 and 10/12/24)
· Halloween (10/31/24)
· Thanksgiving Week (11/28/24 – 12/4/24)
· The first week in January (1/1/24 - 1/7/24)
· Giving Tuesday (You will be competing with every organization on that date) (12/3/24)
· The last two weeks in December (12/17/24 - 12/31/24)
*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. Having your event compete with one of these sporting events is not a good idea. Even the
dates with smaller events, like the Kentucky Derby, are good to avoid.
Next year, especially, the 2024 Olympic Games will take place in Paris, exactly 100 years after their last hosting. Be mindful from July 26th, 2024 - August 11th, 2024, as sports fans will be glued to their televisions to watch this once-in-a-four-year event!
Also, May 4th, 2024, will be your date for those Kentucky Derby Day events!
*BONUS TIP: Country clubs often have televisions in the bar areas. If you hold your event on a night when a big sporting event is on, make sure your venue keeps the TVs turned off during your event.
Other Distractions in 2024?
Live events hold a special place in a world of digital distractions. However, with organizations returning to in-person events, your fundraiser might face competition from others vying for donor attention. Monitor trends and ensure your event stands out amid the noise.
What Night of the Week is Best?
"Which night of the week is best?" is one of the most common questions we receive from our nonprofit partners. 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 eager to go out, knowing they have the next day off. But try to wrap it up before 9 PM (most people are tired from a long work week). Tuesdays and Wednesdays can work, but keep them from running 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 2024, AmFund predicts the most popular Spring 2024 fundraising date to be: March 16th, 2024.
The American Fundraising Foundation assists over 500 organizations annually and has distributed over 50 million dollars to worthy nonprofits nationwide. Our experienced Development staff will ensure that your next event is primed to raise the necessary funds to support your worthy cause. Contact us today if you need further assistance deciding on your 2024 fundraising event date.