Choosing the date for your fundraising event is amongst the most important decisions that you will make during the event planning process. You have 365 days to choose from; however, only about 75 of these dates are ideal for fundraising events. Let’s look at some factors to consider as you dwindle your dates down to that one 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 there is a lot of local competition that you need to be aware of at all times when you are picking out your event dates. You don’t want to end up competing with another local event on the same exact evening. Worse yet, one with a similar cause and therefore, more than likely, and 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 during the winter; many people 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) – in most cases – these holiday fundraising events do not work. National holidays bring out a lot of competition! Your donors have a lot of things going on. Parties, barbecues 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 (1/17/22)
- Presidents Day Weekend (2/19/22 - 2/21/22)
- School Spring Break (March and April 2022)
- The week before and after April 15th (tax time) * (4/3/22 - 4/23/22)
- Passover Week (4/15/22 – 4/23/22) and Easter (4/17/22)
- Mother's Day (5/8/22)
- Memorial Day Weekend (5/28/22 - 5/30/22)
- The last two weeks in August (vacationers' last hoorah and kids back to school and college) (8/21/22 - 9/3/22)
- Labor Day Weekend (9/3/22-9/5/22)
- Rosh Hashanah (9/25/22 - 9/27/22)
- Yom Kippur (10/4/22 and 10/5/22)
- Halloween (10/31/2022)
- Thanksgiving Week (11/24/22 - 11/30/22)
- The first week in January (1/2/22 - 1/8/22)
- Giving Tuesday (You will be competing with every organization on that date) (11/29/22)
- The last two weeks in December (12/18/22 - 12/31/22)
*Psychologically, people are more concerned about their personal finances just before and just after they have paid their taxes. So for fundraising purposes, it's better to stay away from this time of the year.
Stay Away From Big Sporting Events
Take a look at the calendar and map out all of the big sporting events. For example, you don’t want to plan 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 competing with one of these types of 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 World Cup will take place in Qatar this Fall. Usually held in the summer, next year’s event will be held in the fall to avoid the extreme heat. Be mindful during November 21st , 2022-December 18th, 2022 as soccer fans this year will be glued to their television to watch this once in every four year event!
Also, for those Kentucky Derby Day events, May 7th 2022 will be your date!
*BONUS TIP: Often times, country clubs have televisions in the bar areas. If you happen to have your event on a night when there is a big sporting event on, make sure your venue does not allow the TVs to be turned on during your event.
Other Distractions in 2022?
Don’t forget the 2022 Winter Olympics are also being held in Beijing, China this year from February 4th – February 20th. This might be a very neat theme for an event, keep in mind when the sporting events are happening with the most viewership and perhaps skip those days for your fundraisers.
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 again, 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 2022, AmFund predicts the most popular Spring 2022 fundraising date to be: February 12th, 2022.
The American Fundraising Foundation helps more than 500 organizations a year 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 that you need to support your worthy cause. If you need further assistance landing on the best possible date for your 2022 fundraising event, contact us today.
The American Fundraising Foundation Speaker’s Bureau joined us for a webinar on this topic back on December 14, 2021, watch the full webinar here.
About the Author
American Fundraising Foundation
As a nonprofit organization, AmFund has been serving other nonprofits for over 20 years. We empower and equip them to experience the fundraising results they so desperately need. Every organization has a story to tell, and we want every deserving nonprofit to have the funds they need to change the world.
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