When’s the best time to plan your fundraising event?

With the start of the New Year upon us, we thought it would be a good idea to take this opportunity to help our readers assess the best time of year to host your fundraising event.

There are a lot of things to consider when planning an event. One of the most important is what time of year to host your event. Sometimes your cause will dictate the time of year, for example if you are raising funds for your pool’s swim team you may decide to do your fundraiser during the summer, or perhaps just before the swim season begins. But some organizations have a little more freedom for when to plan their events. Here are some pros and cons according to the seasons.

Spring
Pros: Weather is typically not a major issue, especially if you are planning an indoor event. From a financial standpoint, by this time people have recovered from their holiday spending and may not yet be thinking about summer vacations.
Cons: Many organizations like to hold their fundraisers in the spring so you may be competing not only for attendees and possible venue space/ dates, but also for donations and/or sponsorships. Also, if you are working on behalf of a non-profit school, you may feel the impact of your annual fund solicitations and/or tuition increases this time of year.

Summer
Pros:
Again, weather is typically not an issue, especially if you are planning an indoor event. Although if you are planning an outdoor event, be aware of extreme heat conditions and be prepared to find a way to keep people comfortable.
Cons: Community members may be away on summer vacations, and your turnout may not be as plentiful as it would be at other times of the year.

Fall
Pros:
It is far enough away from the holiday season so that individuals are not yet spending gift money. This means they have the disposable income to give in the form of donations.
Cons: The back to school frenzy may mean people place your event at a lower priority this time of year. Also, collecting donations over the summer months may be difficult if volunteers are away on vacation.

Winter
Pros: People may be coming to your event looking to win auction or tricky tray items to use as holiday gifts. This time of year also tends to bring out the generosity in people, whether it is your donors or attendees.
Cons: Weather may be a big deterrent, particularly if you are in an area that can see significant snow/winter storms.

These pros and cons are just a guideline. There are many things to consider when planning your event.  If you host multiple events, think about the time of year it was when your organization hosted a fundraiser the last time and try to space them out throughout the year.  Utilize the donor list at UltimateDonations.org to easily get donations any time of year, especially if you need to make your asks during heavy solicit periods like before the holidays and early spring.

Good luck, and happy planning!

Do you have any other Pros and Cons that we didn’t think of? Let us know below.

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