Best Dates for Your Event
Selecting the date for your big event isn’t as easy as throwing a dart at the calendar or simply running some options by your board members. Although there are 365 days each year- the factors organizations take into account can often limit you to only a handful of possibilities. Typically fundraising events happen in 2 seasons to avoid major holidays and summer breaks. The Fall is ripe with events from September to November and Spring is our busiest season from February to June.
Who are your partners? Once upon a time, I thought I had found the perfect Friday night for the first-ever gala in a new market. A year of plotting and planning later- and one of my organization's major grant makers in the region asked me why I would host our gala on the same night as their annual event. My face turned red. Although I had taken into account the “competition” aka other nonprofits in the community, local school dates, and more- I had forgotten to consider a major donor, the neighboring community foundation.
What Night of the Week is Best? This can depend on your crowd. Generally speaking- Saturday night tends to be best for more formal events. This ensures that guests are able to go out for the night, knowing they have the next day off. Are you looking for a deeply discounted venue or are you collaborating with chefs? Mondays and Tuesdays can be an option, but be mindful of having a concise program that gives people enough time to arrive at your event and get home at a reasonable time. Do you have a lot of corporate sponsors? They might prefer a Thursday night party as having “networked” late into the night at your event can help some guests skip a Friday workday.
Beware of Holidays: While some organizations thrive with their long-established holiday events (like a New Year’s Eve Ball or a Halloween Gala) –they can be complicated for donors that have a lot of things going on.
Avoid the dates below:
Labor Day Weekend (9/2/19)
Thanksgiving Week (11/25/19 - 12/1/19)
Giving Tuesday (12/3/19)
End of Year Transition Time (12/20/19 - 1/6/20)
Super Bowl (2/2/20)
C2Auctions predicts that March 7th will be the BUSIEST night in the year ahead. If you are looking at a couple of dates- give us a call and we can let you know if there is any other “competition” on our calendar.