What is the best day and time to hold a fundraising event?

Answer: “It depends”

There are many types of fundraisers these days, so it really depends on the function and the participants.  Is it a gala, a 5K, a golf outing, a charitable organization, a trade based nonprofit organization, is in person at a venue, virtual, or hybrid? In one sentence we have our minds racing!

While the answer to this question is obvious for some function types mentioned like a 5K run or a golf outing other types of functions may involve more thought.  Let’s think for a minute about a trade organization. Any time that that org is assembled for a conference or networking event is a perfect time to piggyback a fundraising event, the time of day or day of the week is not that important if it jives with the scheduled program.

Let’s ponder about the charitable nonprofits, wow there are so many variables. What is the demographic of the attendees? Are they of a category where they do not need to perform business duties during typical office hours? If this is the case, then a mid-week afternoon might be the perfect time to hold a function to benefit their cause.

Let’s consider the theme of the function in mind. Is it a black-tie gala, a rock and roll music celebration taking place on a dock of a waterway, a barn dance at farm facility, (yes, we have contracted such an event), or a Livestream broadcast being held at a park in a metropolitan city?

If it is virtual, it may be presented at any day or evening of the week. If it is an in-person or hybrid event involving a brick-and-mortar venue more planning and thinking will be required.

Beware of the Saturday night is best mindset!

“Oh my gosh, we must hold our event on a Saturday night because everyone will be free to attend, right”? The truth is Saturday night events compete with many other attractions offered to any individual. For instance, a concert or theater event, an anniversary party or forbid the thought another fundraiser that your intended supporter may also have a very deep interest in and then they are faced with making a choice. This may not be a simple of choice of which cause means the most to them as they may hold each organization in equal regard. It might just boil down to which event might be the most appealing, fun or offer the best networking opportunities for the invitees.

With all of that in mind, would a Thursday or Friday evening or a Sunday 3pm time slot serve your function better than the all popular Saturday night? Don’t overlook that function venues, volunteers and other staffing may be more readily, (and more affordably), available at these alternate times. Who says that we can’t attend more than one function a week anyway? Food for thought, happy planning!

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