25 July 2016
Timing is a key player in your fundraising success, regardless of the size or style of the event. We don’t just mean the timing of your event in the year, but also the time you take to plan your event has an effect on the success of the fundraiser.
To ensure your event runs smoothly, a clear plan and some time for organisation is important to ensure you don’t face anything unexpected. Planning in advance of the event will allow you to mark out everything you need including location, volunteers, prizes, equipment etc. You can then easily set a time frame and budget to accommodate you needs. Sandra Sims states in the 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising that, “organisation plays a critical part in the success of a fundraiser”, no matter the scale or size of the event.
Consider how much time you have before your event and whether your ideas are viable in that time frame. It’s easy to underestimate the planning stages of any event so be sure to look at your budget, hiring venues and equipment, sending invites out to your guests and gathering volunteers if you need them.
When planning your event it is also a good idea to note the seasonal events that occur around the time of the fundraiser to makes sure you either avoid the holiday or take advantage of it and create a themed event.
The timing of your event throughout the year is also another key factor of success. Research has shown that, ‘charities receive 41% of their donations in the last few weeks of the year” (Mark Shreve, We Did It Blog). Christmas time has a huge effect on peoples perspective and the festive joy and season of giving influences individuals decision on giving to charities. However, Raffle Ticket 4U sales show that the second biggest spike in sales falls between May and June because organisations are purchasing raffle tickets for their summer fetes and fairs that happen throughout July and August.
The timing of your fundraising event largely depends on your organisation and style of event, however it’s clear that planning your event around major seasonal holidays, annual events or a specific awareness day, week or month can help to really sell your event and raise more donations. This could be because the event is seen to have more of a purpose if themed around an existing awareness day or event. It could also be because individuals expect to attend and pay for an event around the seasonal holidays. For example, attend a bonfire night fireworks display, or a summer fete or Christmas fair.
Not every event or awareness day will relate to your charity or your goals but it is likely that you’ll be able to build you next event around a specific calendar event.
The timing of your event in the year as well as the time you take to plan your event can both have an effect on the success of your fundraiser. We have created an infographic with some key annual dates as well as some advice on the best time to host your event. Also, keep an eye out for Part 3 of the Guide on Running a Successful Raffle, because it’s all about planning your raffle event.