As Fall approaches, you’re probably looking at your calendar and preparing for your next team, staff, or PTO meeting of the semester. Like most organizations, much of your activity is likely focused around securing funding. One of the first questions you’ll ask (or be asked) is more than likely “when are our fundraisers this Fall?” As fundraiser dates are typically limited in one way or another, you want to be sure to get the most out of each event. After all, the fewer events you hold, the less taxing it is on each family or member. Therefore, planning each event to maximize turnout and impact is a big deal.
We’ll discuss below the top five things to consider when planning the best times to fundraise during the year. While many of these points will depend on your organization and its needs, these tips should be items to consider for any organization raising funds.
1. Lean into the “back to school” push
“Back to school” season is a huge driver of activity in the community as students go back to school. While this may naturally apply to those of you on a “school schedule”, planning your next fundraiser around the “back to school” timeline may be a great way to maximize your participation! Families are out and about running errands and attending plenty of “back to school” functions during this time — make your organization’s event a convenient stop during the first week back at school or after a Parent-Teacher conference. If you’re part of a college organization, a restaurant fundraiser can be a simple way to introduce new members to another and have them get involved from the very beginning.
2. Pick the day of the week you normally meet
As creatures of habit, one way to get a great turnout at your next fundraiser is to host it during the same day of the week you normally meet. If practice is on a Tuesday afternoon after school, plan your next dine-out night following practice! In that case, a restaurant fundraiser would be an easy way for families to grab dinner after practice and also give back to your cause! If you’re a part of a travel soccer team that plays on the weekends, schedule a fundraiser on a home weekend Saturday or when you have a gap in tournament play. As families are increasingly busy, planning events during times when people are out doing their usual routines is an easy way to boost your attendance!
3. Revolve your next fundraiser around an event you are hosting
Hosting a large meeting for your non-profit? Scheduling extra practices to get ready for playoff season? Make your fundraiser the afterparty! Planning your restaurant dine-out night around an event you are already holding is a great way to drive supporters to your event. It may actually benefit both events! At the very least, a delicious dinner will keep your audience active and engaged through your meeting or practice.
4. Consider Fundraising in the Summer
If your organization meets in the summer, this point’s a great option. But if not, summer may be the right time to group everyone back together and hold a fundraiser! As many organizations slow or cease operations or meetings during the summer, it might just be what your group needs to keep focused on their goals. An event based around dinner may prove to be a great time to get everyone refocused around your mission and take care of some housekeeping tasks as well.
We hope these tips are helpful for your group! At Chipotle, we allow two fundraisers per calendar year — this means that if you are part of a school-based organization, you may host a fundraiser during both your fall and spring semesters. To sign up for your next fundraiser, submit a request here. As always, if you have any questions, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Fundraising!