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The Art of Timing: Tips for Picking Ideal Fundraiser Dates
picking ideal fundraiser dates

Written by King Fundraising

August 22, 2023

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Picking ideal fundraiser dates can often be the make-or-break factor in the success of your event. Pick a date too soon, and you risk having potential supporters overlook your cause. On the other hand, if you wait too long, they may have already spent their money elsewhere. It’s no surprise that most sales follow the school year, but let’s dive deeper into other factors to consider when picking the right date for your fundraiser.

Tips for Picking Ideal Fundraiser Dates


When do most of your families get their paychecks? You want folks to have cash in their pockets, so keep that in mind when picking fundraising dates. Pay schedules can vary widely. While many people receive their paychecks on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, there are many exceptions. One good rule to follow is to select dates around the first and third week of the month. The majority of your sales will occur in the first week of the fundraiser regardless of whether you select the first or the third week of the month.

After Christmas Sales

After Christmas sales can be tricky, especially in low-income areas. If you want to have a post-Christmas fundraiser, a good strategy for picking ideal fundraiser dates is to wait until later in February. This gives families a little time to recover from holiday spending while also coinciding with income tax returns when people are likely to have a little extra cash in their bank accounts.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

In middle to higher-income neighborhoods, getting an early start can make the difference. Many people in these income brackets allocate funds early in the semester. In other words, if Grandma doesn’t know about your fundraiser, she won’t know to set aside her $20 for your event. Instead of waiting until after other schools have had their opportunity to collect from your supporters, ensure that you’re first in line to capture the attention and support of potential buyers, maximizing your chances of fundraising success.

Big Trips = Large Price Tags

Fundraising for expensive trips can be both exciting and stressful. In these situations, many groups will opt for a series of different fundraisers in order to maximize the chance that enough funds are raised. First, you will need to lay out a calendar and line up your product sales by month at least a quarter in advance. This careful planning can create a smooth and effective fundraising journey making the dream of sending your band, sports team, or debate club on an expensive trip all the more achievable.

Avoid Fundraising on the Holidays

Picking ideal fundraiser dates to run over the holidays when families are most likely to be together may seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, there are many problems with this chain of thought. For example, it’s common for children to take their fundraising catalogs and products to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s almost as common for them to leave it all there, and when grandma lives 4 hours away, you end up with a bigger problem trying to recover the product. Additionally, everyone’s brains go on vacation mode, and thoughts of fundraising goals are often forgotten. If you have to, you can elect to have your fundraiser during a 3-day weekend, but avoid any holidays that extend past that.

Picking Ideal Fundraiser Dates with Weekends

Too often schools want to run a two-week sale from a Monday to a Friday, allowing only one weekend for fundraising sales outside of the school week. Unfortunately, these fundraisers are missing out on many great opportunities. When picking ideal fundraiser dates consider the extra-curricular activities that occur during the weekends including Saturday ball games both on the field and in front of Dad’s big screen. Another great opportunity can be had at Sunday church services. We have found that by taking your fundraising products to these weekend activities, you can make up a significant portion of fundraiser sales. 

Watch the Competition

Picking ideal fundraiser dates around other fundraisers means you can avoid competition for community dollars. If your group is doing a chocolate bar or in-hand snack bag popcorn sale and you know another group is planning one too, coordinate with that group’s sponsor to see how many members both groups share. If only a few, don’t sweat it as each member has their own social circle who will buy from them. On the other hand, you can separate your dates by a week or two, so you don’t overlap. For example, if you take three weeks in August to sell and let the other group sell in September both groups will have ample time to sell and won’t have to compete with each other.

Products such as World’s Finest Chocolate and Poppin Popcorn can be sold with minimal time laps in between as these items are often consumed right after purchase. Cookie dough, on the other hand, lasts for months in a freezer before families use all of them over their holiday parties and are ready for more.  Schedule your cookie dough or other catalog sale a semester apart from another group selling the same products. Finally, coupon books and online fundraisers offer products that last even longer. Our coupon books are good for a year, so you will want to check with other groups in your area to ensure that your groups make the most of your fundraising efforts.

Picking Ideal Fundraiser Dates Is a Puzzle

When organizing a fundraising campaign, it can sometimes feel like you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to call King Fundraising. Our specialists are here to provide guidance and support, ensuring you can confidently select the ideal fundraising date to optimize your sales and success. We understand that finding the right timing is a big part of putting together the fundraising puzzle, and we are dedicated to helping you solve it.

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Starting a Fundraiser can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help. If you want the King Fundraising Royal Treatment, give us a call at 1-800-541-1463.

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