Saturday is far and away the best day to hold a charity event or fundraising gala. You will have better attendance and a more focused audience who will spend more money. But what if your desired venue is completely booked for every Saturday until spring of 2016... what then?
Many Nonprofits will choose to host their events on Friday instead because, hey - it's the weekend, right?! TGIF aside, Fridays can be one of the worst days to hold a nonprofit auction items event for the simple fact that it is at the end of the long workweek.
After surviving five full days of work, how do you feel? Arguably, most people would rather throw on some sweats and relax than go from business attire to cocktail attire without any time to recharge. After a long workweek, it is inevitable that you are going have a percentage of your event guests who are:
- Burnt out
- Don't stay as late
- Spend less money
So what is the next best day? Planning an event for a weeknight actually presents quite a few advantages that could benefit your organization. Beyond the mental state of your guests, here are 3 reasons why weekday events are worth considering:
1. Save money
Almost all Nonprofit fundraising events happen on Friday or Saturday nights, which coincidentally is when other large events, such as weddings, concerts, festivals, art gallery openings and award shows take place - just to name a few. As a result, catering companies and facilities are in higher demand on the weekends, making it much harder to negotiate lower rates for your charity event.
If you host your event during the week when vendors are otherwise sitting idle, you will have a much more appealing case for getting a reduced rate. As part of the development staff, it is your duty to search for ways to cut costs, because the less money you spend hosting your event, the more money you will raise to help your mission.
2. More options
Once again, venues, catering companies and various forms of entertainment are in higher demand on the weekends, which means you are going to have far more options to choose from if you schedule your event on a weekday. This is especially true if you are trying to find a venue on short notice or have your heart set on a particular location. Even babysitters are easier to find on weekdays.
When considering a weekday event, it's important to weigh the benefits vs. attendance. Think about your supporters and what is convenient for them. Working professionals who like to stop at happy hour might be happy to come to your event after work in the early evening.
If you do have your event on a weekday, make sure the event ends early since most people will have to work the next day or get up early to get the kids ready for school. Would your supporters attend your event on a workday if you said the event would end by 10:00 PM sharp?
3. Less competition
Donors are passionate about your organization’s mission, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in other causes as well. There’s a good chance your donors support several Nonprofits. If you host your event on the same night as another event in town, some of your supporters may have to make a choice between the two — and you can’t always guarantee they’ll choose yours.
The weekends are also when people plan trips and activities with family and friends. During the week, you are less likely to be competing with other Nonprofits and your donors’ social calendars.
Why not consider planning your next event on a weeknight? For most people, weekdays are filled with work and running errands. An exciting auction fundraiser event is the perfect way to break up the monotony of the workweek and give them something to look forward to before the weekend ever starts.
With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.
Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on Google+.