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Thursday Is the New Saturday: 3 Reasons to Plan Your Event On a Weekday

Posted by Ian Lauth
Thursday is the New Saturday: 3 Reasons to Plan Your Fundraising Event On a Weekday

Saturday is far and away the most popular day to hold a charity event or fundraising gala. Why? You'll typically have better attendance and a more focused audience, who will then spend more money.

So, what do you do if your desired venue is completely booked every Saturday until next spring?

Many Nonprofits will choose to host their events on Friday instead because, hey - it's part of the weekend, right?! However, 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 week .

Thursday is the New Saturday


Why ThursdayIs the New Saturday

Thursday in particular is a great alternative. With only one workday left, people are excited about the upcoming weekend. But since it is still midweek, your guests will tend to be more focused than they would be on a Friday, making them more receptive to your cause during the event.

We've found that most people would rather throw on some sweats and relax on a Friday night, than go from business attire to cocktail attire without any time to recharge.

After a long workweek, it is inevitable that a portion of your event guests will:

  • Feel burnt out
  • Not 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.

In addition to the improved mental state of your guests, here are 3 top reasons why weekday events are worth your consideration:

1. You'll save money.

Catering buffetAlmost 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, to name a few - take place. As a result, catering companies and facilities are in higher demand on the weekends. This makes 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. And the less money you spend hosting your event, the more dollars go straight to your mission.

2. You'll have more vendor options.

Since venues, catering companies and entertainment are in higher demand on the weekends, you'll 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!)
Read Next: "3 Steps to Negotiating a Better Price on Your Event Venue"

When considering a weekday event, it's important to weigh the direct cost savings versus 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. More of your supporters may attend on a workday if you state upfront that the event will end by 10:00 PM.

3. There's less competition on your donors' calendars.

close up of a calendarDonors 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 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 starts.

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Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content 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.

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