How to create the ultimate fundraising calendar or planner
Wondering how to create the ultimate fundraising calendar for your organization or cause? Use our fundraising calendar guide to help you create your own and get ahead with your campaign planning for important events within the year.
We take you through the steps you need to follow to create your own, plus check out our example fundraising calendar with various important awareness days and events throughout the year.
What is a fundraising calendar?
A fundraising calendar is a tool or document used by nonprofit organizations to plan and organize their fundraising activities over a specific period of time. The planner typically covers a year and includes key awareness days, awareness months or events related to the organization’s cause or mission. This type of calendar helps organizations to align their fundraising and marketing efforts with important dates, increasing their campaign visibility and impact.
For example, an environmental conservation charity may include Earth Day, World Oceans Day, and other relevant awareness days in their fundraising marketing calendar. They could then plan events or campaigns around these days, creating opportunities to raise funds for their cause.
Why should you use a fundraising calendar?
A fundraising calendar is an important tool if you want to maximize your donation potential. By incorporating key awareness days and events into your fundraising marketing calendar, you can increase your reach and impact by tapping into existing conversations and momentum around important issues. It also helps organizations to stay relevant and engaged with their audience.
How can you create a fundraising calendar?
Now you know the benefits of creating a fundraising calendar for your charity efforts, here’s how you can create your own.
Step 1: Research Key Events, Awareness Days And Months
The first step is to research key awareness days and months that are relevant to your cause or organization. There are many websites and resources available that provide comprehensive lists which you can use to get started. These can include international and national days, as well as events specific to your local community. For example, if your cause is related to mental health, you might choose to focus on Mental Health Awareness Month in May or World Mental Health Day in October.
Step 2: Create Your Fundraising Calendar
Once you have identified the key events, awareness days and months, the next step is to create your fundraising calendar.
Your calendar should include the dates of the key awareness days and months, as well as any other important dates related to the cause or organization.
You can use a calendar template or create a custom design that reflects the cause or organization’s branding. You could keep it simple via a simple excel spreadsheet or even use an online tool.
Step 3 : Plan Your Fundraising Activities
Time to get creative! Once you’ve got your key dates in the calendar, it’s time to plan your fundraising activities. You may not want to go into detail about every single campaign, but having a general outline of what you’ll do and what resources you’ll need will make it much easier for when the time comes!
Example fundraising calendar dates
To help you get started, here’s an example list of key awareness days, months, trends and events within the year, which you may want to incorporate into your own fundraising calendar.
National Blood Donor Month
Human Trafficking Awareness Month
New Year’s Resolutions
Health and Wellness push
American Heart Month
Black History Month (USA)
National Cancer Prevention Month
Super bowl (USA)
Women’s History Month
National Nutrition Month
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month (USA)
St. Patrick’s Day
Spring Break (USA)
New tax year is approaching (more people are likely to make charitable donations!)
Easter (think easter baking challenge or easter egg hunt! )
Boston Marathon (USA)
World Autism Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Earth Day (April 22nd)
National Volunteer Week (third week of April)
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month (UK)
Mental Health Awareness Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
National Foster Care Month
Cinco de Mayo
Memorial Day (USA)
LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Men’s Health Month
National Safety Month
National Volunteer Week (UK)
Disability Pride Month
World Population Day (July 11th)
National Immunization Awareness Month
International Youth Day (August 12th)
National Picnic Month
National Dog Day (August 26th)
National Suicide Prevention Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
National Recovery Month
Back to School Season
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Halloween (Think Scary movie-thon or Halloween themed fuddle!)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Black History Month (UK)
National Diabetes Month
Native American Heritage Month
Transgender Awareness Week (third week of November)
Movember (men’s health awareness)
National Novel Writing Month
Memorial Day (UK)
World AIDS Day (December 1st)
Human Rights Day (December 10th)
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
Christmas (think Christmas gift auctions, charity present wrapping competition)
Remember, this isn’t an exhaustive list and it’s important to choose events that are relevant to your own charity or cause, rather than including everything. The more relevant the event is, the more likely you’ll engage your target donors and meet your fundraising goals faster.
Client Success Team Manager for North America
Emily is an experienced and passionate fundraising and events consultant, working with and supporting clients on their special events and fundraising campaigns all over the world.
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