Planning Your 2019 Fundraising Calendar

Planning Your 2019 Fundraising Calendar

For many, fundraising is not just a one-time thing. Many institutions rely on the generosity of benefactors to sustain their cause. For big projects, a single fundraising event may not be sufficient to gather the needed funds. A series of fundraising events must be designed and scheduled to gradually reach the financial goal intended for big projects and even for recurring causes that need support for sustainability.

What is a Fundraising Calendar?

Fundraising calendars are created to keep track of the timing of different things involved in holding fundraising events. It serves as a timeline of all the fundraising activities that will be held during the calendar year. It also outlines other details including:

  • Preparation and Post- Event Activities Schedule
  • Schedule of Tasks
  • Timeframe for Donations

Starting Your Fundraising Calendar

It is best to start your fundraising calendar prior to starting your calendar year. Some organisations create fundraising calendars from January 1st to December 31st, while there are those who start on July 1st and end on June 30th. One month before the calendar year is the best time to start planning your calendar so you have ample time to implement it.

Here are the things you need to prepare in the outline of your fundraising calendar:

  • Recurring Fundraising Activities (Annual, Bi-Annual, Quarterly, or Monthly)
  • Seasonal Fundraising Activities (Winter, Holidays, Special Occasions, Founding Anniversaries, etc.)
  • Donor/ Benefactor Engagement Schedules
  • Reporting Schedules

You need to identify all of these so you can efficiently spread them throughout your fundraising calendar and avoid the overlapping of schedules.

Designing Your Calendar

Aside from scheduling your fundraising events, fundraising calendars are also used to track and monitor the progress of tasks for a fundraising event. This is to make sure that all tasks are performed at the right time and that deadlines are met.

There are different ways to design your fundraising calendar, depending on your needs and preferences.

A more detailed fundraising calendar would look something like this:










Board Meeting

9 Am

Donor Appreciation Calls

All Day

Marketing Meeting 2pm

Major Donor Brunch 2pm


6 pm

Send Thank-You Emails









This one outlines all the tasks that are relevant to a particular activity.

Filling Out Your Calendar

Filling out your fundraising calendar is the trickiest part. There are a lot of things that need to be considered. It requires a keen ability to think ahead and be critical of the steps involved in creating an efficient fundraising activity timeline.

Fill Out Important Dates and Holidays

Before even beginning to fill out your planned fundraising activities, put in important dates first. This will greatly help you in creating spaces between activities. It may even help you decide the best dates for certain events. Some even get the idea of new fundraising activities based on holidays and celebrations. For example: Mothers’ Day Brunch, Fathers’ Day Carwash, Valentine’s Day Dinner for a Cause and many more.

Scheduled Fundraising Events First

Before delving into the details of every activity, you need to fill out the dates for your scheduled events. Through this, you will be able to decide how to space out the dates of every event for ample preparations and appropriate post-event activities.

Indicating seasons on your calendar will also help you determine which activities fit certain seasons.

Put in the Details

After you have successfully determined the dates of your fundraising events, you can now fill it up with the relevant details. Make sure that every step of the preparation and post-activity process are included and given enough time. Consider the length of time that each of the tasks can be completed including some contingencies. Mark deadlines for every deliverable that should be communicated to the assigned individuals.

You can go as detailed as possible on your calendar to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Some Important Thoughts

When making your fundraising calendar, please note of the human limitations. It is not advisable to make an event one after the other without any time provisions for relaxation time. Also, include on your calendar some schedules on how you can connect with your clients to maintain them. There must also be time for the team to bond and improve your teamwork, and to make sure that there is time for recognizing and rewarding the best efforts.

Update your calendar when the need arises. Nothing is really final until you are about to do it. Be considerate and flexible in your schedules so as not too extensively exhaust your donors and volunteers.

Robert Gaydon

Written by : Robert Gaydon

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