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Top 5 Reasons to Organize a Calendar Fundraiser for your Nonprofit Group

Fundraising Calendars

Why hold a calendar fundraiser? To raise money, of course! Actually, there is a lot more to it than that. After all, there are hundreds of other fundraising opportunities out there. Why make and sell a calendar instead of selling magazine subscriptions or organizing a charity auction? Let’s look at the top five reasons, in our experience as calendar printers, for organizing a calendar fundraiser:

  1. A calendar fundraiser means you have a product you can be proud to sell
    If you are selling candy, or magazines, or wrapping paper, you are selling a generic product that has nothing to do with your organization. People may not need or want these products and may feel pressured into buying something they don’t need. They may buy something only to be nice; however, both the purchaser and your organization members (your sales team) can easily be left with an uncomfortable feeling about the transaction. On the other hand, with a custom fundraiser calendar, you are selling your own photos and text — you are selling your own story. Your sales team will be proud to show it off, and people will be happy to support your organization by buying it.
  2. Involve the whole organization — and the wider community — in the calendar project
    With most fundraisers, the participation is a one-way street: a committee chooses the fundraiser, then hands it off to the whole group to go out and sell. With a calendar fundraiser, you have the opportunity to involve the whole organization, and the wider community, in making and marketing the calendar. You can solicit photos and/or stories from the whole group, or invite the local community to participate in a photo contest. Get your whole organization involved in selling advertising within the calendar. Organize a calendar release/signing party and invite the whole community. The more that people are involved with the fundraiser — especially in a creative way — the harder they will work to sell the finished calendar and make the fundraiser a success.
  3. A calendar puts your message in front of potential members and donors all year long
    Long after you have sold that calendar and cashed the check, it can provide a huge benefit to your organization. Whether the calendar is hanging on the wall of a close relative or a complete stranger, it is doing the same job. For twelve months you can display your message and encourage people to become members or active supporters of your group. Did you sell it to someone who is already a member of your organization? The calendar will remind them all year long to participate, and it will also give them an opportunity to introduce your organization to their friends and family. Try getting that kind of benefit out of a candy sale.
  4. Attract business sponsors by selling calendar advertisements
    Your calendar is also an advertising vehicle. Calendar printers will usually allow some kind of advertising within your calendar. If the calendar is completely customizable, then the advertising can go virtually anywhere you or your sponsors would like. Advertising on each month is common. There are also usually extra pages within the calendar as well as the back cover available for advertising. You can remind your sponsors that since your worthy cause is part of the sales pitch, calendar buyers will also be a little more motivated to patronize the calendar sponsors. And don’t forget that once your sponsor has bought an advertisement, they are invested in the success of your fundraiser. Why not suggest that they increase the reach of their ad buy by displaying and selling some of your calendars!
  5. Promote your important events by marking them in the calendar
    Don’t forget that people buy calendars to help keep track of the important events in their lives. Those little date boxes are valuable real estate! If you can put all of your important events — meetings, athletic events, performances, conferences, etc. —  onto the calendars of all of your supporters, then taken a big step in making those events more successful. You are enhancing the calendar’s appeal by making it more useful. Again, if the calendar ins completely customizable, then you should be able to add as many events as you like — just make sure you choose a calendar printer that does not charge extra for this. Don’t have many events to add? Why not sprinkle fun historical facts related to your organization on relevant dates throughout the calendar?

At Yearbox, we do loads of fundraiser calendars every year, and these are the top five benefits to calendar fundraising in our opinion. Have you organized a calendar fundraiser, or would you like to? Share your experience or your questions!

  1. Charles ChitwoodCharles Chitwood06-15-2011

    Hey Pete!

    Thanks for that!

    We were very happy with our calendars and only wish we had ordered them sooner. Our plans for the 2012 calendar are to get something going around September – that ought to give us a better window for full-price sales.

    The business card ads we included turned out to be a big hit – even though calendar sales have all but disappeared, we have used the them as “goody-bag” gifts for people that have paid to be a part of some of our events. They’re MOST well received and our advertisers are happy too since those calendars are being distributed!

    Talk to you in a few months!

  2. rottenunclerottenuncle06-15-2011

    Hi Charlie, thanks for the feedback!

    You’ve made a couple of good points. If you are selling your calendar, its a good idea to have it in hand by September or October at the latest. (You can still do well if you don’t have calendars until November, but your sales team will have to be motivated.) Make sure you check with your printer on turn-around times (its about 3 to 3.5 weeks at Yearbox).

    Also, you make an excellent point that even if you do not sell all of your calendars, they still make great gifts for donors or anyone else. That way they still perform their marketing functions, and the advertisers are still happy.

    Looking forward to seeing your photos this year!

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