The Fundraiser’s 2023 Fundraising Plan: Your Complete Calendar of Dates Nonprofits Actually Need to Know

January 3, 2023
10 minutes

525,600 minutes, 525,600 moments to come up with fundraising ideas. That’s how we measure a year here at Funraise, anyway. Sing it with us: 🎶 Seasons of funds 🎶

It’s 2023, nonprofiteer, and we’re guessing you have a lot of planning to do. Particularly if you’re new to the nonprofit world, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming—how many events are too many? What dates do you need to remember? Do you have to acknowledge National Wiggle Your Toes Day, or is it okay to take a pass?

There are soooooo many lists on the interwebs with fundraising ideas for every season and every reason. And many of them are great—heck, we’ve written a bunch ourselves! But with a new year beginning comes a time to focus on what matters. So, we’re here with your go-to guide on the key fundraising dates, events, and seasons that you actually need to know.

Soon, you’ll find that a little bit of planning goes a long way in the world of fundraising.

This is your essential 2023 nonprofit fundraising plan.

2023 Must-Know Fundraising Dates

There are a few must-know events, dates, and seasons that every fundraiser needs to keep in mind. Mark your calendars with the dates below now and give yourself time to be excited about the work you're doing instead of crushed by last-minute planning.

  1. New Year, New Plans
  2. Heritage Months
  3. The Summer Slowdown
  4. Giving Tuesday and the Holiday Season
  5. Year-End Appeals

New Year, New Plans

When: January 2023

After a flurry of year-end activity—the meetings, the letters, the galas—it can be tempting to write off fundraising completely come January. Never fear, fundraiser––stick with your plan. Not only is giving back a popular New Years resolution, but a lot of donors take charge of their finances in January and plan giving for the year ahead. Take the opportunity to tell past (and potential!) donors about everything you accomplished in the past year—and how they can help you accomplish your new goals going forward.

When: All Year Long!

As Fakequity notes, "Many different cultures and religions follow different calendars which has their year starting at different times of the year." Check out their amazing list of New Year observances that spans the entire western calendar! (Yes, it's from 2022, but we trust that you can figure out the new dates with the help of The Amazing Google Machine.)

Heritage and Awareness Months

When: All year long!

There's a lot of days to keep up with! Don't worry, busy fundraiser, we made this Complete Calendar for 2023 Fundraising just for you 😉

January 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • 1/1: New Years Day
  • 1/13: Korean American Day
  • 1/25: World Religion Day
  • 1/16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 1/27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

February 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • Black History Month
  • 2/1: National Freedom Day
  • 2/1: World Hijab Day
  • 2/7: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • 2/11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • 2/14: Valentine’s Day
  • 2/20: President’s Day
  • 2/20: World Day of Social Justice

March 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • Women's History Month
  • Bisexual Health Awareness Month
  • 3/20-3/24 National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week
  • 3/1: Zero Discrimination Day
  • 3/8: International Women’s Day
  • 3/8: Holi
  • 3/13 - 4/15: Deaf History Month
  • 3/17: St. Patrick's Day
  • 3/20: International Day of Happiness
  • 3/21: World Down Syndrome Day
  • 3/21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • 3/24: American Genocide Remembrance Day
  • 3/25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • 3/31: International Transgender Day of Visibility

April 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • 4/2: World Autism Awareness Day
  • 4/7: World Health Day
  • 4/9: Easter
  • 4/15: Equal Pay Day
  • 4/17: Emancipation Day
  • 4/22: Day of Silence
  • 4/22: Earth Day
  • 4/26: Lesbian Visibility Day

May 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
  • 5/1: May Day
  • 5/5: Cinco De Mayo
  • 5/14: Mother’s Day
  • 5/14 - 5/20: National Women’s Health week
  • 5/15: International Day of Families
  • 5/17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, & Biphobia
  • 5/18: World AIDS Vaccine Day
  • 5/21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
  • 5/22: Harvey Milk Day
  • 5/29: Memorial Day

June 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • LGBTQ+ Pride Month
  • 6/1: Global Day of Parents
  • 6/2: Native American Citizenship Day
  • 6/11: International Children’s Day
  • 6/12 - 6/18: National Men’s Health Week
  • 6/18: Father’s Day
  • 6/18: Autistic Pride Day
  • 6/19: Juneteenth
  • 6/20: World Refugee Day
  • 6/28: National Insurance Awareness Day

July 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • 7/4: Independence Day
  • 7/17: World Day for International Justice
  • 7/23: Parent’s Day
  • 7/26: National Disability Independence Day
  • 7/30: International Day of Friendship

August 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • 8/9: World Indigenous People’s Day
  • 8/12: International Youth Day
  • 8/19: World Humanitarian Day
  • 8/21: Senior Citizens Day
  • 8/23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
  • 8/26: Women’s Equality Day

September 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • National Suicide Prevention Month
  • 9/4: Labor Day
  • 9/5: International Day of Charity
  • 9/10: World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 9/11: 9/11 Remembrance
  • 9/15 - 10/15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 9/15-9/27: Rosh Hashanah
  • 9/16: Mexican Independence Day
  • 9/21: International Day of Peace
  • 9/22: Native Americans Day
  • 9/23: Celebrate Bisexuality Day
  • 9/26: National Voter Registration Day

October 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • LGBTQ+ History Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • National Anti-Bullying Month
  • 10/1: International Day of Older Persons
  • 10/2: International Day of Non-Violence
  • 10/6: World Smile Day
  • 10/10: World Mental Health Day
  • 10/11: National Coming Out Day
  • 10/11: International Day of the Girl Child
  • 10/15: Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
  • 10/17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • 10/17: Spirit Day
  • 10/26: Intersex Awareness Day
  • 10/31: Halloween

November 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Movember (Changing the Face of Men's Health)
  • 11/6: Election Day
  • 11/8: Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) Day
  • 11/11: Veterans Day
  • 11/13: World Kindness Day
  • 11/13 - 11/19: Transgender Awareness Week
  • 11/16: International Day for Tolerance
  • 11/17: International Student’s Day
  • 11/19: International Men’s Day
  • 11/20: Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • 11/23: Thanksgiving
  • 11/24: Native American Heritage Day
  • 11/25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • 11/28: National Day of Giving (Giving Tuesday)

December 2023 Fundraising Dates for Nonprofits

  • 12/1: World AIDS Day
  • 12/2: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • 12/3: International Day of Persons With Disabilities
  • 12/7 - 12/15: Hanukkah
  • 12/10: Human Rights Day
  • 12/18: International Migrants Day
  • 12/25: Christmas
  • 12/26 - 1/1: Kwanzaa

It’s a big world out there, and heritage and awareness months provide a prime opportunity to celebrate our differences by embracing our backgrounds, identities, and cultures. If a heritage or awareness month aligns with your nonprofit, uplift it all month long! Celebrate, educate, and generate some serious funds for your cause. If none of these months apply to your nonprofit, you can support the work of other nonprofits doing vital work in those community spaces!

The Summer Slowdown

When: July and August

Summertime, and the living is easy …except for nonprofits, because things are pretty darn slow and there aren’t a ton of fundraising opportunities! But you can plan ahead for the warmer months by—you guessed it—having a strategy. Use this valuable time to cultivate your donor relationships, catch up on admin work, or tackle any website updates that are long past due. This is a rare opportunity to get ahead.

Generosity Week (as we call it!)

When: November 23 (Thanksgiving) - November 28 (Giving Tuesday)

It’s right there in the name: Thanksgiving is all about saying thanks. And the week between Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday is one of the most charitable weeks of the year! Don’t let the period pass without thanking your network of donors, volunteers, staff, and clients for their support. Plus, saying thanks on Thanksgiving can spark more gifts on Giving Tuesday, which always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In case you didn’t know, Giving Tuesday is a day to celebrate giving back in the midst consumption culture, and while it’s not for every organization, it’s definitely a must-know date.

Year-end appeals

When: End of December

Did you know that New Year’s Eve is usually the biggest online fundraising day of the year? That’s because December 31st is also the last day to get a tax deduction for that year—and, let’s be honest, a lot of us tend to procrastinate. Between tax breaks and the holiday spirit, nearly one-third of all giving happens during December, and those final few days are super important to your fundraising efforts. So if you want to see that year-end spike in giving, keep on reminding your donors that giving back isn’t a New Year’s resolution—it’s a must-do-pronto.

Important Nonprofit-Specific Dates to Remember

Finally, there are a number of dates specific to your nonprofit that you need to keep top of mind when planning your year. These are dates that are probably non-negotiable, so you’ll want to get them on your calendar ASAP. Doing so will help shape your strategy in the year ahead.

  1. Board meetings
    Whether board meetings are monthly or quarterly, in person or online, get those dates on the calendar—and make sure your board chair is on board.
  2. Key fundraising events
    You’ve probably got an annual gala or gift drive that everyone knows to expect. Write those down now so that you can communicate well in advance and, if needed, secure sponsors.
  3. Newsletter emails/mailings
    If you have a newsletter, matching the publication date to crucial fundraising dates will really up your impact (read: secure more fundraising dollars). Another bonus: you can avoid writing and sending a newsletter during your busiest weeks.
  4. End of fiscal year
    Many organizations end their fiscal year on June 30th. Whatever date your fiscal year ends, circle it in bright pink marker right away—it’ll keep your fundraising and budgeting efforts on track.
  5. Major appeals
    Experience has taught us that major appeals require all the communication, so you want to plan early. Depending on the size of your nonprofit, you might do two major appeals or several smaller ones. Whatever your style, you’ll need to give your board members a heads up, segment those lists, write those social media posts, and get those mailings out the door. Also, if you want to take the path most traveled by, we suggest a spring appeal and a year-end one.
  6. Quiet periods
    It may sound like we’re speaking a foreign language, but after getting all those holidays, events, seasons, and dates down, you may spot a few lulls in the calendar. Take full advantage of those by doing some database maintenance, polishing your templates, and catching up on anything else that you haven’t had a chance to catch up on. Or maybe just schedule some well-deserved vacation.

And there you have it: everything you need to know and nothing you don’t. Whether you’re new to the nonprofit world or are an expert juggling a hundred jobs at once at your nonprofit, we hope this guide breaks it down. Fundraising is doable, friend, and we have faith that you've got it in the bag.

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