Most charity auctions are held on Friday and Saturday nights.
But is a Saturday night really the best day to hold an auction? Are fundraisers better on weekends? What’s the matter with the rest of the week?
That said, sometimes you can tell what type of an auction the organization is hosting simply by looking at the day of the week they’ve chosen.
Here’s my not-entirely-accurate (but pretty close) look at what types of charity auctions fall on any given day of the week.
- Sunday afternoon: These charity auctions tend to be teas. Auctions on Sunday afternoons should religiously (no pun intended) stick to a schedule. These events are meant to be squeezed in after church and before afternoon commitments. Short and sweet.
- Sunday and Monday Auctions which involve local restaurant chefs often occur on Sunday or Monday. Because many restaurants are closed on Mondays, a chef’s weekend begins on Sunday, allowing them greater flexibility to cook or serve at your gala.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday lunches: Associations and other non-profits prefer this time slot when they are targeting the business crowd. Guests arrive at the hotel, eat lunch, bid in the auction, and go back to work. It’s all business.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night: Corporate foundations and association expos tend to schedule charity auctions on these days. Oftentimes the auction will be in conjunction with a trade show, an awards gala, a user conference, or a golf outing for attendees.
- Thursday: Thursday nights are popular with smaller galas which haven’t yet established a strong footprint in their city. Not only does this allow them to get better rental rates on venues, but it’s a strategy decision designed to boost attendance. Whereas a larger gala might have the panache necessary to keep a guest from heading to the beach for the weekend, a smaller group must select a date in which many guests are less likely to be traveling. Hence: Thursday night. Thursdays rarely clash with the big galas (which fall on weekend nights), they avoid conflicting school auction dates, and they bypass competing weekend activities.
- Friday – Friday night galas are common. One tip: If you’re running a Friday night gala, consider opting for cocktail or “dressy business” attire instead of formal attire to make it easier on business people arriving directly from work.
- Saturday – The busiest night for charity auctions is Saturday. Big galas, prominent non-profits, schools … they all like Saturdays.
There isn’t a best day to hold an auction. You can have a successful event on any day of the week, but it does make sense to consider other activities taking place in your community as to not directly compete with another similar event.
Some of your best bidders will have full dance cards. Select a day with them in mind.