The question I am asked most often when it comes to putting on a benefit fundraiser is, “When should we have it? Is there a better day? A better time?” If you were to ask five different people who have put on benefits in the past, you would probably get five different answers which would really confuse you, right?
For my money, and to make the most money, I am partial to Saturday nights from 5-10pm. Before I give you the pluses of a Saturday night, let me give you the negatives of other nights. There are some who think Friday night would be a great time for a benefit. Their rationale is that people have had a hard week at work, they’re thrilled it’s finally Friday (TGIF!), and they’re ready to party and spend. The drawback to Friday is that most of your guests are probably still at work at 5pm when your event begins and even if they want to attend your fundraiser, they first have to make the drive home, freshen up and change out of the clothes they’ve lived in all day. Some may even need to grab a bite to eat before they leave knowing there is a long night ahead. Thus, they may not arrive until 6:30 or 7. The long night ahead creates another issue. These folks have been up since 6am and off to work by 7. Will they really be in the mood to party and bid until 10?
Sunday presents a different set of challenges. True, you would not have to rush around as you did on Friday and perhaps you could even bring the kids. But partying, spending and drinking until 10 is out of the question for most people. Monday morning is just around the corner and it’s not only a work day, but for 9 months out of the year it’s a school day as well.
Which brings me to Saturday. Mom and Dad have had a leisurely day of perhaps grocery shopping, catching up on housework and doing some yardwork. At about 3 in the afternoon, Mom can begin to get ready for the benefit with a shower or bath and have all the time in the world to put on makeup and party clothes – all with the help of a wine in hand! There is no rush and your guests are in a mood to reward themselves after working around the house all day. They can come early, spend lots, stay late and then sleep late!
What about Sunday morning church service, you ask. Most people will rationalize skipping service after having done such a good deed the night before!