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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG
Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Using the right tools to run your fundraisers is vital for their success. Here’s a list of the best fundraising tools for schools and PTAs, including FutureFund and several others that we consider valuable.

Guide: How to Run a School Art Fundraiser

Guide: How to Run a School Art Fundraiser

Holding a school art fundraiser will help to raise the money you need for your school group, club, or trip, all while showcasing the incredible talent of the students! FutureFund helps to make your art fundraiser run smoothly and successfully.

Published on January 24, 2024

The Fundraiser’s 2024 Fundraising Plan: Your Complete Calendar of Dates

Plan fundraisers around the dates that will bring in the most donations! FutureFund’s complete 2024 fundraising calendar for school groups includes the best times of year to run campaigns of all kinds, including key holidays, heritage months, and more.
Calendar to help keep track of important dates in 2024

Knowing when to fundraise is just as important as knowing how. Effective fundraisers are seasonally appropriate, based around widely recognized dates, and most importantly—planned in advance.

To help you, our team at FutureFund has created a complete calendar of fundraising dates for 2024. Access the Google Sheet below and start planning your campaigns accordingly.

View the 2024 Calendar

Need fundraiser inspiration? Check out our Ultimate List of School Fundraisers.

Graphic of PTA members using 2024 Calendar to plan school fundraisers

How to Use This Calendar

We put our 2024 School Fundraising Calendar in a Google Sheet for easy access. Here’s how to use it:

  • Open the “File” menu and click “Make a copy” so you can edit your calendar (this template is View-Only)
  • Use the tabs at the bottom of the sheet to navigate between different months.
  • To edit a date, double-click the text box and type in your custom text.
  • Include shareable links from your FutureFund campaigns on launch dates for easy reference.

Key Dates to Add for Your School or District

  • Prom: Typically in the spring, often between April 23rd and June 1st.
  • Teacher Appreciation Days: Usually observed during the first full week of May.
  • Holiday Concerts: Commonly held throughout December.
  • Field Trips: Can occur throughout the school year, but often in the spring when the weather is warm enough for outdoor activities.
  • Sports Events:
    • Football games in the fall (August-November)
    • Basketball games in the winter (November-February)
    • Baseball, softball, and track events in the spring (February-May)
  • Band Competitions:
    • Marching band competitions in the fall (September-November)
    • Jazz band festivals in early spring (February-April)
    • Concert band evaluations in late spring (April-May)

Key School Fundraising Dates in 2024 Explained

Most school fundraisers are planned during one of a few different periods. Here’s an overview of each major fundraising season and a list of the key dates within it so that you can start putting campaigns in your calendar ASAP:

January

It’s never too early in the year to start fundraising. Many people make New Year’s Resolutions to do more charitable giving, so you have a golden opportunity to put your school group at the top of their list.

  • Send an email before the end of the month reminding donors of everything your school group accomplished in the past year, and outline your goals for upcoming fundraisers. End by encouraging donors to make giving back their New Year’s Resolution.
  • Follow up by creating a donation campaign in FutureFund to collect contributions. Give this a title like “2024 New Year’s Resolution Donations for [Your School]”.

Key Dates:

  • January 1st: New Years Day
  • January 4th: World Braille Day
  • January 13th: Korean American Day
  • January 15th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • January 21st: World Religion Day
  • January 27th: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Heritage Months:

  • Poverty in America Awareness Month
  • Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Young African American woman making heart with hands to symbolize February school fundraising opportunities

February

As we transition into February, love and awareness take center stage. This month is not only about celebrating love on Valentine’s Day but also about embracing America’s rich and diverse history during Black History Month. Schools can leverage these themes to create engaging and meaningful fundraising campaigns.

  • Organize a Valentine’s Day themed bake sale or flower delivery service within your school. Find Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas here.
  • Host a Black History Month awareness event, featuring guest speakers or student performances, with proceeds going towards your fundraising goals.
  • Collaborate with local businesses for fundraising partnerships, emphasizing the theme of love and community support.

Key Dates:

  • February 1st: National Freedom Day, World Hijab Day
  • February 7th: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • February 10th: Tết
  • February 11th: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • February 13th: Mardi Gras
  • February 14th: Valentine’s Day
  • February 19th: President’s Day
  • February 20th: World Day of Social Justice

Heritage Months:

  • Black History Month

March

March is a month focused on social awareness, with numerous opportunities to support and celebrate various communities. From International Women’s Day to Neurodiversity Celebration Week, each event offers a unique angle for your fundraising activities.

  • Plan events that highlight the achievements and challenges of women, such as a sponsored walk or a charity auction.
  • During Neurodiversity Celebration Week, organize informational sessions or creative contests to raise awareness and funds.
  • Capitalize on the festive spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with themed events, like a green dress-up day or a community parade.

Key Dates:

  • March 1st: Zero Discrimination Day
  • March 8th: International Women’s Day
  • March 10th to April 9th: Ramadan
  • March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 18th-March 24th: Neurodiversity Celebration Week
  • March 20th: International Day of Happiness
  • March 20th to March 24th: National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week
  • March 21st: World Down Syndrome Day, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • March 24th: American Genocide Remembrance Day
  • March 25th: Holi, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • March 31st: César Chávez Day, International Transgender Day of Visibility, Easter

Heritage Months:

  • Women’s History Month
  • March 13th – April 15th: Deaf History Month
  • Bisexual Health Awareness Month
  • Greek American Heritage Month
  • Irish American Heritage Month
Smiling elementary school students near plants to symbolize Earth Day school fundraiser in April

April

April brings a focus on health, equality, and acceptance, with several key dates that can inspire your school’s fundraising efforts. Autism Acceptance Month and Earth Day present opportunities to engage in activities that promote awareness and inclusivity.

  • Organize a fun run or a health fair on World Health Day, with proceeds supporting a local health charity.
  • On Earth Day, coordinate a school-wide clean-up or recycling drive, promoting environmental stewardship while raising funds.
  • Use Equal Pay Day to host a seminar or workshop on gender equality in the workplace, charging entry fees to raise funds for related causes.

Key Dates:

  • April 2nd: World Autism Awareness Day
  • April 7th: World Health Day
  • April 9th: Equal Pay Day
  • April 11th: Day of Silence
  • April 16th: Emancipation Day
  • April 22nd: Earth Day
  • April 26th: Lesbian Visibility Day

Heritage Months:

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • National Arab American Heritage Month
  • Autism Acceptance Month

May

May is a month of celebration and remembrance, from Cinco de Mayo to Memorial Day. It’s an ideal time to engage in activities that honor different cultures and family values, while also raising funds for your school’s needs.

  • Celebrate Mother’s Day with a special event like a mother-child picnic or a crafting workshop, inviting donations. Find fundraising ideas for Mother’s Day.
  • On International Day of Families, organize a family sports day or a cultural festival showcasing different traditions.
  • Use Harvey Milk Day to discuss and celebrate LGBTQ+ history and rights, potentially through a fundraiser like a rainbow-themed bake sale.

Key Dates:

  • May 1st: May Day, National School Principal Day
  • May 5th: Cinco De Mayo
  • May 12th: Mother’s Day
  • May 12th – May 18th: National Women’s Health week
  • May 15th: International Day of Families
  • May 17th: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, & Biphobia
  • May 18th: World AIDS Vaccine Day
  • May 21st: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
  • May 22nd: Harvey Milk Day
  • May 27th: Memorial Day

Heritage Months:

  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
  • Military Appreciation Month
  • Indian Heritage Month
  • Mental Health Awareness Month

June

June is a vibrant month full of opportunities for celebration and awareness, especially with LGBTQ+ Pride Month. It’s a perfect time for schools to show support and raise funds through inclusive events.

  • Host a pride-themed event or parade, creating a welcoming space for students and community members while raising funds through merchandise sales or entry fees.
  • Celebrate Global Day of Parents and International Children’s Day with family-friendly activities like a carnival or a fun fair.
  • Use National Men’s Health Week to promote health and wellness among students and parents, perhaps with a health screening event or a sports tournament.

Key Dates:

  • June 1st: Global Day of Parents, International Children’s Day
  • June 2nd: Native American Citizenship Day
  • June 10th – June 16: National Men’s Health Week
  • June 12th: Loving Day
  • June 16th: Father’s Day
  • June 18th: Autistic Pride Day
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • June 20th: World Refugee Day
  • June 28th: National Insurance Awareness Day

Heritage Months:

  • LGBTQ+ Pride Month
  • Caribbean American Heritage Month
Elementary student with stars and stripes flag for 4th of July school fundraiser

July

July, marked by Independence Day celebrations, is a month brimming with patriotism and community spirit. It’s a great opportunity for school groups to connect with their communities through themed events and activities that also serve as fundraisers.

  • Celebrate Independence Day with a community fair or a fireworks viewing event, offering food stalls and games for fundraising. Find 4th of July fundraiser ideas here.
  • Acknowledge World Day for International Justice by organizing a debate or a guest lecture on global justice issues, with proceeds going to related charities.
  • Use National Disability Independence Day to promote awareness and inclusivity, possibly through an art exhibition or performance by disabled artists, with ticket sales contributing to your fundraising efforts.

Key Dates:

  • July 4th: Independence Day
  • July 17: World Day for International Justice
  • July 26: National Disability Independence Day
  • July 28: Parent’s Day
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship

Heritage Months:

  • French American Heritage Month
  • BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Disability Pride Month

August

August is a time to focus on global issues and diverse communities, with several significant days that can inspire creative fundraising ideas. It’s a great month to engage in activities that promote cultural understanding and support for various social causes.

  • On World Indigenous People’s Day, host a cultural festival or an art sale featuring indigenous artists, with proceeds supporting indigenous communities.
  • International Youth Day can be marked with youth-led initiatives like a talent show or a sports event, raising funds for youth programs.
  • Organize a community service day on World Humanitarian Day, where participants can donate to take part in various community improvement projects.

Key Dates:

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

Heritage Months:

  • National Dog Month
  • Immunization Awareness Month
Young African American student boarding school bus on way to back to school September fundraising event

September

September, with its back-to-school energy, offers numerous opportunities for fundraising activities. This month is marked by various important days that can be utilized to raise awareness and funds for different causes. Find back to school fundraising ideas here.

  • Labor Day can kick off your fundraising season with a community picnic or a charity sports event.
  • Use the International Day of Charity to organize a school-wide charity drive, collecting donations for a selected cause.
  • National Voter Registration Day is a perfect occasion to engage with the community about civic responsibility, perhaps through a mock election or debate event, with entry fees or donations supporting your fundraising goals.

Key Dates:

  • September 2nd: Labor Day
  • September 5th: International Day of Charity
  • September 10th: World Suicide Prevention Day
  • September 11th: 9/11 Remembrance
  • September 16th: Mexican Independence Day
  • September 21th: International Day of Peace
  • September 23rd: Celebrate Bisexuality Day
  • September 24th: National Voter Registration Day
  • September 27th: Native Americans Day

Heritage Months:

  • National Suicide Prevention Month
  • September 15th – October 15th: National Hispanic Heritage Month

October

October is a month rich in cultural and social awareness themes, offering diverse opportunities for school fundraising. From LGBTQ+ History Month to Halloween, each event provides a unique angle for engaging activities.

  • Celebrate diversity on International Day of the Girl Child with a seminar or workshop, and raise funds through ticket sales or donations.
  • Use Halloween as an opportunity to organize a costume contest or a haunted house, with entry fees contributing to your fundraising goals. Here are some great Halloween fundraising ideas.
  • Host awareness events or workshops on various days like World Mental Health Day and International Pronouns Day, encouraging donations for related causes.

Key Dates:

  • October 1st: International Day of Older Persons
  • October 2nd: International Day of Non-Violence
  • October 2nd – October 4th: Rosh Hashanah
  • October 4th: World Smile Day
  • October 10th: World Mental Health Day
  • October 11th: National Coming Out Day, International Day of the Girl Child
  • October 11th – October 12th: Yom Kippur
  • October 15th: Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
  • October 16th: International Pronouns Day
  • October 17th: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Spirit Day
  • October 26th: Intersex Awareness Day
  • October 31th: Halloween

Heritage Months:

  • LGBTQ+ History Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • National Anti-Bullying Month
  • Hindu Heritage Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
High school students next to turkey mascot for November Thanksgiving school fun run fundraiser

November

As we move into November, the spirit of gratitude and remembrance takes center stage. This month is also incredibly important for school groups because of Thanksgiving, which comes in just behind the winter holidays and Giving Tuesday in terms of its fundraising potential.

  • On Veterans Day, organize a charity run or a concert to honor veterans, with proceeds going to veteran support organizations.
  • Use Thanksgiving and the Native American Heritage Day to host cultural appreciation events, perhaps including traditional food and storytelling, with donations supporting native communities. Here are 15 great Thanksgiving fundraising ideas.
  • Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance provide opportunities to raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ+ causes through educational events or art exhibits.

Key Dates:

  • November 1st – November 2nd: Dia de los Muertos
  • November 5th: Election Day
  • November 8th: Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) Day
  • November 11th: Veterans Day
  • November 13th: World Kindness Day
  • November 13th – November 19th: Transgender Awareness Week
  • November 16th: International Day for Tolerance
  • November 17th: International Student’s Day
  • November 19th: International Men’s Day
  • November 20th: Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • November 25th: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • November 28th: Thanksgiving
  • November 29th: Native American Heritage Day

Heritage Months:

  • Native American and Indigenous Heritage Month
  • Movember (Changing the Face of Men’s Health)
  • National Veterans and Military Families Month

December

December is a month filled with holiday cheer and a spirit of giving, making it an ideal time for impactful fundraising. Embrace the festive season to bring the community together and support your school’s goals. Here are 20 of our best winter fundraising ideas to inspire you.

  • Organize a holiday market or a winter concert, with proceeds going to your school or a chosen charity.
  • World AIDS Day and Human Rights Day offer opportunities to raise awareness and funds through educational workshops or charity drives.
  • Capitalize on the season of giving by encouraging year-end donations, perhaps through a holiday-themed online campaign or a school-wide charity raffle.

Key Dates:

  • December 1st: World AIDS Day
  • December 2nd: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • December 3rd: National Day of Giving (Giving Tuesday), International Day of Persons With Disabilities
  • December 9th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 10th: Human Rights Day
  • December 16th – December 24th: Las Posadas
  • December 18th: International Migrants Day
  • December 25th: Christmas
  • December 25th – January 2nd: Hanukkah
  • December 26th: Boxing Day
  • December 26th – January 1st: Kwanzaa

Heritage Months:

  • Universal Human Rights Month

Plan for Success with Your School Fundraisers This Year

There you have it—a complete list (and calendar) of every important fundraising date for US school groups this year, plus ideas for the best events to run if you want to engage your school community and hit key financial targets.

Using the right tools in your fundraising efforts is also essential if you want to make them successful. Get started with FutureFund here to see how our free-to-use features can help your school, or browse the FAQ below for more tips.

Frequently Asked Questions about Planning Fundraisers in 2024

What is the best timeline for planning a fundraiser?

Prepping and planning fundraisers varies depending on the type of campaign you’re running and the nature of the event. But in most cases, here’s what we recommend:

  • Two to Three Months Prior: Choose the date and theme
  • Three Weeks Prior: call out for volunteers
  • Two Weeks Prior: Launch the campaign on FutureFund and announce it to the school community so you can start fundraising.
  • Every Two Days from Announcement to Event Date: Send a campaign update with details.
  • One Day Prior: Reminder update email with final call for donations.
  • Event day!
  • One Day Later: Thank you message to volunteers and participants.
  • One Week Later: Evaluate your success and provide a final summary to the school group.

What should my school group do during the “summer slowdown”?

Most school groups view summer as the worst time of year to fundraise, since most students aren’t in school and families are more likely to take vacations. But fundraisers for sports teams and extracurricular clubs can still be effective during the year’s warmest months—and summer is also an excellent time of year to plan your back-to-school fundraising activities! Make the best use of this time by:

  • Planning the dates for all fall fundraisers. This includes all major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) and all major donation days like Giving Tuesday.
  • Deciding how and why funds raised will be used. This will make your campaigns more successful by showing potential donors the value of their contributions, and will prevent you from having leftover funds at the end of the year (which can cause reporting and compliance issues).

How should school groups prepare for fundraisers on Thanksgiving & Giving Tuesday?

These are some of the year’s biggest fundraising opportunities, so it’s vital to start planning early. To prepare for Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday, school groups should:

  • Choose the date for your fundraisers three months before Thanksgiving. This gives you time to find volunteers and sponsors, which will be in short supply closer to the date.
  • Make sure all sponsors and volunteers are in place at least one month before the event.
  • If your fundraiser is an A-Thon, announce it three weeks before the event with FutureFund and put out a call for students to sign up and collect pledges.
  • Start sending out reminders two weeks before the event and follow up every other day.
  • The day before your event, put out a final call for donations and remind the school community to join in the fun.

What year-end fundraising tasks should school groups complete?

As the year-end approaches, school groups should:

  • Send out thank-you notes to donors.
  • Prepare and share a final report of the year’s fundraising achievements (FutureFund’s financial reporting tools make this easier).
  • Make sure all unspent funds are allocated towards a project so that they do not expire by the end of the fiscal year.

How can school groups engage parents more effectively for fundraisers in 2024?

Parent engagement is the key to successful fundraisers. We recommend:

  • Organizing events that appeal to a wide audience, such as fairs, performances, or sports events.
  • Partner with local businesses for sponsorships or donation matching. FutureFund lets you add corporate matching to any donation campaign.
  • Involve community members in volunteer roles to create a stronger connection and encourage them to become personally invested in the success of your fundraising efforts. Use FutureFund to sign up volunteers automatically.

Use effective messaging to reach parents when announcing fundraisers, calling for donations, and more. FutureFund’s built-in messaging system lets you filter recipients, customize templates, create sender profiles, and more.

Use FutureFund for Free

See what other parents and schools are saying about us!

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