Cause Awareness Days to Leverage For Annual Planning

6 min
calendar laptop and phone on desk
profile photo of Classy blog contributor Meredith Kavanagh
Meredith Kavanagh

Cause awareness days are a timely reason to reach out to existing supporters and share your mission with the wider public. If your mission is directly or tangentially related to a cause awareness day like International Women’s Day (March 8), or an entire cause awareness month like Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January), there are a slew of ways you can leverage a calendar of national days to your advantage.

To capitalize on timely momentum that can rally your supporters and attract new ones, the first thing you have to do is find out the day, week, or month that is dedicated to your cause so that you can plan outreach around it. But first, let’s go over a few tips on how you can leverage a calendar of national days.

Tips for Leveraging Cause Awareness Days

1. Plan Ahead

If there isn’t an existing cause awareness day related to your mission, get creative. Look at cause awareness days that are more tangentially related to your work. For example, if you are an organization working to decrease childhood obesity, you may already have a campaign scheduled around Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September. You can also highlight Project ACES Day (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) on the first Monday in May, or create messaging to call attention to your work around the following days that are related to your mission: 

  • January 17 to 23: Healthy Weight Week
  • February 3: National Girls and Women in Sports Day
  • October 11 to 15: National School Lunch Week

2. Be Authentic

Long gone are the days of including 30 hashtags on every social media post or sharing content that is clearly trying to be on trend, with no real substance. Your audience sees through this immediately and no one is going to share a post that isn’t meaningful or valuable. 

You don’t have to limit yourself to one cause awareness day, but make sure that you aren’t opportunistic or trying to force your cause on an unrelated day. Being authentic in your outreach and messaging is a pillar of nonprofit communication, and you should be giving fellow nonprofits the space to share their stories with their audience on their related days. 

3. Be Consistent

If you are creating a campaign for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, make sure to use the same branding and messaging for your campaign page, email, blog, and social media content. Cause awareness days are all about urgency and tapping into the momentum, so be sure to present a cohesive message and call-to-action for your supporters to take part in the moment.

Free Resource: Annual Fundraising Strategy Kit

Cause Awareness Days and Months of Observation

Now let’s check out some of the most well-known cause awareness days so that you can start brainstorming with your team how you want to leverage the organic momentum.

Note that some cause awareness days are based on where the day falls during that calendar year, and not a specific date that is maintained year over year. For example, World Religion Day takes place on the third Sunday in January, so that might be the 16th one year and the 20th another year. For those dates, we list the day from the most recent calendar year. Confirm the date for the current calendar year at least a month before scheduling your content. You can also use this opportunity to research relevant hashtags, current events, or news to leverage on the cause awareness day. 

january graphic

Cause Awareness Days

11: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
16: National Religious Freedom Day
17: World Religion Day
20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
27: International Outer Space Day
28: Data Privacy Day

Cause Awareness for the Month of January

Cervical Health Awareness Month
Dry January
National Blood Donor Month
National Glaucoma Awareness Month
Thyroid Awareness Month
Healthy Weight Awareness Month
National Mentoring Month
National Braille Literacy Month

February

Cause Awareness Days

2: World Wetlands Day
4: World Cancer Day
7: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
7: National Wear Red Day (Women’s Heart Disease Awareness)
13: World Radio Day
14: World Bonobo Day
14: National Organ Donor Day
16: World Whale Day
17: Random Acts of Kindness Day
20: World Day of Social Justice
25: World Spay Day
27: International Polar Bear Day
29: Rare Disease Day
28: Digital Learning Day

The week of February 24 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of February

Black History Month
National Cancer Prevention Month
American Heart Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month 

Read Next: A Year of Creative Fundraising Ideas

march

Cause Awareness Days

3: World Wildlife Day
8: International Women’s Day
10: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
12: World Kidney Day
13: World Sleep Day
13: K9 Veterans Day
15: World Consumer Rights Day
20: National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
20: National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21: International Day of Forests
21: World Down Syndrome Day
21: World Poetry Day
22: World Water Day
24: National Agriculture Day
24: World Tuberculosis Day
26: Epilepsy Awareness Day (also known as Purple Day)
28: Earth Hour

The week of March 15 is National Poison Prevention Week and International Adolescent Health Week.
The week of March 16 is Brain Awareness Week.
The week of March 30 is National Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of March

National Women’s History Month
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Professional Social Work Month
National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
Brain Injury Awareness Month
National Nutrition Month
Red Cross Month
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
Ethics Awareness Month

April

Cause Awareness Days

1: National Day of Hope
2: World Autism Awareness Day
2: International Children’s Book Day
7: World Health Day
11: World Parkinson’s Day
14: National Dolphin Day
20: Volunteer Recognition Day
22: Earth Day
23: Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day
25: Malaria Awareness Day
24: Arbor Day
30:  Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

The week of April 20 is Environmental Education Week.
The week of April 19 is Volunteer Appreciation Week.
The week of April 19 is Library Week.
The week of April 10 is Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of April

Minority Health Awareness Month
Donate Life Month (registering organ, eye, and tissue donors)
Autism Awareness Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Stress Awareness Month
Counseling Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
Youth Sports Safety Month

Cause Awareness Days

5: National Teacher Day
8: World Red Cross Day
9: World Fair Trade Day
9: World Migratory Bird Day
10: World Lupus Day
10: Mother’s Day
12: International Nurses Day
12: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day
15: Bike to Work Day
15: International Day of Families
16: Armed Forces Day
17: Endangered Species Day
17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
18: International Museum Day
18: HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
19:World IBD Day (Chrons and Colitis Day)
20: National Rescue Dog Day
21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development
25: Memorial Day (United States)
27: National Senior Health and Fitness Day
31: World No Tobacco Day

The week of May 4 is Teacher Appreciation Week.
The week of May 6 is National Nurses’ Week.
The week of May 10 is National Hospital Week.
The week of May 10 is Women’s Health Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of May

Mental Health Awareness Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Physical Fitness and Sports Month
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Awareness Month
Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Arthritis Month
Better Hearing and Speech Month
Clean Air Month
Foster Care Month
Hepatitis Awareness Month
Lupus Awareness Month
High Blood Pressure Education Month
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Health Awareness Month
Stroke Awareness Month

june graphic

Cause Awareness Days

1: Global Day of Parents
5: World Environment Day
7: National Cancer Survivors Day
8: World Oceans Day
11: Family Health and Fitness Day
12: World Day Against Child Labor
14: World Blood Donor Day
17: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
19: Juneteenth (United States)
19: World Sickle Cell Day
20: World Refugee Day
21: International Day of Yoga
22: World Rainforest Day
27: National HIV Testing Day
27: PTSD Awareness Day

The week of June 10 is National Men’s Health Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of June

National LGBTQ Pride Month
Cataract Awareness Month
National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month
Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month
National Safety Month
Professional Wellness Month
National Great Outdoors Month
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Adopt a Cat Month

july graphic

Cause Awareness Days

4: Independence Day (United States)
11: World Population Day
12: Malala Day
15: World Youth Skills Day
18: Nelson Mandela International Day
28: World Hepatitis Day
29: International Tiger Day
30: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
30: International Day of Friendship
31: National Mutt Day

The week of July 1 is Clean Beaches Week.
The week of July 7 is National Therapeutic Recreation Week.

Read Next: 14 Quotes About Freedom to Invigorate Your Work

Cause Awareness for the Month of July

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
HIV Awareness Month
Parks & Recreation Month

august graphic

Cause Awareness Days

1: World Lung Cancer Day
1: National Minority Donor Awareness Day
4: National Night Out
8: International Cat Day
9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
12: International Youth Day
12: World Elephant Day
15: World Honey Bee Day
17: National Nonprofit Day
17: International Homeless Animal Day
19: World Humanitarian Day
26: International Dog Day

The week of August 1 is World Breastfeeding Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of August

American Indian Heritage Month
National Breastfeeding Month
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
National Water Quality Month
National Immunization Awareness Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month

september graphic

Cause Awareness Days

5: International Day of Charity
7: Labor Day (United States)
8: International Literacy Day
10: World Suicide Prevention Day
13: National Celiac Awareness Day
15: International Day of Democracy
21: World Alzheimer’s Day
21: International Day of Peace
22: World Rhino Day
28: World Rabies Day
29: World Heart Day
29: World Rivers Day
30: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

The week of September 6 is National Suicide Prevention Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of September

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month
Hunger Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Baby Safety Month
Healthy Aging Month
Leukemia Awareness Month
Lymphoma Awareness Month
Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Cholesterol Education Month
Infant Mortality Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
World Alzheimer’s Month

october

Cause Awareness Days

2: International Day of Nonviolence
4: World Animal Day
5: World Teachers Day
6: World Cerebral Palsy Day
6: World Habitat Day
8: National Depression Screening Day
8: World Sight Day
10: World Mental Health Day
10: World Homeless Day
11: International Day of the Girl
12: Indigenous Peoples’ Day (United States)
12: World Arthritis Day
16: World Food Day
16: National Mammography Day
17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
24: United Nations Day
29: World Internet Day
29: World Psoriasis Day

The week of October 5 is Malnutrition Awareness Week.
The week of October 4 is National Fire Prevention Week.
The week of October 18 is National Health Education Week.
The week of October 23 is Red Ribbon Week.

Cause Awareness for the Month of October

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
ADHD Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Cyber Security Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Energy Awareness Month
Healthy Lungs Month
Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
LGBT History Month
National Liver Cancer Awareness Month
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month

november graphic
Cause Awareness Days

10: World Science Day for Peace and Development
11: Veterans’ Day (United States)
12: World Pneumonia Day
13: World Kindness Day
14: World Diabetes Day
15: National Philanthropy Day
15: America Recycles Day
19: World Toilet Day
20: Universal Children’s Day
21: World Pancreatic Cancer Day
25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The week of November 8 is World Kindness Week.

*The Tuesday following Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, which is not a cause awareness day, but an important day that kicks off the year-end giving season for the nonprofit industry.

Visit Classy’s Giving Tuesday Resource Center

Cause Awareness for the Month of November

National Runaway Prevention Month
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
American Diabetes Month
Recycling Awareness Month
Great American Smokeout Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Family Caregivers Month
Hospice Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Native American Heritage Month

december graphic

Cause Awareness Days

1: World AIDS Day
3: International Day of People with Disabilities
5: International Volunteer Day
5: World Soil Day
9: International Anti-Corruption Day
10: International Human Rights Day
11: International Mountain Day
18: International Migrants Day
20: International Human Solidarity Day

Cause Awareness for the Month of December

National AIDS Awareness Month
National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month
National Human Rights Month


For more inspiration on how to engage your donors year-round, download our guide, 9 Email Templates for Your Nonprofit Annual Communications Plan. The cause awareness day email template below is one example of what you can expect from this valuable resource.

cause awareness email template

Free Download: 9 Email Templates to Engage Donors Year-Round


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