If Shafnat's talking about a separate project entirely dedicated to fund-raising, then that would be okay. Though I'd suggest having someone else run that project, and at a different time, so that there's no conflict between deadlines.
But I do agree that the calendar project itself has a good tradition for community involvement. Using the mascots makes it more meaningful that way. If money was in the mix, than I'd only nudge that Donate button on the right. So there would be no need to worry about profits, just cover the production costs.