20 Best Holiday Fundraising Ideas
Try Something New This Year and Raise More
BONUS: Find the Best Holiday Fundraisers for COVID
Holiday fundraising ideas are on the minds of many schools, churches, and nonprofit organizations at this time of year. Many plan holiday festivities and Christmas events to celebrate the holiday season with family, friends, and community members. Others offer sales of popular holiday items such as candles, wreaths, gift wrapping paper, chocolate, cookie dough, and more. Since most people are buying gifts and want to give back during the holiday season, this is a great opportunity to boost your year-end fundraising.
If you’re wondering how to manage all of the details of sales and donations, DoJiggy can help! We offer free online stores for nonprofits.
Is your organization looking for new holiday fundraising ideas? We’ve done the research and created these suggestions for the 10 Best Holiday and Christmas Fundraising Campaigns.
- Run a Christmas Walkathon or Fun Run
- Organize a Yoga Workshop or Series
- Sell Discount Shopping Cards Online
- Organize a Dining Out in the Community Event
- Throw a Christmas or Holiday Gala with Live and Silent Auctions
- Host a Serve-a-thon or Offer Services During the Busy Holiday Season
- Plan a Breakfast or Brunch Fundraiser
- Hold a Christmas Raffle
- Produce a School Concert Series
- Organize Christmas Decorations Workshops
- BONUS: Best Holiday Fundraising Ideas During COVID
Run a Christmas Walkathon or Fun Run
Holiday-themed Fun Runs and walkathons are a great Christmas and holiday fundraising idea. Have your runners dress up as their favorite Christmas character – you’ll have lots of Santas and Mrs. Clauses, Santa’s elves, Rudolphs, Charlie Browns, and more. Or make your run a Color Run fundraiser where runners wear white and you use only red and green color powder. Make it fun and festive and your supporters will get excited about an event that allows them to support your organization and get some exercise.
Use walk-a-thon software to assist with registration and sponsorship sales. Each runner has a personal fundraising page with a fundraising thermometer and links to social media, allowing your organization to reach new supporters, just in time for year-end fundraising appeals.
Organize a Yoga Workshop or Series
Another unique holiday fundraising idea is to host a yoga workshop or series. Yoga classes are certain to spark an interest in many of your supporters and donors and everyone could stand a little extra mindfulness and exercise during the holidays. Plan a day of varied yoga classes at all levels of fitness and practice (Yoga Basics, Yoga for Children, Iyengar, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Restorative). Teach your children and community that yoga is for everyone by including something for everyone. Sell tickets at the door and on your fundraising event website. Invite food vendors and sponsors that promote healthy eating to advocate the importance of eating well for ourselves and our planet. Consider including a holiday bazaar of yoga and healthy lifestyle gifts.
Sell Discount Shopping Cards Online
With the holidays right around the corner, people are getting ready to dig into their wallets and start spending. Yet, they are also looking for great deals and ways to save money – especially in this economy. What a perfect time to launch a fundraiser for your school, church, or nonprofit organization by offering discount shopping cards. A discount card fundraiser is not only a great tool for raising money, but also for spreading awareness about your organization as the cards generally allow for customization with your organization or group’s logo and tagline.
A discount shopping card is a wallet-sized card with a selection of prearranged discounts at local businesses and national merchants in your area. Each card sells for around $10-$25 and provides for unlimited usage of special offers for one year. Your organization can set a card price or allow buyers to select a donation amount in exchange for a discount card. The organization should require a minimum donation that covers expenses and a small donation, yet allows donors to donate more per card.
If your organization wants to create a sales competition among your supporters, our crowdfunding platform can do just that. Each of your sellers registers online and creates their own fundraising page with pictures and videos, a mission statement, and a fundraising thermometer that goes up as they reach their fundraising goal. Participants send emails to friends and family who securely make donations for card sales. Administrators can track top fundraising sellers and teams. The added incentive of prizes and awards for the top fundraisers will allow your organization to raise more money this holiday season.
Organize a Dining Out in the Community Event
One of the more scrumptious holiday fundraisers is an evening of dining out at local restaurants. Everyone in the community is invited to have dinner, eat well, and help raise funds for your charity. What a great idea for busy families to combine an evening out for your cause with holiday shopping. The restaurant donates 10-20% of its pretax sales to your organization or charitable cause. Advertise one or more restaurants with their menu for a week on your nonprofit’s website and social media channels to boost participation in the event. This holiday fundraiser works great around Valentine’s Day.
Throw a Christmas or Holiday Gala with Live and Silent Auctions
Holiday fundraising galas can be great signature events for a non-profit organization. People are generally feeling happy and giving, and ready to celebrate. You will need a great location that can be beautifully decorated for the season. Sell tickets and sponsorships online with our event management software and use the event to kick off your year-end giving campaign.
A holiday or Christmas Gala is a great place to launch a charity auction. If you’ve decided to have a holiday event, then you’ve already committed to planning, hiring volunteers, and reaching out to your community to promote the event…Why not include an opportunity to raise some extra dollars for your cause? Holiday fundraising auctions can draw large dollars. For one, people are in the giving mood, and two; you’re not only approaching them for donations but also inviting them to enjoy themselves at the same time. Consider offering our auction travel packages and someone may just bid on a perfect Christmas gift.
Ask your organization’s supporters and local businesses to donate in-kind items that are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Only use the large items for the live auction and include a raffle fundraiser or host a silent auction for items of lower value. Examples of popular auction items that can be donated include:
- gift certificates from local stores
- sports-team memorabilia
- antiques and art
- holiday necessities (like wreaths and candles)
- dinner donations from local restaurants
- time and talent from community members – free piano lessons, crafts lessons, handyman for a day, or baked goods
Host a Serve-a-thon or Offer Services During the Busy Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to be jolly… but may also be the season to be stressed! All of the fun activities we’ve added to our calendars (traveling to see friends and family, attending Christmas parties, shopping trips, finding time to bake cookies, and decorating your home and tree), all take time! And often, people have a hard time fitting all of these new plans into their busy schedules. Why not create a fundraising campaign that offers various holiday services? Not only will you be helping people check things off their to-do list during the busiest time of year, but you’ll also be raising extra dollars for your cause.
Create a holiday service with a fun name such as Helpful Holiday Elves. Then promote your service throughout the community. Perhaps you’d like to provide childcare services so parents can do their holiday shopping or attend company Christmas parties? Another idea would be to offer actual shopping or gift-wrapping stations where people drop off their shopping lists or pre-purchased gifts and pick them up later wrapped, labeled, and looking beautiful. You’ll raise money by charging a fee for your services or by nonprofit crowdfunding and offering services to those in need with a serve-a-thon, and with an additional explanation about the reason for your fundraiser, your supporters may be willing to throw in a few extra dollars to support a worthy cause.
Plan a Breakfast or Brunch Fundraiser
The nice thing about a breakfast fundraiser is that it does not take nearly the amount of time to organize as a large fundraising event, but it can still raise a significant amount of funds while bringing members of your organization and the community together in a social setting. In order to be successful, however, you must be organized and plan well in advance. This starts by bringing a team of individuals together to brainstorm ideas, set a fundraising event budget, timelines, and assign responsibilities. By allocating different duties to each individual, members do not feel overwhelmed and can take ownership of their part in the big picture. Perhaps someone can manage the fundraising website, where someone else works directly with the volunteers. Another person can handle securing a location and purchasing all the necessary food and materials, where someone else takes control of fundraising event promotion.
See our article on organizing a breakfast fundraiser to get started.
Hold a Christmas Raffle
While a raffle fundraiser can be combined with virtually any special event, it can also be a successful Christmas fundraiser in and of itself. If your school or organization wants to raise $5,000 or even more on a fundraising raffle, you can certainly do so, by making some smart investments in your raffle. Though you always want to ask for in-kind donations first, don’t limit your fundraising raffle to donated items. This is a mistake that many organizations make, as they want to keep all of the raffle proceeds. Yet organizations can raise far more money with desirable, high-value items. We’re not talking about $1 raffles here, in this case, donated prizes are fine and necessary to raise money. But if your organization wants to raise $10,000 or even more on a fundraising raffle, you will likely need to purchase the grand prize or run a 50/50 cash pot. DoJiggy offers great auction travel packages that can be reserved and do not need to be purchased until after the raffle or when you have made enough money in proceeds to cover the cost of these unique experiences. This also allows your organization to host a popular Winner’s Choice raffle, where the winner chooses from a list of vacation package options.
You will also need to consider prizes and incentives for your fundraisers if you want to reach a high fundraising goal with a raffle. After all, the number of raffle tickets you sell is key.
DoJiggy offers a peer-to-peer donation management system for fundraising raffles, where your organization’s volunteers collect raffle donations. With our online raffle platform, each seller creates and manages a personal fundraising page and invites friends and family to make secure raffle donations on the page. Each donation of a certain amount qualifies the donor for a raffle ticket. An online tool like this makes it easy for your supporters to promote the raffle fundraiser and for the organization to track which participants or groups (classes, clubs) raise the most money. Fundraising thermometers and leaderboards are included in your P2P raffle website template, so everyone can track fundraising progress. Ticket sellers can set up a link to their fundraising page on Facebook or other social media page, or email neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and anyone in their address book. The added incentive of offering prizes to the top fundraisers will help your organization raise more money on your next raffle.
Produce a School Concert Series
A school concert series is a great holiday fundraiser for schools. Give the music department an opportunity to show off its talent and showcase holiday songs. Hold a concert each week during the month of December with solo performers, trios, and duets. Add a night of choral music. Engage your community in your work and charge for each concert. Once the audience attends the first one, they’ll want more. Allow donors an opportunity to speak to the performers afterward by hosting a VIP party with refreshments. Perhaps sell raffle tickets or host a bake sale during the intermission. Create a beautiful special event website to sell tickets online and include videos of student performances to get people excited for the concerts.
Organize Christmas Decorations Workshops
People love getting into the spirit with holiday decorations and parents love just about anything their children make. So why not offer a children’s ornament-making workshop? This works really well for a church fundraising idea. Provide the workshop after Sunday services, and charge a small fee for children to participate. Host a church bazaar to sell decorated ornaments along with food and beverages (donated from a local restaurant). Not only do ornaments make a perfect addition to your family Christmas tree, but they make great gifts for grandparents.
For adults, you may want to consider a Christmas wreath-making workshop or a Christmas cookie baking party where people can learn creative decorating techniques and new recipes. Consider online workshop registration to manage your registration fees and participant lists. Ask local shops and bakeries to donate decorations, ingredients, and instructors for the workshop, in exchange for sponsorship visibility on your registration website. Whatever Christmas or holiday fundraiser you choose, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the holiday season.
Looking for Holiday Fundraising Ideas During COVID?
Our virtual fundraising platform has the tools you need – for free! Whether you are planning a Fun Run, fundraising raffle, online product sales, charity fundraising auction, or a virtual movie watch party, we can do it with you. There are lots of innovative features included for school fundraising during COVID:
- A fundraising home page that links to all your school fundraising campaigns and events
- Live Stream video platform for virtual or hybrid fundraising events
- Text to Donate (US organizations and phones only)
- Ability to incorporate peer to peer fundraising with personal and team fundraising pages into many campaign types, such as online sales campaigns and raffles
- Recurring donations integrated into the P2P and crowdfunding model
- Donor perks can be given to crowdfunding donors at pre-defined levels (ie donate $100 and get a free t-shirt)
- Mobile giving support, like secure payments via digital wallets (ApplePay and GooglePay)
- Gamification fundraising tools that supporters love
Best Holiday Fundraising Ideas for COVID
Many organizations have been hit hard financially by canceled fundraising events due to COVID-19. There is a way forward. By reworking your fundraising strategies, your school or charity can continue fundraising during this global pandemic. To do this, you’ll need safe and effective virtual fundraising campaigns. We’ve put together this list of the best virtual fundraising ideas during COVID.
Virtual Walkathons and Move-a-thons
Virtual walk-a-thons are great holiday fundraisers that can raise a lot of money with few upfront costs. These are fun and easy to organize with a crowdfunding platform.
Virtual Happy Hours and Performances
Online Product Sales with P2P Pages
Virtual merchandise sales are a no-brainer for no/low contact fundraising. Our simple stores make it so easy, you can get set up and selling in no time.
Virtual Reading Challenges
Readathons are a great way to keep kids busy during school vacation and raise money at the same time. All you need to do is set up the Athon website where participants can track the number of books or pages read. Donors make contributions based on the reading results and top fundraisers are highlighted.
Food Delivery Campaigns
Since many people are staying in to promote social distancing, why not sell groceries or other items online and deliver them right to your supporters? Create and sell online food packages with a theme – for example Italian Night or Mexican Night. Get your supporters to volunteer and deliver the packages.
Virtual Watch Parties
Select an educational movie or documentary to share. Supporters register on your website to watch the movie and buy popcorn or other movie treats. Launch the watch party with a live stream presentation. Generally, users watch the movie from home on their own streaming device.