20+ Best Holiday Fundraising Ideas

Try Something New This Year and Raise More

As the holiday season approaches, it’s a time for festive decorations and celebrations, but it’s also an incredible opportunity for nonprofits and charitable organizations to boost fundraising efforts. Finding the right holiday-themed fundraising ideas can make a substantial difference in meeting fundraising year-end goals.

Holiday fundraising ideas are on the minds of schools, churches, and organizations. Many plan holiday festivities and Christmas events to celebrate the holiday season and spread cheer with family and friends. Others sell popular holiday items such as candles, wreaths, gift wrapping paper, chocolate, cookie dough, and more. Since most people buy gifts and want to give back during this season, there is a great opportunity to boost your year-end fundraising.


holiday fundraising ideas

10 Top Holiday and Christmas Fundraising Campaigns

Is your organization looking for a new holiday fundraiser? We’ve curated a list of innovative and effective holiday fundraising ideas that will captivate your supporters and inspire generosity. So explore the fundraising ideas below to discover how you can make this holiday season memorable for your community.

  1. Run a Christmas Walkathon or Fun Run
  2. Organize a Yoga Workshop or Seriesholiday art
  3. Sell Discount Shopping Cards Online
  4. Organize a Dining Out in the Community Event
  5. Throw a Christmas or Holiday Gala with Live and Silent Auctions
  6. Host a Serve-a-thon or Offer Services During the Busy Holiday Season
  7. Plan a Breakfast or Brunch Fundraiser
  8. Hold a Christmas Raffle
  9. Produce a School Concert Series
  10. Organize Christmas Decorations Workshops
Run a Christmas Walkathon or Fun Run

Run a Christmas Walkathon or Fun Run

Holiday-themed Fun Runs and walkathons are great Christmas and holiday fundraising ideas. 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 will spark an interest in many of your supporters and donors, and almost everyone could stand a little extra mindfulness and exercise during the holidays. Plan a day of varied yoga classes at all fitness levels 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.

Organize a Yoga Workshop around the Holidays
Sell Discount Shopping Cards Online

Sell Discount Shopping Cards Online

The holidays offer a perfect time to launch a fundraiser for your school, church, or nonprofit by offering discount shopping cards. A discount card fundraiser is a great tool for raising money and spreading awareness about your organization, as the cards 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. Each card sells for around $10-$25 and provides 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. Be sure to require a minimum donation that covers expenses and a small donation.

If your organization wants to create a sales competition among its supporters, our P2P crowdfunding platform can do just that. Each seller registers online and creates a fundraising page. Participants send emails to friends and family and post their pages on social media. Administrators easily track the top fundraising sellers. 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 a local restaurant. 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 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 and thank your sponsor. This holiday fundraiser also works great around Valentine’s Day.

Organize a Dining Out in the Community Event for Christmas

Throw a Christmas or Holiday Gala with Live and Silent Auctions

Hosting an annual holiday fundraising gala can make a great signature event for a nonprofit. People are generally feeling 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.

online auction websites work for holiday fundraisingA holiday or Christmas Gala is also a great place to launch a charity auction. Why not include an opportunity to raise some extra dollars for your cause? Holiday fundraising auctions can draw a lot of bids. People are looking for gifts and ways to give back. Offer one-of-a-kind auction travel packages, and someone may bid on a perfect Christmas gift.

Ask local businesses to donate in-kind items that can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Use the most valuable items for the live auction and host a silent auction for items of lower value. 

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Auction Software

Host a Serve-a-thon or Offer Services During the Busy Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly… but it 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 difficulty 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 raise extra dollars for your cause.

Host a Serve-a-thon or Offer Services During the Busy Holiday Season

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

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. To succeed, 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 and 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, whereas someone else takes control of fundraising event promotion.

See our article on organizing a breakfast fundraiser to get started.

Hold a Christmas Raffle

A raffle fundraiser can be combined with virtually any special event or run as a stand-alone Christmas fundraiser. If your organization wants to raise $5,000 or 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.

Our great auction travel packages can be reserved and do not need to be purchased until after the raffle when you have made enough money 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.

DoJiggy Online Raffle FundraisingOur online raffle platform includes a peer-to-peer component where sellers create and manage fundraising sales pages and invite 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. Your P2P raffle website template includes fundraising thermometers and leaderboards so everyone can track fundraising progress. Ticket sellers can set up a link to their fundraising page on Facebook or other social media pages 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.

Start a Raffle Fundraiser

Produce a School Concert Series

A school concert series is a great holiday fundraiser for schools. Allow the music department 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 about the concerts.

Produce a School Concert Series

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 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.

Organize Christmas Decorations Workshops

For adults, you may 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 Virtual Holiday Fundraising Ideas?

Our virtual fundraising platform has the tools you need – for free! Whether you plan a fundraising raffle, online product sales, a charity auction, or a virtual movie watch party, we can do it with you. There are lots of innovative features included for online and mobile giving:

  • 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 campaigns, such as sales campaigns and raffles
  • 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 Virtual Holiday Fundraising Ideas

Many organizations have been hit hard financially by canceled fundraising events due to COVID-19. There is a way forward. Your school or charity can continue fundraising during this global pandemic by reworking your fundraising strategies. To do this, you’ll need safe and effective virtual fundraising campaigns. We’ve put together this list of the best virtual fundraising ideas.

Virtual Walkathons and Fun Runs

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

Virtual Happy Hours and Performances

Get your livestream platform ready! Virtual performances work great and can be used to highlight music groups, marching bands, and choirs during the holidays.

Online Product Sales with P2P Pages

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

Virtual Reading Challenges

Readathons are a great way to keep kids busy during school vacations and raise money simultaneously. 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 are a great idea for holiday fundraisers

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 make great holiday fundraisers

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 streaming device.