Christmas Fundraising Ideas

Everyone knows the Christmas season can get hectic. From holiday parties to school pageants to picking out that perfect gift, lots of people get overwhelmed in December. And because of all the pressure and commercialism associated with the season, it's easy to lose sight of the holiday's real purpose. Give back this holiday season by hosting a crowdfunding campaign to benefit those in need. Whether its for an individual you know or an organization that does work you admire, by hosting your own Christmas fundraiser, you can bring holiday joy to those who need it.

Set an Example for Your Kids

While children love Christmas, too often they focus on what they're getting, rather than giving. This is a natural reflex—kids love toys—but by including your son or daughter in your Christmas fundraiser, you help teach them the value of working in the service of others. Enlist their help in organizing creative events that get people in your community excited to donate.

  • Charity Navigator reports that 38% of charitable donors say they're more likely to give during the holiday season.
  • Around 34 percent of all charitable giving occurs within the last three months of the year, according to Steve McLaughlin.
  • Perhaps this is due to the yearly deadline to qualify for 503(c) tax breaks, as well as good cheer.

Six Great Christmas Fundraising Ideas

  1. Offer a Gift-Wrapping Service

    Set up a gift-wrapping stand in a busy commercial area, and offer to wrap recently-purchased presents for shoppers. Be sure to provide a variety of wrapping papers to choose from, as well as ribbons and bows. In addition, consider including a small note that customers can choose to attach to their gift. In it, explain to the recipient that their gift was wrapped by a fundraising service, and describe your campaign and who benefits from it. When checking out, ask patrons to donate to your crowdfunding campaign online and share the link on their social networks. Gift wrapping services can be a life-saver for stressed-out shoppers during the busy holiday season, so consider your work doubly altruistic.

  2. Carol for a Cause

    Gather a group of volunteers, and go door-to-door spreading Christmas cheer. Caroling fundraisers don't typically require too much preparation, but make sure to rehearse a few times before you start, and print copies of the lyrics for singers who don't have them memorized. Either visit houses at random and ask for a donation after singing, or sell Christmas “grams” that people buy for friends or relatives that you serenade. Advertise your caroling fundraiser with your church group, at your office, or in your neighborhood, or write about it, in a local newsletter, an email blast, or on physical posters. Spread joy for the holidays through music and charity!

  3. Sell Holiday Treats

    Hold a holiday bake sale featuring a variety of seasonal treats to entice customers. Set up a table near a busy shopping district or outside of major events and performances. If a local school gives you permission, consider selling treats at high school sporting events. Offer coffee and hot chocolate as well to help heat up chilly passersby. If you need inspiration for some unique cookie ideas, check out recommendations from the Food Network and All Recipes. One Green Planet offers recipes for vegan cookies to help you accommodate potential customers' dietary restrictions. Cookies are the tastiest way to warm up in cold weather, so fire up your oven for a special cause!

  4. Sell Christmas Greenery

    Christmas tree fundraisers can be extremely successful, especially if you live in a region ideal for growing firs or pines. Beyond the trees themselves, however, are dozens of Christmas greenery options to sell, but they all depend on geography. Holiday greenery can lend a festive air to any cozy household; from mistletoe to garland to poinsettias, holly and juniper, branches and other greenery can be used for wreaths, hung from mantelpieces, or to frame windows. Supporters should order through the comments section that appears when they donate to your crowdfunding account, and time your deliveries so they're early enough for holiday parties but late enough that they stay fresh on Christmas day.

  5. Hold a Snowman-Making Contest

    Invite teams or individuals to compete in a snowman-building contest, and offer donated prizes for the winners of various categories, such as best comic, realistic, or creative work. You can turn this fundraiser into a day-long event in which guests can walk around and admire the work of competitors. Invite spectators to vote for the winners, and ask for donations to your campaign from voters. See if you can project Christmas music outside, or ask a choir to volunteer to sing at the event. A neighborhood park would be the perfect setting for this type of fundraiser, and ask buildings and houses nearby to get into spirit by going all-out on lights and decorations.

  6. Make a Calendar to Sell

    With New Year's Eve coming up, a calendar could be the perfect gift for a coworker, teacher or friendly acquaintance. Organize a photo shoot or art contest in order to gather images to make up a twelve-month calendar. While the spirit of the holiday season may put you in the mood to create a Christmas-themed calendar, remember that recipients will have to look at it for the next 52 weeks. With that in mind, consider limiting your Christmas-themed content to the December page and otherwise focusing on content that relates to your fundraiser. If you're raising money for an animal shelter, for example, consider featuring a pet up for adoption on each page.

Make a Difference This Holiday Season

As the year comes to a close, many people use the holidays to reflect on all they have accomplished over the last twelve months, as well as the tasks they've left uncompleted. Encourage them to end the year on the right note by giving back. Embody the spirit of the season by and utilize these Christmas fundraising strategies for your campaign or head to our Fundraising Ideas page for other great options.