Five ways to maximise Christmas fundraising

  • Christmas is traditionally a time for giving. Many charities carry out extra fundraising at this time of year
  • It is not too late to plan your Christmas fundraising
  • We look at five Christmas fundraising methods to help your charity make the most of its festive activities

October might not feel last minute for Christmas, but most large charities will have been preparing for their big fundraising promotion for a long time, with some publicising and selling their Christmas cards since August.

In recent weeks, we have seen a large increase in the number of Christmas-related tweets on our new @ZurichVolSec feed.

But if you don’t start thinking about Christmas until the clocks have gone back, don’t worry. Here we look at some Christmas fundraising methods that are very effective, and don’t involve lots of planning.

1. Online shopping

Many of your supporters will buy their Christmas gifts online. According to the Centre for Retail Research, last year online sales accounted for almost one-quarter (24.4%) of Christmas spending.

Fundraising platforms such as The Giving Machine, easyfundraising and Give as you Live generate donations to charities at no cost to the shopper. These sites can provide a great solution to festive fundraising if you are a small organisation with limited time and resources.

The sites are free to join and it is quick and easy to set up your page. Many of the sites share Christmas marketing materials and provide information about how to promote the sites to your supporters. You can add buttons to your website and use social media or email to encourage your supporters to use the sites.

2. #GivingTuesday

#Giving Tuesday is a global event that celebrates giving in all its forms. It is described as “the day to do good stuff for charity, straight after Black Friday and Cyber Monday”. Now in its third year in the UK, charities are using increasingly creative ways to ask for donations of time or money for their cause.

This year’s #GivingTuesday is on 29 November. The #GivingTuesday website has lots of information and resources, along with examples of how charities participated in the day last year.

Some organisations have already started their Giving Tuesday campaigns. For example Headway East London is asking supporters to raise £90 to Pay For A Day.

3. Christmas events

Festive events such as carol concerts, cake sales, Christmas jumper days or team lunches can be a fun focus for fundraising. Host them yourself or ask your supporters to run their own.

For example homeless charity, Crash, has designated 16 December as its Christmas Jumper Day. Meanwhile, Woking and Sam Beare Hospice is selling tickets for its Christmas Concert, with all proceeds going to the hospice.

4. Festive appeals

How could you giftwrap your fundraising to give it a Christmas flavour? Could you run an appeal or campaign that fills a seasonal need?

One North London community is asking for toys and food to give to local families. And, knowing how stressful the festive season can be, Anxiety UK has produced a knitting pattern and is inviting people to knit their own jumpers to help reduce anxiety.

Another charity, Widnes Foodbank, is running a competition asking schoolchildren to design boxes showing what they would give to provide hope for people in crisis.

5. Online advent calendars

If you have interesting stories or beautiful images to share, why not create an online advent calendar? This is a great way to engage with supporters, but, remember that 24 days is a big commitment!

An online advent calendar doesn’t have to be a technical challenge. You could simply share one image or story each day via Twitter or Facebook.