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Holiday Fundraising Tips

holiday fundraising

As most of us know, the holiday season is one of the busiest and most important times of the year for fundraising. In fact, over 25% of all charitable giving in 2015 occurred during the months of November and December!

holiday fundraising trends

In addition, donors tend to give 80% larger gifts, on average, during the holiday months.

With stats like these, it is clear that both large nonprofits and smaller fundraising individuals should put serious consideration, planning, and effort into their holiday fundraising initiatives.

To help with your holiday fundraising efforts this year, we’ve put together a list of our favorite holiday fundraising tips – feel free to spread the holiday love and share these with your fellow fundraising friends!

1 Go Mobile

Our first tip applies to fundraising any time of year, but is vitally important to remember for holiday fundraising. Furthermore, this tip impacts each of the tips below!

Those who are involved in the fundraising world know that the space is trending rapidly toward online and mobile forms of giving. To that end, nearly 14% of all online donations in 2015 were made using a mobile device.

And as the 2015 Charitable Giving Report by Blackbaud says, “We are now past the mobile tipping point when it comes to digital giving. Consumer behavior and donor behavior are inextricably linked as we move into the future of giving. Nonprofits must continue to invest
and perfect how they engage donors using the right channel on the right device at the right time.”

As you begin to consider moving toward a more mobile-focused fundraising plan, consider some of our favorite mobile fundraising tools (and resources to learn more about each):

For more information on mobile giving, check out our slideshare, “Why Mobile Fundraising?”

2 Host a Special Event

Special events are one of our favorite forms of fundraising. While they do require a lot of work to plan and organize, they are a great way to get all of your supporters together in order to share their giving experiences. And what better time to get everybody together than during an end-of-the-year holiday fundraiser?

While we have a ton of great tips for how you can promote your fundraiser, one of our favorite tips for holiday fundraising events is to include a great holiday-focused theme. Some suggestions include ugly sweater, flannel-only, holiday ball, winter wonderland, or even a fall formal!

3 Keep Your Story/Message Consistent…with a holiday twist

The key to a strong donor base and any successful fundraising campaign is a consistent and personal message. This message often serves as the backbone of its associated organization or fundraising authority, and acts to inspire and motivate everyone connected to the cause.

During any of your holiday fundraising initiatives, it is important to be consistent with the messaging that has worked so well for your cause all along.

That being said, adding a personal and timely holiday twist is always much appreciated by an attentive audience. Integrate your messaging with holiday themes, phrases about the changing seasons, or even personal anecdotes about your favorite holiday activities.

These updates will keep your message relatable, and will show your supporters that the people behind all of the donation requests they receive are all real persons!

In order to stay consistent, we recommend planning a cohesive message across all forms of communication for your organization or fundraising group. Some of the most popular include:

  • Your Website In addition to updating the messaging on your organization’s / cause’s website, try to incorporate some of the elements below:
    • Holiday graphics or images of volunteers helping at holiday events
    • Holiday-themed Call-to-Action for your supporters to donate to (i.e., donate dollars to purchase gifts for a person in need)
    • Calendar of upcoming holiday events
  • Email updates and newsletters – Focus on a holiday update or holiday edition for your next newsletter.
  • Social media channel – Incorporate holiday-themed hashtags along with your messaging.

4 General Tips

While they don’t fall into their own category, some of these general tips should help with your holiday fundraising goals:

  • Schedule Smartly – The holidays are very busy for everyone. To ensure that you have your audience’s full attention, plan your special events and major giving occasions apart from some of the busiest days of the holiday season (Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.).
  • Include Your Office! – Do you volunteer for a great organization, but have a full-time job as well? If so, including your office coworkers in your fundraising efforts is always a great idea. This could mean anything from inviting coworkers to your fundraising event, to something low-effort like directing them to your organization’s mobile fundraising page. Additionally, many corporations have matching programs for any charitable work done by their employees. This is a GREAT way to get your coworkers involved in a cause, while having your company match all donations, resulting in twice the amount of proceeds you would normally raise.
  • Gift Campaigns  If you’re willing, a great new idea is to ask those who would typically give you holiday gifts to instead donate to your cause in your name!

Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful as your organization heads full steam ahead into the holiday season. Happy holidays!

*Fundraising stats provided by the 2015 Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report

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