Why Christmas Is a Great Time to Host a Charity Event
The holidays are a time when people often take a moment to be thankful for what they have -- family, friends, health, wealth, spirituality, and more. It is also a time to remember that many people are not as fortunate and ask what you can do to help. It’s no coincidence that 30% of annual giving occurs in December and 10% of annual giving occurs in the last three days of the year, according to Nonprofit Source.
One of the most important factors that will affect the success of your charity event will be timing. Below you’ll find several reasons why the Christmas season is the perfect time to host a charity event or fundraiser.
The Giving Spirit
Giving back at the holidays is not a new concept and many people want to find ways to give back but might not know where to start. If you host a charity event, like a food drive for a local food bank or a silent auction to raise money for your favorite charity, it’s important to create excitement leading up to your event.
First, if you plan to organize a large event, it may be prudent to send out digital invitations to coordinate the event. Your invitation will include all of the details that guests need to know in order to participate. Next, make sure participants understand why the cause is important to you. In addition to supporting a great cause, they will want to help more if they realize how they are supporting you and your efforts. Include a heartfelt message about how you first learned about this cause and some reasons why you’re a passionate supporter of it.
While it’s often taboo to talk about money and personal finances, it’s common for many people to receive a “Christmas bonus” or a little something extra in their paycheck towards the end of the year. Even though people typically spend more at the holidays too, the end of year bonus means they may be less concerned about making a financial donation to your fundraiser -- especially if you encourage giving just a small amount. Another way to get even more money for your charity is to have a system of donation matching set up. Some nonprofits have matching built into their online giving platforms for this very purpose.
Another way to do good this holiday season is to make donations in the names of others as a Christmas gift. You can create a fundraising event in which you encourage others to join you. Pick one or two charities, set an overall fundraising goal based on the number of participants, and provide suggestions for ways that donors can share their “gifts” with their recipients. For example, consider creating holiday ecards to accompany the donation in their name. Each digital card can easily be personalized for the recipient with the charity name and donation amount (if that’s something you are comfortable sharing).
More Spare Time
A lot of regular activities often take a break during the holiday season and resume after the New Year. This leaves a little extra time for fundraising activities. One thing that makes fundraisers extra appealing is when they serve multiple purposes. For example, an at-home shopping party where guests can browse gifts AND a percent of sales get donated to charity. Another idea is to engage guests in a seasonal activity, like a wreath-making class where each guest leaves with a beautiful decoration for the holidays and you leave with donations for your charity. If you don’t have a specific activity in mind but want to get people together, ensure that you choose fun fundraiser games and activities.
Popular Charity Initiatives
Many charities have special holiday initiatives that you can get involved in if you want to give back but don’t yet have a charity in mind. While there are a lot of fundraiser ideas that are ideal for winter, there are also many charity initiatives that are exclusive to the holiday season. Here are a few holiday-specific fundraising campaigns:
- Toys for Tots: The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas.
- Operation Christmas Child: Their mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities.
- Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program: In a typical year, they put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually must go without Christmas gifts.
Additionally, there are likely many non-profits right in your own community that could use additional funds. The holiday season is a difficult time for those in need, especially food banks and homeless shelters, that are serving an immediate need. Before you pick a charity for your Christmas fundraiser, make sure to do your research and choose your charity carefully. Ensure that it is something that you can stand by.
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