Do you find yourself procrasti-shopping for the holiday season? Join the club. A 2020 survey by Klarna found that 79% of people leave their holiday shopping to the very last minute (within two weeks of Christmas), and roughly 55% purchase gifts that might not arrive in time for the holiday.
Are we surprised by these findings? Not one bit. Each year, holiday shopping for loved ones becomes increasingly difficult. Family members, friends, and colleagues typically purchase their most-wanted items on their own, which leaves you hurting for thoughtful gift ideas.
On a personal level, this predicament can be frustrating (and cause many a-late-night shopping sprees). But on an organizational level, this poses the perfect opportunity to launch a last-ditch effort to hit your yearly fundraising goal for your nonprofit.
Translation: 'Tis the season of giving, and your supporters may be searching for a one-of-a-kind gift that gives back.
This holiday season, your organization can sell artisan, handmade, or local gifts to raise funds for your good cause. Plus, unlike other potential gift ideas on supporters' shopping lists, purchasing gifts that support a cause can reduce supporters' taxable income, thereby increasing their return come April. Below, we offer a number of great gift ideas that can help support your organization.
7 gifts that support a cause to hit your fundraising goal
This holiday season, your nonprofit organization can sell gifts or stocking stuffers to help raise funds for your cause. From gift boxes to supporter-generated cookbooks, here are several fundraising initiatives to hit your goal.
1. Create your own DIY kit 🍕
Families are always looking for fun, indoor activities to do over the holiday season. Rather than have them purchase (yet another) game or puzzle off Amazon, why not piece together a family-friendly DIY kit to raise funds for your cause?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Children's Center, in partnership with United Way, capitalized on this idea by selling pizza-making and mixology kits to raise funds for programs for special needs children. Supporters purchased one of three gift box options, including a pizza-making kit, recipes for cocktails, or a mocktail-making kit. Then, supporters tuned in for a live streamed tutorial and happy hour to enjoy their treats.
2. Launch a T-shirt drive 👕
Selling T-shirts is one of the most tried-and-true fundraising projects. Why? Because it works. You can make and sell custom T-shirts to support your school, religious organization, sports team, club, or nonprofit organization. To give a twist on the classic T-shirt campaign, your organization can also sell custom tie-dye shirts, beanies, tote bags, water bottles, or even pairs of socks.
The Alabaster City Schools Foundation raised nearly $7k simply by selling shirts for its 100th anniversary. T-shirts were custom printed with the school's logo and sold at an affordable $19 a pop. All net proceeds from the project went to provide classroom grants to support students, teachers, and other staff.
3. Build your own subscription box 🎁
Subscription boxes, or even one-time gift boxes, come with two distinct advantages. One, they provide unique, high-quality gifts the recipient will fall in love with, and two, they help support a variety of local or small businesses. You can piece together an artisan gift set with a number of uncommon goods, including artisan coffee, handmade jewelry, natural skin care products or facemasks, or other items.
Each year, the Unatti Foundation sells handcrafted holiday gift boxes to empower girls in Nepal with academic and health care opportunities. The boxes are filled with fairtrade items including cashmere shawls, paper journals, incense, mala beads, bars of soap, and more, providing the perfect gift for supporters.
4. Publish a supporter-generated cookbook 🥘
Looking for a wonderful gift idea for the foodie(s) in your life? Consider creating your own cookbook for your organization, with all recipes generated from your supporters themselves.
The Junior League of Washington (JLW) took advantage of this fundraising opportunity by publishing a digital cookbook for its organization. Recipe submissions came from members and supporters alike, with all net profits going to support community partners of the JLW. Plus, its cookbook campaign ran hand-in-hand with selling tickets for a VIP kitchen tour, an exclusive event where supporters toured the kitchens of nine extravagant mansions in the D.C. area.
5. Launch a cookie-selling extravaganza 🍪
The cookie-selling campaign goes way back to 1917 when the Girl Scouts first started selling sweets to support their troops. Your organization can easily duplicate (and improve upon!) this 100-year-plus campaign, where each purchase supports your cause.
Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College put its own, unique spin on the cookie campaign by selling "Christmas crates" as a holiday campaign. Each crate was filled with ornaments, tea towels, coffee, and various sweets (like "Sancta Maria Cookies" or "Abbey Crumbles"). With various gift sets ranging in price from $10–$75 a pop, they collectively raised a whopping $10,908 for their organization.
6. Sell an experience 🛫
Sometimes, the best presents aren't those that come in a magazine gift guide. Instead, giving experiences—including airline miles, cooking or photography classes, concert tickets, or even a getaway to your favorite national park—have become increasingly popular each holiday season.
Your organization can easily sell custom experiences, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting your good cause.
ConnectiKids, Inc. sold culinary classes to raise funds to support after-school and summer activities for children in the Hartford area. A local cookbook author taught ticket holders how to create a signature cocktail, entree, and dessert, creating a one-of-a-kind experience.
7. Bring the holiday cheer 🎄
The holiday season offers a number of opportunities to sell gifts that support a cause—many with minimal planning. You can sell holiday ornaments, Christmas wreaths, or even wrapping paper, with a portion of proceeds supporting the efforts of your nonprofit.
Each year, FHS Choirs in Fayetteville, AR sells poinsettias for its holiday campaign. The campaign is wonderfully simple to execute, offering 6-inch red, foil-wrapped poinsettias for a fixed price and setting strict pick-up times for supporters to collect their purchases. The poinsettias make for beautiful holiday gifts and help raise funds for students to attend the annual choir trip.
The best gifts are those that make an impact
The holiday season offers a great opportunity to make a last-minute fundraising push for your organization. Not only does it offer a number of tax-related benefits for your supporters, but there are plenty of items you can sell as unique holiday gifts.
If you're brainstorming ideas for gifts that support a cause, your organization can sell custom t-shirts, poinsettias, cooking classes, gift boxes, or even your own DIY kit. Many of these gift options can support local businesses in your community while raising funds for your cause.
To make your holiday fundraising push a reality, launch your campaign on Givebutter. Givebutter is the all-in-one fundraising platform with 130+ tools at your fingertips, including a built-in CRM platform and marketing automation. Plus, Givebutter makes it easy to sell holiday gifts by customizing paid ticket types. Simply rename each "ticket" to a specific gift purchase (such as "cookie-making kit" or "one poinsettia"), which supporters can easily buy through multiple payment options.
Ready to see how Givebutter can push your holiday campaign over the finish line? Launch your free account to get started.
Kylie thrives on supporting others, making everyone’s jobs easier, and cinnamon in her coffee.