The holiday season is a crucial time for any nonprofit. Research shows that a quarter (28%) of all nonprofits raise up to 50% of their annual funds from their year-end ask, which typically occurs in November and December.
Executing a fundraising campaign around the holidays creates a win-win situation for you and your supporters. While your year-end ask can help cover upfront operational costs for your nonprofit, it also offers a number of tax-related benefits for your supporters. As long as you're a registered 501(c) organization, a donation can help reduce your supporters' taxable income, which puts funds back in their wallets.
But while your supporters may certainly feel generous around the holiday season, you will be competing for their attention against other organizations within the nonprofit sector.
This means you need a creative holiday giving campaign to rally excitement from your supporters. Below, we offer a number of unique approaches to this year's holiday giving campaign.
5 holiday giving campaigns to inspire your organization
Ready to make your year-end ask? Below, we share creative Givebutter campaigns from real, grassroots nonprofits. From in-person, festive parties to a creative holiday card drive, these campaigns will help you reach your annual campaign goal.
1. Encourage corporate matching gifts 🎁
In the past few years, many corporations launched CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs to give back to society. Through a CSR program, for-profit companies can create opportunities for employees to give back to society, whether through volunteer opportunities, sponsoring a "giving week" at work, or creating a workplace giving program.
One way these companies show their support for the causes they care about is through corporate matching gifts. Through a corporate matching gift program, an employer will double the contribution of their employees, creating double the impact for a nonprofit organization.
Project Youth took advantage of a corporate matching program through their 24-Hour Hope for the Holidays Matching Challenge. For 24 hours, the organization encouraged supporters to contribute funds to students' IDA educational savings accounts—thereby helping their college dreams come to life. Through an active supportive feed and compelling story, they raised $4,600 in a single day, which the Kiwanis Club Grants Pass matched dollar for dollar, bringing the total contributions up to $9,200.
2. Throw an annual party 🎉
Sure, the December holidays can be a stressful time—but there's no reason you can't celebrate while also raising funds for your cause. If you want to give a last-minute boost to your holiday giving campaign, throw a holiday party for your organization.
Your holiday party can feature a wide range of activities to attract supporters, including musical performances, carnival games, food, and dancing. Each year, Avon Surgical Services in Avon, Ohio puts on a holiday party to raise money for their organization. In 2019, they surpassed their goal of $7,500 by throwing an event complete with a holiday meal, a DJ, dancing, and other fun activities.
To help hit their target, Avon Surgical Services sold tickets through Givebutter and allowed supporters to contribute through a "Can't attend? Donate!" button. Plus, an easy "add to calendar" button allowed ticket goers to block off their calendars, while social sharing buttons helped garner excitement for the evening. If you're hosting a virtual or hybrid event, consider live streaming the festivities so supporters can take part in the comfort of their own homes.
3. Adopt a family in your community 🎄
Each year, there are families who don't have toys or presents under their Christmas tree.
To help make the holiday season more joyful in your community, sponsor a holiday gift drive for families in need.
To sponsor a gift drive, have families submit a holiday wish list to your organization. Supporters can reserve, purchase, then drop off gifts, similar to a gift registry. People can also send gift cards or offer a monetary donation to cover administrative and overhead costs for your organization.
Each year, the Ocean Beach Town Council sponsors a holiday food and toy drive in their community. In 2020, they supported 150 families in their community while raising $10,000 for their organization. To help hit their target, they took advantage of peer-to-peer fundraising to reach a wider network. In addition, they used a QR code so supporters could easily contribute to their cause. Lastly, they set up a volunteer program to recruit supporters to wrap and deliver gifts to local families.
4. Sponsor a holiday raffle 🎟
If you're making a year-end push for your organization, a well-planned raffle makes for an excellent holiday giving program. With a raffle, you solicit local corporate sponsors to contribute gift cards, experiences, or other items. Then, you can reach out to supporters to purchase raffle tickets for your holiday giving project.
Last year, the Junior League of Washington, D.C. was making their year-end push when they sponsored a raffle for their organization. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a raffle offered a virtual experience supporters could take part in from the safety of their own homes. Corporate sponsors contributed a Peloton bike, Visa gift cards, and Amazon gift cards as prizes, while supporters purchased raffle tickets through Givebutter's ticketing platform. Supporters added GIFs, comments, and other notes of encouragement through the supporter feed, while the virtual event was shared across social media.
5. Create a holiday card campaign ✍
Every year, there are individuals who can't be with their loved ones over the holidays. To spread a little holiday cheer, start a holiday card campaign in your community.
Holiday Cards 4 Our Military is a nonprofit organization that launched 18 years ago as a way to send holiday cards to troops overseas. By 2019, over 175,000 cards were sent to deployed soldiers, which got the attention of news outlets including CBS This Morning, CNN New Day, and Live! With Kelly and Ryan. Nearly two decades later, the organization sends over 100,000 cards annually to all five branches of the armed forces.
Your organization can create a similar campaign for people facing homelessness, children who are hospitalized, or individuals facing mental health issues within your community. To create excitement for your campaign, be sure to fill your campaign page with photos and videos of your card-making process. In addition, take advantage of Givebutter's built-in CRM platform to store recipients’ names, addresses, and other relevant data so you can easily ship your cards.
Use Givebutter to launch your holiday giving campaign
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve are a crucial time for nonprofit organizations.
Many organizations raise the bulk of funds during the last two months of the year.
And while supporters may be looking to contribute a tax-deductible donation, you'll be competing against other charities for their attention.
To ensure your campaign goes off without a hitch, execute your campaign on Givebutter. Givebutter is the all-in-one fundraising platform with 130+ features to help hit your campaign goal. With Givebutter, you get a complete fundraising platform (with branded pages and ticketed events), a built-in CRM platform, and marketing automation to help spread the word on your good cause.
Ready to see how Givebutter can help you hit your year-end goal? Launch your free account to start planning your holiday giving campaign today.
Kylie thrives on supporting others, going above and beyond every task, making everyone’s jobs easier, and cinnamon in her coffee.