Best Charity Fundraising Ideas for Christmas

Best Charity Fundraising Ideas for Christmas
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It’s that time of year again already, believe it or not, when we need to start talking about Christmas and thinking about ideas for your next Christmas charity campaign. It will take a few months to plan and execute so now is a good time to start thinking about it!

Today we’ll be looking at a few ideas as well as what you might need to succeed in your fundraising efforts.

Do I need a Christmas campaign?

Christmas is traditionally a time of year when people are in a generous and giving mood! So in many cases, it is a good idea to be coming up with ideas for a Christmas charity drive if it fits in with your organisation's ethos and ideology! Because if it does, Christmas is likely to be your one of your biggest potential fundraising seasons of the year. 

Stats from UK Fundraising show that even in difficult financial times, 73% of the public planned to donate over Christmas, with 49% more likely to give than at any other time of the year. Breaking down some of the figures here even more, 42% of people are actively looking for opportunities to give - so make sure you’re in their mind! Younger generations especially seem much more inclined to donate during the holidays, so it’s a great time to run a campaign more focused at them.

Also interesting are some figures from the charity commission a few years back saying that 28% of people consider giving a charitable donation instead of giving presents. With over 50% of these people wanting to help specific causes, you really want to be engaging and nurturing your audience. 

Traditional Christmas charity ideas

1. Christmas lunch / dinner

A classic event that’s always popular. If you don’t already have your venue, get to booking it ASAP! Many places sell out their availability around the Christmas period fairly early, so if you’ve got your heart set on a specific location, then you’ll need to act soon.

A Christmas dinner is only as good as the food you provide, so be sure to make sure you properly cater for your invitees and consider all the dietary requirements you’ll need to consider. Also think of what extras like crackers or decorations you might need to buy in order to make your event extra festive.

While you’ll be charging for tickets, you’ll also want to consider how else you can use your dinner to make money. Extra fundraising opportunities like a raffle or dedicated appeal can help raise much needed additional funds on the side of your main event!

2. Christmas card campaign

Christmas cards are still exceptionally popular - to the point where in the UK alone, the average household sends 50 Christmas cards with 8 billion (more than the global population!) cards being sent within just the UK every year.

With that in mind, why not look at making and selling your own for a donation? Draw on your supporters to provide artwork. Depending on your audience you could ask beneficiaries, or local artists to contribute artwork.

3. Christmas caroling

Everyone loves a good sing-along at Christmas! There’s different ways you can go about spreading the Christmas spirit with carols too. You could tour your local community singing a few carols at each location with the ever useful donation bucket. Make sure you get the right permits from your local council for public collections!

Or you could make your caroling into more of an event with a proper venue and really involve your audience. While this may take more organisation on your part, you also have the opportunity to make more funds by selling tickets or having free entry with collection buckets or an appeal. And best of all you can keep people around for mince pies afterwards where you can and engage with people directly and share  more about all the great work you do!

Remember lots of people are now cashless, so it can be a good idea to look into setting up conactless or text donation options to make it as easy as posisble for people to give!

Digital campaigns

1. Online shopping

One great way to get donations from your supporters is to absorb them naturally from their Christmas shopping! While Amazon Smile may sadly be no more, there are other ways to raise money while buying presents. In the UK, there are various sites such as Easy Fundraising which if used by your audience when shopping will send you ‘free donations’ at no extra cost to the shopper.

What’s particularly great is that it includes a lot of popular shops, supermarkets and even travel agencies. Get yourself set up and ask your audience to help you out!

2. 12 days of giving

Given it’s the end of the year, Christmas can be a fantastic time to highlight all of your work throughout the year. Take advantage of the ‘12 days of Christmas’ theme to draw out 12 different stories that really highlight what you do and why donating to you makes such a difference. Another quite similar idea to this can be to create your very own digital advent calendar! Both of these ideas make great content to share on social media and can help drive extra donations.

3. Christmas email campaign

Sometimes you just want to keep it simple! If you don’t send a donation email for Christmas, it should be top of your list to do one. 26% of people say email is the medium that inspires them to give the most. Remind people about your charity, your mission and tell them an inspiring story about your work.

ending out a special Christmas message with a drive for donations, is a fantastic  campaign opportunity, which you can execute relatively easily and cost effectively.

Extra ideas

1. Stocking stuffer challenge

If you’re a charity that has a need for physical goods, perhaps you work with the homeless or economically vulnerable, then this can be a wonderful flavourful opportunity to drive a different kind of donation. Ask your supporters to fill a stocking with goods (be clear what you will and won’t accept!) that can then be provided to those in need. You might also be familiar with another spin on this which is the Christmas shoebox campaign - same idea, just a different container!

2. Adopt-a-community

Putting a human face on your charity’s work can be immensely powerful. One of the best fundraising techniques is to tell compelling stories about the real impact donations make to people’s lives, communities and the world around them. One way of doing this is by highlighting a needy community that your supporters can ‘adopt’ by providing them with donations which will cover food, gifts, and other essentials. Making sure to follow up with stories via social media (such as reactions when receiving the gifts) is also very important here.

This can, of course, be varied depending on your charity. While not every charity will have a natural spin on this, other variants are very possible such as adopt-an-animal or adopt-a-building.

3. Gift wrapping

Everyone loves beautifully wrapped presents at Christmas. But it can be a lot of effort to go to! One quite popular service you can offer is a special gift wrapping one where you go the extra mile to make people’s gifts look fancy with extra ribbons and wrapping that goes beyond the basics.

The charity link is key here - inspiring people to donate while also offering them a relatively simple service in return. What might usually be a frivolous expense instead becomes something they know will go to a good cause, while also providing their loved ones with something a bit extra!


These are just 9 ideas you can look at for creating your Christmas campaign, but there are so many others you could think about. From bake sales, to volunteer drives, use your imagination and create something that is manageable for you to organise and links back to your mission as strongly as possible.

Running your campaign will probably mean keeping track of lots of different donations and communicating with a lot of different people. When you’re doing that, you’ll be wanting a robust system to underpin your fundraising efforts and make sure all your hard work converts into additional funds for minimal extra effort. That’s where a system like CiviPlus comes in handy.

If you’d like to find out more about how CiviPlus can help you organise and execute your Christmas fundraising campaign, please get in touch with us here.

Howdy y’all,

We are delighted to announce a new integration of CiviCRM with Open Social, a community engagement platform.

CiviCRM is the number one open source CRM for not-for profits, used by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide, and Open Social is a leading community engagement platform, used by over 1000 organisations in a range of different industries from Charities to member organisations and companies also.

It’s exciting news for organisations using CiviCRM, who will now be able to combine the power of CiviCRM with the collaboration and community building that the Open Social platform provides.
If you’ve not heard of community platforms before, a community platform is a tool that allows your organisation to create your own branded and tailored social network. Users of the platform (normally your members or supporters) can interact, join groups to share knowledge and exchange ideas, publish and promote events and collaborate within a safe online curated space. With a community platform you can expand your digital offer and strengthen your relationship with your supporters.

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Open Social is open source (much like CiviCRM) and as such has no user licences fees. This means it can be deployed affordably to scale to even the largest of communities. It’s also flexible with a huge range of different add-on modules that can be integrated to enhance the platform.

Our new two-way integration between Open Social and CiviCRM syncs data between the two platforms allowing information about the groups and committees that members have joined to be seamlessly synced to CiviCRM. You can even create Open Social groups and manage their membership directly from within CiviCRM, which would be useful for managing private groups in the case of committees or working groups.

By combining the data of a community platform with that in your CiviCRM your organisation can obtain deep insights into your members' interests and behaviours. You can see which groups are popular and engage with your members on topical issues, automating communications and tailoring their experience.

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A great example is a recent implementation for the UN’s PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). Their user community includes over 2,900 organisations with over 40,000 individuals spread across 6 continents. Their Community Platform now supports discussions between 24,000 users with over 750 online collaboration spaces. The data is seamlessly synced to their CRM allowing for deep insight guiding their policy engagements.

As Open Social partners, we would be delighted to help you start your journey with Open Social and help you build your online community. We can help you through both the implementation and the CiviCRM integration (or other CRM integration such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM).

Please contact us through our website or by email at

Further information about Open Social can be found at their website:

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