The holiday season comes up quickly, which means Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa and other celebrations will soon be taking place in communities all over the United States. As a nonprofit organization, your mission promotes awareness for your cause, garners support and helps those in need.
Across religions, ethnicities and beliefs, the holiday season provides a beautiful time of generosity, compassion and giving to our fellow humans. How can your organization celebrate the holidays while promoting your cause? Check out our list of 30 holiday fundraising ideas for your nonprofit this season.
1. Ugly Sweater Party. Ugly sweater parties always share a fun holiday tradition. Whether at your location or sponsored by a business, charge admission and watch the donations flood in.
2. Polar Plunge. The polar plunge consists of people diving into freezing cold ice water in the middle of winter. Sound fun? Many constituents actually think so, and it’s been used as a valuable fundraising tactic by nonprofits.
3. Holiday Gala. For the fancier constituents, a holiday gala provides a glamorous and entertaining way to put on a huge donation-driven, year-end event for your NPO.
4. Photos with Santa. We’ve all seen the photos with Santa in the mall, but why not put that money towards a good cause? Offer up a photos with Santa event for your nonprofit constituents and their kiddos.
5. Charity Auction. Four words: donated gifts raise money. Put together a live auction for your organization this winter to celebrate the holidays and raise money.
6. Silent Auction. For the quieter bunch, try a silent auction instead of the rowdier option. You can still raise a significant amount of money, while not having as many variables.
7. Candle Selling. Scented candles prove very popular during the holiday season. Partner with a candle distributor near you to sell to friends, family and constituents and raise money.
8. Craft Fair. Whether you partner with an established craft fair or set up your own, ask for donations from talented individuals to fundraise for your cause.
9. Food Selling. Warm soup, cinnamon rolls, cookie dough… the winter season offers the perfect time for food. Similar to candles, see what food distributors you can partner with for the upcoming holiday meal gatherings.
10. Holiday Wreaths. When winter comes around, everyone needs a wreath on their door. Raise money for your NPO by selling holiday wreaths to constituents.
11. Caroling. Get a group of volunteers or employees together to go out caroling around the surrounding neighborhood and see what donations you can collect.
12. Fundraiser Run. It may be cold outside, but a run will warm you right up! Whether putting together a run on an indoor track or promoting a winter run, promote the event to runners and constituents in the community alike.
13. Money Walk. Running might not be everyone’s style, and if it isn’t—or it’s just too dang cold—try hosting a walk this winter to fundraise.
14. Candy Guessing. Ask local businesses to set out jars of candy. People can guess by donating $1 to your organization. Then, the person who guesses the closet can win a portion of the fundraiser earnings.
15. Halftime Shootout. Basketball season will be here soon! Host a halftime shootout at a local school for a family-friendly event everyone can enjoy.
16. Dodgeball Tournament. If you don’t want to try basketball, host a dodgeball tournament. Teams can join for a small price, and the winning team takes a portion. Easy, fun and excellent for raising money.
17. Wrapping Paper Sales. Of course you cannot have presents this holiday season without wrapping paper. Wrapping paper sales always go well because they are in high demand during these upcoming winter months.
18. Holiday Cards. Sell holiday cards for constituents and donors to purchase and give to their loved ones, all for a very valuable cause.
19. Sledding Event. When snow falls, fun comes! Host a sledding event for the neighborhood by offering a competition, selling hot chocolate and asking for donations.
20. Cookbooks. Like we said, the winter months prove the best for food. Create a cookbook from family recipes in the community, or simply partner with a cookbook company to sell.
21. Celebration Potluck. If you want to host a dinner but don’t have the funds, don’t worry. Offer a potluck for community members and ask for freewill donations.
22. Matching Gifts. Check with local businesses and companies in your area to see if any of them would like to do a matching gift program. You raise double the money for your nonprofit, they get the gift of great marketing and tax deductions.
23. Holiday Games. Host a game night at your location or with another to celebrate the holidays, have fun and raise funds.
24. Coin Collecting. This one is easy. Go door to door for a coin collection. Ask for any spare change neighbors can give, and you will see how quickly it all adds up.
25. Snowman Contest. Snowman, snow woman, snow castle… have a snow sculpting contest where entrants can pay a small donation, and the winner receives a prize.
26. Gingerbread Contest. Similar to the snowman contest, only half as chilly, twice as delicious and equally lucrative.
27. Holiday Music Dance-a-Thon. Everyone loves some classic holiday tunes. Have a dance-a-thon for your organization to see who can keep dancing the longest. The last person standing wins, and so does the cause.
28. Movie Marathon. Movie marathons are fun and relaxing. Pick out some great holiday classics in a fun theatre environment and charge a small admission for the fundraiser.
29. Super Bowl Party. The Super Bowl will be here before we know it, so why not throw a party? It practically is a holiday in and of itself, anyways.
30. Year-End Ask. Finally, the year-end ask. While this might not exactly be a fundraising event, it offers a vital component of your NPO’s year-end appeal to constituents during the holiday season. If you want to learn more about how you can craft the perfect year-end appeal, check out our article here.
The holidays will soon be here, so make sure your nonprofit organization is ready by hosting some fun, engaging and successful fundraisers. Raise money for your cause and celebrate the holidays by trying out some of these unique ideas.