Jar of money labelled 'Give', decorated with Christmas baubles
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We know it’s September – but planning for the holiday season now will give you the best chance of making a big impact with a creative and heartfelt fundraising campaigns.  

Christmas is one of the best time’s to raise funds with individual donors. Enthuse’s 2021 donor pulse winter report

  • 30% of people tend to give more at Christmas 
  • 49% of the public is more likely to give at Christmas than any other time of the year 
  • 38% say they give at Christmas just because they’re asked to 
  • 42% actively seek out opportunities to give around the festive period. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of crafting a successful Christmas fundraising campaign for your small charity. 

1. Define your goals  

Start by setting clear and specific goals for your Christmas campaign. What do you hope to achieve? Are you looking to raise a certain amount of money, increase awareness of your cause, or engage more supporters?  

2. Know your audience 

Who are your supporters? What are their interests, values, and motivations for giving?  

Do think about which age groups you’re targeting. According to Enthuse’s Winter Donor Pulse Report 2022

“Over the Christmas period, 48% of the public is more likely to give during the period compared 

to the rest of the year (Figure 27). This peaks with Gen Z where 69% say they are more likely 

to support charities over the festive season and steps down with each generation to 25% of 

the 65+ age group.” 

According to their 2021 Report, donors planning on giving the most were Gen Z (£53) and the least were 55-64 year olds (£33). 

3. Craft a compelling story 

Christmas is a season filled with stories of hope, love, and giving. How can you connect your charity’s mission to the holiday spirit? Share stories of individuals or communities that your charity has helped and highlight the impact of your work. 

Engaging content is essential to capturing your audience’s attention. Use photos, videos, and graphics to convey your story.  

4. Choose the right fundraising methods 

What is the best way for you to reach your audience? Here are some ideas: 

  • Online Fundraising: Set up a dedicated donation page on your website and leverage social media platforms to reach a wider audience. Encourage supporters to share their own stories and contributions. 
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Empower your supporters to fundraise on your behalf by creating peer-to-peer campaigns. This allows your existing donors to become advocates for your cause and expand your reach. 
  • Events: Host events like webinars, concerts, or parties. Charge an entrance fee, create an auction or encourage donations during these events. 
5. Find supporters for your campaign 

Whether it is reaching out to a local business for sponsorship or in-kind support, such as hosting a charity dinner, or getting your volunteers involved, think about who might help you spread the word and make the most of your fundraising potential.  

6. Your Christmas timing is key 

According to Enthuse’s Christmas Giving Insights Report 2023, there are some crucial peak giving times: 

  • Giving Tuesday, which this year is on Tuesday 28th November, can be a good opportunity to launch your campaign – but donations peak on the 1st December. Read our article ‘Getting the most out of Giving Tuesday’ for more ideas. 
  • People are most likely to give mid-week. Giving drops off around the weekend. 
  • People give most between 20th and 24th December 
7. Follow up  

Remember to express gratitude to your donors and supporters. Send thank-you notes or emails, share success stories, and keep them updated on how their contributions are making a difference. Demonstrating appreciation can lead to long-term donor relationships. 

Don’t let the momentum fizzle out once the holiday season ends. Continue engaging with your supporters throughout the year, updating them on your charity’s work and the impact of their contributions. 

For more ideas, take a look at JustGiving’s ‘Five ways to run a cracking Christmas campaign’ and Charity Excellence’s ‘Christmas Fundraising Ideas’. And let us know if we can help: 

Alison Morey is available to talk through your fundraising ideas and strategy 

Jo Buckell can help you with building relationships with local businesses. 

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