Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capitalise on the festive spirit and generate some good feeling (and great funding) for your organisation with a charity event this Christmas
1. Create some community spirit
Local events are a great way to bring communities closer together. From raising funds for a cause that is close to people’s hearts and being a force for positive change in your area to simply getting to know your neighbours, Christmas community events include concerts, carol services and festive performances. Reach out to your volunteer and supporter base to find out who has a musical talent to share, or team up with a nearby school to put on a seasonal show. On a smaller scale, a quiz or a games evening where people give a donation in order to enter can be a low-cost way of increasing awareness of your cause – a raffle with prizes that have been donated by local businesses can also give the amount you raise a boost.
2. Arrange a Christmas auction
All that hard work you invested in building a strong relationship with your sponsors can really pay off come Christmas. Ask corporate sponsors to donate products, services, and even experiences to your auction and let the bidding commence. The public will have the chance to get their hands on some unique Christmas gifts, while your chosen charity or cause will receive some much-appreciated funds. Sponsors aside, smaller organisations can still arrange an auction by asking local businesspeople to pledge something, for example, dinner for two, a dog-grooming session, or a family portrait.
3. Hold an arts and craft market
At this time of year, people are desperate for some gifting inspiration and arranging a festive market not only provides a one-stop shopping destination, it also gives local creatives a chance to showcase their work. Identify a suitable venue and, when it comes to agreeing a hire fee, stress that you’ll be using the space for a charitable event. Charge stallholders for a stand and ask shoppers to pay an entrance fee that will go directly to your organisation or cause.
4. Organise a festive feast
Just like the arts and craft market, a food-themed event or festival can also help people pick up gifts while connecting you to chefs, caterers and producers – after all, as an event planner, it’s important to always be building up your little black book of suppliers who you might want to collaborate with in the future. You could arrange a farmer’s market where people can pick up ingredients, ask local producers to sell their products or organise a gathering of street-food vendors. There are opportunities to increase funds every step of the way – from running a tea and coffee stand where you ask people to pay a donation for their drink to hosting a Great British Bake Off style competition – ask people to create their own showstopper cakes and raffle them off.
5. Add value at every opportunity
The difference between a good charity event organiser and a great charity event organiser often rests in their ability to maximise fundraising opportunities wherever possible. This means negotiating with venues and suppliers to keep overheads to a minimum, taking advantage of social media as a free marketing tool and calling on friends, family, and volunteers to reduce staff costs. How about boosting your profits (and money going to your charity or cause) while adding value to your supporters? If you are running a market, you could offer a festive gift-wrapping service for a small fee, arrange for drinks to be delivered to someone’s seat during the interval of a festive performance in exchange for a donation or add a Christmas face-painting stand to keep children happy while parents are shopping.
6. Encourage some seasonal good cheer
Fun runs and sporting challenges or competitions are an effective way to raise money at any time of year, but particularly at Christmas, when you can ask everyone to dress up as Santa, elves, reindeers or anything else that inspires them! Entrants are asked to pay to register and commit to raising a certain amount of money for the charity.
Also, in between arranging events, it’s worth spreading the word via various social media platforms. By always keeping people who follow your channels informed and inspired, you can start to stand out from other events and build a loyal following. Encourage interaction by asking what people’s famous Christmas film is, what they are hoping Santa brings them this year, and what their New Year’s Resolutions are – you want to talk about your event and your charity/cause, but intersperse it with fun, shareable and likeable content to keep your engagement rate up.
If you’d like to learn more about how Eventbrite could help make your next fundraising event a stand-out success, take a look at our Charities page and discover some of our popular fundraising topics on the blog.