Give Back With These Christmas Fundraising Ideas

Christmas is the season of goodwill, making it the perfect time to launch a festive fundraiser.

There’s a myriad of Christmas charity fundraising ideas that will spread tidings of comfort and joy, from Christmas fairs and present wrapathons to Christmas meals for the homeless.

People tend to give more generously in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. Harness the festive spirit to raise lots of money for great causes this Christmas – and don’t forget that your free GoFundMe fundraiser is only a click away. Sit back and get inspired by Christmas fundraising ideas for school and Christmas charity fundraising ideas.

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snowman in the snow

Christmas fundraising ideas for individuals

1. Swap Christmas gifts for GoFundMe donations

If you really care about your cause, you might consider asking family and friends to donate to your GoFundMe instead of buying you a Christmas gift. Likewise, if you’re getting married in December and looking for Christmas charity ideas, consider asking for GoFundMe donations instead of having a wedding gift list. Your selflessness will be respected and should elicit an influx of funds, especially if you have a personal connection with your cause or have chosen one that’s at the forefront of people’s minds in winter, such as Shelter.

Coffee wrapped in scarf

2. Skiathon

If skiing is your thing, a skiathon is a great winter alternative to a marathon for fundraising ideas for Christmas. If you’re going on a skiing holiday, pledge to ski 26.2 miles for your chosen cause, in return for sponsors. Make it easy for people to donate by setting up a GoFundMe in advance of your skiathon and sharing the link far and wide. Not hitting the slopes? There may be a dry ski slope or indoor snow centre near you. Else, consider other sponsored activities, such as swimathons or danceathons.

 

Santa

3. Christmas donations party

If you’re collecting toys or food for children in need, make people more likely to donate by hosting a collection party. Offer hot chocolate, mince pies and some festive entertainment in return for guests bringing a new toy or box of food along. Maximise donations by setting up collection points around the local community, such as in schools, village halls and pubs. Not everybody has the time to go out and buy toys or food to donate. Set up a GoFundMe fundraiser so that people can donate money quickly and easily and you can buy the goods for them. Kits for Kids, run by 12-year-old Astrid, is a great example, as is the Basket Brigade. Remember to publicise your project with flyers, emails and social media posts.

Fundraising ideas for schools

Christmas tree

1. Christmas fair

Christmas fairs top Christmas charity fundraising ideas lists with good reason – they’re always a hit with pupils, parents, teachers and friends of the school and one of the best Christmas fundraising ideas for charity. Partner with local businesses and either charge them for a stand or take a percentage of their profits. Setting up a Santa’s Grotto will rake in funds, especially if you can find a convincing Father Christmas and go big on the fake snow and festive decorations. Parents will enjoy a mulled wine bar, while children will badger them for loose change to play games such as hoopla with Rudolph’s nose or ‘guess the lucky Santa hat’. Raffles and auctions may also have a place here.

Young girl with present

2. Christmas cards designed by the kids

Christmas cards designed by schoolchildren always have the ‘aww’ factor. The kids will enjoy getting crafty in an art class at school and cards are affordable to have printed in bulk online. Sell them at the school gates and the Christmas fair, or send children home with a pack that parents can either buy or return to their form teacher. Make it clear how any raised funds will be spent, so that parents know where their money will be going.

Baubles

3. Bauble decorating contest

Children love a competition, making this one a surefire success. Buy a load of white or kraft paper baubles from a wholesaler and charge a small entry fee (enough to cover the cost of the baubles, craft materials and a prize for the winner). Try and find a local celebrity to judge the submissions, then give pupils the option of taking their bauble home or using it to decorate a school or community tree.

Snowman

4. Christmas caroling

Take a group of cute school children carol singing around the village and the donations are sure to flood in! Print out some spare song sheets so that passersby can join in and consider selling the above cards and baubles on the side.

Christmas present

5. Wrapathon

The premise behind this one is simple: parents and members of the local community pay the kids to wrap all their Christmas presents. Note that this activity may be better suited to the older years if you want your gifts wrapped nicely! Schedule the wrapathon for towards the end of term when people will have started buying gifts and teachers are still around to supervise. Maximise profits by requesting discounts on wrapping supplies from big companies, or asking parents to supply their paper of choice. Charge more for ribbons, poms and tags.

Boy in elf sweater

6. Christmas jumper day

Christmas jumper day is a staple in many a school’s fundraising calendar. Pupils bring in a small donation in exchange for the chance to show off their silliest Christmas jumpers. Present a prize for the best in assembly the next day. If jumpers have been done to death at your school, or not many students own one, shake things up with a festive fancy dress day.

Cookies

7. Cake sale

Think your classic cake sale, only everything is festive-themed! Bonus points if you can enlist a celebrity baker (fancy it, Mary Berry?) to come and share their festive baking tips with the school. Hot chocolate sales also go down a treat, particularly when set up at chilly sports matches.

Fundraising ideas for charity

Snow

1. Polar plunge

Coastal communities often put on sponsored sea dips with great success. They raise money through GoFundMe for your charity, making sure the event and fundraising link is publicised widely, then all rush into the sea together on a chosen morning. Just make sure you have medics on standby as temperatures can be freezing.

Woman standing in front of a city

2. Host a ball

People love the chance to don their gladrags at Christmas. Set a fun theme such as James Bond or The Great Gatsby and host it in a local hotel with dinner, drinks and dancing on the menu. Target local businesses, offering them bulk ticket deals, and offer discounts for younger guests. Consider tying your theme to your cause. For example, ‘a hint of pink’ for a breast cancer charity or a cultural theme if you’re fundraising for a project abroad.

Santa skiing

3. Santa fun run

The sight of a big group of Santas jogging around your local park is sure to elicit giggles from locals. The idea is that everybody pays an entry fee and commits to finding sponsors, before running 5km or 10km dressed as Father Christmas. This makes for a brilliant photo opportunity, so be sure to tell your local newspaper about it.

 

Front of cinema

4. Movie night

You’ll need to apply for a license to host a movie screening in a public place, but film nights are a tried and tested way of raking in funds, especially at Christmas. Movies like Love Actually, The Holiday and It’s a Wonderful Life never grow old and will appeal to all ages. Sell drinks and nibbles and charge more for VIP seats complete with blankets and slippers!

City

5. Join a corporate matching programme

Lots of big corporations run matching schemes, which see them match a registered charity’s fundraising efforts pound for pound. Research these and apply, and you could be doubling your earnings!

Heart charms

6. Create a Christmas GoFundMe campaign that pulls on heartstrings

Use the power of social media to tell heartwarming stories of the people or animals your charity is trying to help. Make it clear how donations will help the subjects of your campaign and include a link to your GoFundMe so people know how to donate. Keep donors updated on how their money is helping. Ideas could include ‘feed a homeless person’, which sees people donate the price of a Christmas meal to a charity serving dinner to the homeless, or ‘twin your Christmas tree with a tree in the rainforest’, to support an environmental charity.

Why not try a Christmas afternoon for the elderly? Or consider fundraising for Christmas hampers for nurses working a Christmas Day shift, like Rosie.

Christmas lights in a town

7. Christmas lights fundraising

It appears that Christmas lights are at the top of many wish lists once again as towns and cities raise money to pay for their own Christmas lights.

In the true festive spirit, many communities have come together by setting up digital fundraisers on GoFundMe.

In the past three years, there has been a huge rise in the number of Christmas light fundraisers appearing on the site. These include those set up by volunteers and local advocacy groups on a mission to light up their town this holiday season.

One town which successfully fundraised is Port Talbot after its council announced it would no longer be funding the lights in 2014. In 2019, Aberavon RFC, a local rugby club, set up a GoFundMe with the hope of bringing some festive cheer to Port Talbot. The club asked for people in the local area to support the fundraiser in any way they could. The fundraiser even caught the eye of actor Michael Sheen who offered to match every pound donated to the cause. Within days the fundraiser had exceeded its £10,000 goal.

Why not launch a fundraiser to light up your town this Christmas?

hands typing on a laptop with stethoscope next to laptop

8. Set up a GoFundMe

Looking for something that you can do while completing your Christmas shopping? Why not set up a GoFundMe fundraiser. Why not try a  Christmas afternoon for the elderly? Or consider fundraising for Christmas hampers for nurses working a Christmas Day shift, like Rosie.

Start making a difference today

The quickest way to start fundraising and making a difference today is to set up a free GoFundMe fundraiser.

GoFundMe differs from many other fundraising platforms in that there are no hidden fees. Our experts are on hand to offer advice around the clock while downloading our mobile app means you can check in on your fundraising progress while on the move.

Donating is simple, meaning GoFundMe appeals to people who are pushed for time, especially during the busy festive period.

Setting up your GoFundMe campaign could not be easier, and there’s a treasure trove of expert fundraising tips on our free blog to help you raise the most money possible for your cause.

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