The holidays is a busy time, and that’s especially true if you run or work for a non-profit organization. And for good reason! Almost 20% of annual online donations are made in December and the donations that are made during this festive time of year tend to be on average 80% larger!
The holidays just seem to make people reflect on how fortunate they are and there is a desire to share that good fortune with others. On the more pragmatic side of the scale, people also donate at this time to ensure they can get their tax deductions for the current year.
But how do you capture the imagination of new supporters and inspire them to give to your organization when there are so many worthy causes to choose from?
Different organizations have come up with different solutions, but here are five of our favourites!
1. Green Gift Monday
Black Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States has long been known as the day to get all the best deals on holiday gifts. More recently Cyber Monday has become popular as the day to get online bargains. The Nature Conservancy took the idea of Cyber Monday and turned it into Green Gift Monday.
The organization has a creative online catalog you can browse to make a donation and purchase symbolic gifts such as sea turtle nests and cypress swamps for your loved ones.
2. Campaign for Recurring Giving
Instead of pushing for a standalone donation, the end of the year can be a great time to ask for regular monthly funders. Possible Health does a wonderful job of emphasizing how important monthly givers are to its mission by giving tangible examples of what a particular monthly gift will help accomplish. They also include a progress bar on their website so that visitors have a visual as to how close they are to their goal.
3. Season for Service
Everybody loves a great story, and this seems to be especially true during the holidays. buildOn, a non-profit organization in the United States which helps empower urban youth, uses the power of great storytelling in its Season for Service Campaign.
The organization motivates supporters to give by sharing inspiring stories about how youth in their programs are changing their communities for the better. buildOn uses a blend of photos and text to share their stories along with a call to action button that allows supporters to participate through their donations.
4. Christmas Home Tours
Many communities have Christmas home tours in which participants can purchase a ticket and then tour beautifully – often professionally – decorated homes in all their holiday splendor. Frequently the cost of the ticket even includes extra perks such as sleigh rides and festive treats. The proceeds of the ticket sales support local charities or causes.
While it is a simple idea, this type of fundraiser has made huge impact in many communities. In London Ontario for example, the Annual Holiday Home Tour has helped to raise more than $1.1 million for Children’s Health Foundation over the past 23 years.
Giving Tuesday is a global movement that is now entering its sixth year. The idea started as a way to make charitable giving and volunteerism go viral. Any non-profit can have its own campaign on Giving Tuesday which falls on the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. Because all campaigns take place on the same day, it creates huge social media engagement worldwide.
This campaign has proven its success year after year. In 2015 for example, #GivingTuesday campaigns were being held in 98 different countries, fostered more than 2.4 million social media engagements and raised $177 million online.
The holidays are a time for giving, so get some inspiration from these ideas and get to work on your holiday campaign today!