3 Steps To Starting A Successful Holiday Fundraiser

With the holiday season fast approaching, most of us are currently getting into the spirit of giving. It’s hard to argue that there is no one more deserving of our generosity than those who are less fortunate.

As Tiara Stephan points out on, “nearly one-third of annual giving happens in December, with the last three days of the year accounting for about 12% of yearly donations. With statistics like that, you don’t want your nonprofit to miss out on the charitable spirit of the holiday season.” 

Here are three steps to starting a successful holiday fundraiser:

1. Set up a toy drive.

Sure, it may be cliché. But a holiday toy drive is one of the most beloved fundraising initiatives of each holiday season. Naturally, it’s all about the kids. For children whose parents can’t afford the toys on their wish lists, a toy drive is a true life saver. As Stephan notes, every parent wants to provide their child with the happiness and excitement of receiving a gift.

“Start by determining what your collection dates will be and then spreading the word about your drive,” she advises, “Place collection boxes in easy-to-find, highly-frequented areas, and drop a few toys in yourself to get the donation ball rolling. For a virtual option, set up an online store and have your supporters ‘purchase’ toys from the store so your organization can purchase toys to distribute.”

2. Offer gift wrapping.

Most people love the holidays. However, even the most dedicated holiday lover may not be a big fan of wrapping presents. In truth, it’s a lot of work. By offering gift wrapping services in exchange for donations, you both solve a huge holiday season dilemma for most people and find a way to give back to your community.

“Find an area like a community center where you can set up your gift-wrapping station,” recommends Stephan, “You can even reach out to your local mall to see if they’ll allow you to set up a booth so shoppers can head straight to you after they’ve made their holiday purchases. Charge people a small fee for your gift-wrapping services based on the size of their packages, and offer wrapping paper for sale as well if they didn’t bring their own with them.”

3. Recognize your donors.

There’s no success in fundraising if your donors don’t feel appreciated for their support. Be sure to publicly acknowledge the wonderful people who have contributed to your cause. As Terri Harel of Constant Contact declares, it goes without saying that organizations should always thank and recognize donors for their support.

“Likely, you send an automated thank you email immediately after a donation is made, but don’t forget about that donor just yet,” she encourages, “You’ll want to send another, more personal thank you message after your holiday campaign comes to a close. Demonstrating gratitude to supporters isn’t just polite; when you write a meaningful thank-you email to donors, it can strengthen connections to your organization, reduce donor attrition and contribute to a person’s future generosity.”

At Unity Payments, we help business professionals to stay ahead of the curve with our advanced fundraising technology. Give your donors an easy-to-use method to make donations directly to your non-profit with our fundraising kiosks. They work directly with our processing technology. This integration will give your organization a comprehensive way to accept donations online or in-person. Call us at 1-800-661-3761 or email us at to learn more!