Skip to content

Wrap Up Your Year: 5 Holiday Fundraising Ideas for Your Organization


‘Tis the season for joy, celebration, and spreading good cheer to all. And while we’re all in a giving mood, it’s also the perfect season to hold a fundraiser for your favorite cause. 

Whether you’re supporting a school, sports team, church, nonprofit, or any other community organization, there are dozens of holiday fundraising ideas that can help your program reach new heights. But with so many options, how do you choose the right holiday fundraising event ideas to get your community motivated and ready to give? 

Not to worry—we’ve made a list of five holiday fundraising ideas that work like a charm. We’ll unwrap the pros and cons of each, along with tips to pull your campaign off without a hitch.

5 Festive Fundraisers That Work for Any Cause

Bake sales, raffles, greeting card sales, holiday bazaars—there are almost as many ways to raise funds as there are worthy causes to support. Which one will work best for your organization? To answer this question, consider the community you’re trying to reach:

  • Who does your organization serve?
  • Who is passionate about your cause?
  • What kind of activities, events, or products might click with that audience?

For example, if you’re raising money for a school or youth group, a family-oriented event like a gingerbread decorating contest could be a hit. Fundraising for a museum or art gallery? An evening soiree could resonate best with the audience that cares most about your cause.

With your community’s needs and interests in mind, let’s take a look at 5 of our favorite fundraiser ideas for the holiday season.

1. Sell Holiday Treats

Product fundraisers have been a fundraising go-to for decades. With this kind of fundraiser, your organization works with a company that specializes in product fundraising. Typically, you can either: 

  • Buy products in bulk at a discount and resell at full price, keeping the proceeds
  • Get catalogs and order forms for distribution from the company. Then, contributors place their orders through you, and your organization receives a portion of the proceeds. 

There’s an almost endless list of products available for fundraising. Some holiday favorites are:

  • Candles
  • Gift wrap
  • Baked goods
  • Gift baskets
  • Poinsettias
  • Amaryllis or paperwhite bulbs

Sell baked goods as a holiday fundraising idea

However, keep in mind that product fundraisers can be tricky. Bulk buying to have inventory on hand encourages on-site sales, but you’ll need to carefully determine how much to buy. Choosing the best type of product to sell can also be challenging.

2. Sell or Buy Gift Cards with RaiseRight

Running a gift card fundraiser with RaiseRight takes all the stress out of fundraising because you don’t have to sell any goods or ask people to donate money. Instead, your supporters simply use their gift cards for their everyday spending or holiday shopping.

A RaiseRight gift card fundraiser can be done in two ways (with many successful organizations offering both methods):

  • Purchase physical gift cards that would be popular among your supporters, and earn anywhere from 1 to 20% back per gift card for your organization. Then, sell the gift cards to your members at face value to use instantly at their favorite retailers.
  • Encourage your supporters to sign up for RaiseRight under your organization’s unique enrollment code. They can buy their gift cards through RaiseRight (web or mobile app), with earnings going directly to your organization. 

RaiseRight offers gift cards for hundreds of the most popular brands, from McDonald’s to Amazon and everything in between. Plus, it’s free to set up your organization’s account and get started right away, so you can get that last-minute fundraiser going instantly.

download the gift card fundraising playbook

3. Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Host a gingerbread house decorating contest as a holiday fundraising idea

A gingerbread house decorating contest is an especially festive fête—but get ready for some planning and prep (and some sticky clean-up). If you’re fundraising for a school, youth group, or church, your organization probably has a space for hosting events. If not, contact places like your local library, Elks Club, or Rotary Club—they’ll often have community meeting rooms available. 

Next, you’ll need supplies for all participants. Try contacting grocery stores, bakeries, and other local businesses for donated supplies and prizes. 

Be sure to calculate an entry fee that covers the cost of supplies and any other expenses, with all additional proceeds going toward your fundraiser. 

4. Host a Holiday Soiree, Gala, or Concert

If you love party planning, this is the fundraiser for you. You can make the event as low-key or high-end as you like, from black tie or masquerade to an ugly Christmas sweater party. 

Here are some tips to make your holiday benefit a smashing success:

  • Hire a local musical group to perform (or find one willing to donate their time to help a worthy cause)
  • Contact local businesses to sponsor the event and provide refreshments
  • If your organization has merch on hand, like shirts, mugs, tote bags, etc., sell these on-site or use them as door prizes
  • Sell advance tickets and/or charge a cover fee at the door.
5. Holiday-Themed Raffle

A raffle is a fundraising classic—there’s nothing like a chance to win a prize and get people excited to chip in for a good cause. Here are some tips to make organizing your raffle a snap: 

  • Contact local businesses to contribute – The possibilities here are endless. Coffee shops can donate gift cards, bakeries can provide cakes or cookies, local artists might donate prints or cards, and spas could provide a free massage or facial. Don’t be afraid to ask around and get creative with the businesses you approach. 
  • Reach out to larger companies – Don’t just think local for your prizes. Many companies and chain stores have donation programs and will contribute prizes to charity events.
  • Sell paper tickets or go paperless – If you’re nostalgic for the classic roll of colorful raffle tickets, by all means, go old-school. But if you’d rather modernize your raffle, you can use an online raffle creator to manage entries, sell tickets, and select winners.
Team Up With RaiseRight and Wrap Up Your Fundraising Goals

With these ideas, you’ll be a fundraising dynamo this holiday season. And remember, fundraising doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful. In fact, simplicity is often the key to keeping the funds rolling in all year ‘round.

With RaiseRight, you can make it easy on yourself and your supporters.

You don’t have to worry about selling products or planning events, and the people who want to help don’t have to buy another candle or roll of wrapping paper. Instead, they simply shop as usual, fueling your cause with every purchase.

So what's next?

  1. Learn more about how gift card fundraising works.
  2. Download the Gift Card Fundraising Playbook and share it with others in your organization.
  3. Start a free program by completing a short, online enrollment form.  

If you’re a member of an organization looking to join an existing program, you just need your enrollment code to create an account and begin fundraising right away.

enroll in effortless, year-round fundraising with raiseright