Thanksgiving Fundraising 7 Tips for Success

This week we have so much to be thankful for! Tune in as we share 7 tips with you to help increase fundraising success around Thanksgiving. These ideas can be used for other holiday seasons throughout the year for fun, meaningful fundraising.

1. Build Relationships

This may seem counter-intuitive that the first fundraising idea I am giving to you does not involve immediate funds. Turn your Friendsgiving into a Donorsgiving day. As you are giving thanks this year, it is good to also give thanks to your donors.

It can be as easy as sending a hand-written card or inviting donors to your Thanksgiving party, so they can really experience your nonprofit’s culture. For a list of 15 Creative Ways to Recognize Donors and Thank Them, you can listen to Podcast 033 HERE.

Try to keep this a full-on “Thank You” and don’t ask for money at this point in time. What? Yes, this is a long-term fundraising strategy that includes no fundraising. Let’s be real, you are going to ask for funding on #GivingTuesday or for your End of Year Giving Campaign. Use Thanksgiving to give out some love and gratitude on this day to your current donors.

Now, if you are organizing a Thanksgiving fundraiser that is a different story…

2. Turkey Trot Fun Run

A fun way to earn some funding on Thanksgiving is to organize a Turkey Trot 2k, 5k, or 10k. You can have people dress in a turkey costume or have a turkey food truck at the end of the race. This is a fun and encouraging way to promote exercise before the holiday weight gain begins. Have the water stations with different banners about the impact of your nonprofit so the runners can see what you are doing!

3. Baking Competition

Host a seasonal baking competition utilizing the top bakers in your community. Entry fees can be very nominal to try out samples of the baked goods. This competition will create buzz about the baked goods and may not raise a lot of money, BUT to upsell you can create an online order form for people to order the winning baked goods! So, all of a sudden the pumpkin pie that won the competition, you can now sell pre-orders on your website!

4. Gift Baskets

Create a gift basket, complete with your logo and a brochure about your organization, and go get corporate orders! Yes, corporations love giving out gift baskets to their clients and staff, but they also want something new and meaningful each year. If they order the gift basket from your organization, you can still include the typical cheese, fruits, and baked goods, but you can also add your swag and personal touch so everyone that receives the basket knows that their gift benefited a nonprofit!

Tip: Take orders (paid orders) from corporates beforehand so you do not hold onto any unwanted inventory.

5. Holiday Yard Clean-Up

Host a big yard cleanup in your community. If you are way in the north, that might even be a day where you shovel the snow out of driveways, in the mid-west you might rake leaves, and in the south, you might still be mowing the lawn.

Encourage people to take off time with their families during the holidays and to outsource the clean-up to your organization!

6. Holiday Trivia Night

This can be done in partnership with a popular ‘watering hole’ or community center! Have people register online with a certain monetary charge per team. Get some great donated prizes and find some snazzy holiday trivia questions!

7. Celebrity Gala

I’ve seen this one work out wonderfully! Invite some local celebrities to be waiters at a Gala. The catch is that they have to sell at least 10 tickets (for their table) for the people that they will serve. All the celebrity waiters then have competitions throughout the night, including which waiter gets the most tips! I’ve seen a lot of money raised this way and attendees have a blast!

All-in-All these ideas can really help your nonprofit raise some funds, increase awareness for your mission, and create partnerships. Bonus: All of these ideas can also create great content for your social media!!

Happy Holidays!

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