Christmas Fundraising Campaigns 2021

16 Dec 2021

Nonprofits the world over deliver fundraising appeals over the Christmas season, and for good reason.

Figures from the latest UK Giving Report shows that in 2020 - despite a reduced fundraising calendar - the biggest donation spikes still happened in the last 3 months of the year, with 34% of all giving coming in December.

As the market grows more and more crowded, reaching your supporters has become equally more complicated. Since 2020, with the widspread adoption of virtual fundraising, and the subsequent evolution of hybrid fundraising events, we've seen charities design some inspiring fundraising events that have achieved some very real impact.

Here are a selection of festive campaigns - hosted on the Funraisin platform - that use diverse fundraising techniques to deliver engaging supporter experiences.

Santa's Sleigh Run

Parkinsons's UK

About the Campaign:
Santa Sleigh Run takes place between 11-17 December with participants being encouraged to run 5, 10, or 20km, to help virtually power Santa’s sleigh across the UK

What it does: 
Each KM covered is added to a collective progress bar, connected to an interactive map that shows how far along Santa is on his journey. Distances and times can be recorded through connected fitness apps or manually added via the fundraising dashboard. Participants are incentivised to raise funds with milestone based rewards such as water bottles, goody bags and physical certificates. Leaderboards are split into individual and team lists that can be further segregated by distance and amount raised.

Why it's special
Santa Sleigh Run plays on the childhood nostalgia of wondering where Santa is on Christmas Eve, and borrows aspects from the NORAD Santa Tracker. The use of emotional and cultural touch points helps participants to foster a sense of unity, shared experience and incentive to achieve their goals collectively. 

Be a Santa for Sick Kids

Ronald McDonald House Charities

About the Campaign:
Be a Santa for Sick Kids is produced by with Ronald McDonald House Charities, to provide a home away from home for the parents of seriously ill children undergoing life-saving treatment this Christmas

What it does: 
Supporters are asked to give a donation which will appear on a virtual Christmas tree alongside the donor’s name and a personalised message. Donations can be made as a one-off amount or through a Personal Santa fundraising page.

Why it's special
Both donation pathways employ the use of powerful, emotive dollar handles that showcase the direct impact donations have on the children and families that Ronald McDonald House supports. Be a Santa for Sick Kids places the children at the heart of the campaign by telling their story, when they can’t tell it themselves. 

Since 2020, there are...

AU Nonprofits

UK Nonprofits

US Nonprofits

Fundraisers need to continually innovate, and tailor emotional touchpoints for their donors.

Recipe for Change

Shelter UK

About the Campaign:
Recipe for Change is a Christmas campaign that gives people the opportunity to cook and share a meal whilst learning more about homelessness. 

What it does: 
Fundraisers are asked to host a dinner party or social gathering and cook a dish that has been created by someone impacted by homelessness - a ‘taste of home’ that tells the story of that individual's journey. Participants are encouraged to post their event and the stories behind their dish on social media. Sharing entertainment experiences - particularly those involving food - is behavior that many social media users actively engage in. As this behavior already takes place naturally Recipe for Change aren’t asking people to do anything that is outside of their digital comfort zone.

Why it's special
Recipe for Change is an "in-person first event" - meaning that although it's designed with in-person fundraising in mind, the Shelter UK team have pre-prepared the supporting technology and provisions to run a virtual event as required. Allowing this flexibility highlights Shelter’s commitment to innovation and keeping their fundraisers safe.

Yorkshire Stars

Yorkshire Cancer Research

About the Campaign:
Yorkshire Stars is a fundraising appeal where each donation allows the donor to add a dedicated star to a virtual Christmas tree, before being placed on a physical Christmas tree ahead of an in-person remembrance event.

What it does: 
The minimum donation required is £1 and there is no upper donation cap or a limit to how many stars can be dedicated. Supporters are also encouraged to share their dedications on social media to inspire others to donate and raise awareness.

Why it's special
Yorkshire Stars is more than a fundraising campaign - it’s a celebration of the people, families and groups that have been impacted by cancer and who are dedicated to supporting cancer research at community level. 

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