Top fundraising tips for charities at Christmas

The busiest times for charities always fall towards the end of the year when people are feeling festive.1 The Charities Aid Foundation says that the peak months for donations are November and December. With this in mind, it makes sense to have a clear fundraising plan to make the most of these months.

Create a fundraising strategy

When thinking about your goals it’s important to assess what you want to achieve. You need to think about:

  • what you want to achieve; are your targets financial, awareness and/or participation driven?
  • a SWAT analysis to help you identify the opportunities and threats your charity faces, including any legislations that affect the way charities operate
  • the activity you want to do, will it help you achieve your objectives?
  • if you want to do an online or offline campaign
  • if offline, think about where your target audience is likely to be and how you’ll approach them
  • how much budget you have available – your fundraising goal can be a good indicator here
  • the amount of time your charity has to achieve various stages of the strategy

Staying compliant with data protection laws

In 2017/18 UK charities were responsible for 11 fines totalling £138,000 to for unlawfully processing personal data. An increase of 15% from the previous 12 months. With the introduction of GDPR and the Code of Fundraising Practise, these numbers are likely to rise.2 
Read the ICO’s full guide to GDPR and the Code of Fundraising practice to make sure you know everything you need to in order to be compliant.

Connect with your donors

Identify who you’re trying to reach with your fundraising campaign and who’s most likely to help you. For example; some charities use celebrities to help fundraise for causes they care about, homeless charities do sponsored sleep outs to help raise awareness and animal charities use animals in their advertising. This helps to develop a strong relationship with donors, and to spread their message by raising more awareness for their cause.

Expand your fundraising platform

There’s been an explosion in the number of online fundraising platforms for charities. If you aren’t using one already to collect donations, now is the time to investigate. For example, JustGiving has collected over £4billion for charities since its launch in 2001.3 With more platforms becoming available for fund collecting, it’s worth identifying the one with the best fit for your charity. Particularly in terms of payment; some take a percentage of the funds raised or charge subscription fees, others are only available for certain types of charities.

Make the most of the week after Christmas

The days after Christmas are often seen as a golden time for fundraising.4 Some businesses close over the festive period giving your charity the opportunity to take advantage of people’s spare time. It’s the perfect opportunity for events such as a sponsored winter walk or a bracing dip in the sea on Boxing day.

Putting a strategy in place when you’re planning to fundraise, especially with the festive season approaching is key. As 2018 draws to a close, finishing the year on a high can lay good foundations for 2019 and your future plans.

1. Zywave: Charity Commercial Insurance Profile 4th Quarter 2018
2. charitydigitalnews.co.uk/charities-pay-138k-in-fines-for-unlawful-data-ico-reports
3. charitydigitalnews.co.uk/the-best-free-online-fundraising-platforms-for-charities
4. fundraising.co.uk/20-ways-raise-funds-christmas