25 Ways to Serve Your Community During the Holidays and Raise Some Cash!

Did you know that over 30% of the charitable donations for the entire year are made during December? Pretty impressive! If you think creatively, there are lots of opportunities for your organization to take advantage of this goodwill: not just in December, but all year round.

luminariaThere are a lot of things people need to celebrate the holidays, and if buyers can combine the purchase of a crucial item with a charitable contribution, so much the better! Many organizations sell candy or chocolate items to fill Easter baskets or Christmas stockings. You can also assist with holiday decor, by selling luminaria kits for Christmas Eve: a paper bag, sand, and a candle. People also need Christmas trees, wreaths, garland and poinsettias; Easter lilies in the spring or bulbs in the fall.

cookie trayPeople are often short on time during the holidays and would gladly part with their cash in exchange for a provided service. Surely your program has a pool of talent to draw on. Holiday "elves" could could babysit; wrap gifts; handle holiday decorating (indoor AND outdoor!); address holiday cards; handle errands and personal shopping; or even manage set-up, serving, and cleanup for holiday parties. If your go-to fundraiser is a bake sale, give it a holiday twist by having each donor bake several dozen of their own signature cookie, then arrange cookie trays for donors. Come January, offer to haul away their Christmas tree in exchange for a donation.

You have ready access to musicians, so why not try singing valentines in both February for Valentine's Day and in October for Sweetest Day? In December, you could go caroling for cash, where locations and times could be prearranged by collecting advance donations. With luck, the recipient's neighbors may also chip in! If these efforts are successful, you may decide to continue all year long by offering musical birthday surprises.

polar plungeEvents are a great way to raise money. In the spring, many organizations offer fish frys during Fridays in Lent, or throw a huge community Easter egg hunt. Consider a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run 5K. Try a twist on a holiday fundraising dinner by inviting guests to attend wearing their ugliest holiday sweater. Feeling bold? How about a Polar Plunge?

Year-round, holidays are a time of joy and open hearts. Find a way to tap into it by serving your community, and it just may pay off for your organization!

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