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A Holiday Fundraiser? The Pros and Cons

November 15, 2017
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the carol says. We’re heading straight into the holiday season, when families gather, kids (and adults!) tear the wrapping paper off presents, and we gorge on massive meals.

But is it also a good time for your cause to throw a major gala fundraiser?

Having been in the business of selling non-profit fundraising auction travel packages on consignment for more than 20 years, we’ve worked with events that have taken place at any point on the calendar. If you’re considering having yours during this busy period, we’ve got some reasons why it could be the most wonderful time of the year for your non-profit, too.

Donors are in the mood to party!

November and December are often filled with invites to dinner parties, after-work get-togethers and gift exchanges. It’s a time of year that welcomes large gatherings, and throwing your fundraiser during this time period can tap into that energy. Your fundraiser can even be a time for supporters to bring together family members or friends, all in the sake of raising money for your cause, like a party inside a party!

December galas line up with year-end giving.

A 2014 study showed that almost a full 20 percent of giving happens in the month of December, and more than a third of it happens in the year’s last three months. Getting to see your donors face-to-face during that time can help garner bigger contributions (and auction bids). And using that factoid can help convince donors to “do their part” during a December fundraiser; those donations can come alongside auction bids for one record-setting evening.

Fundraising auction lots make great gifts.

Items like non-profit fundraising auction travel packages are highly “gift-able.” You can capitalize on the season of giving by offering items that your big-budget donors would like to give to family members or friends, and they’ll appreciate the opportunity to finish their holiday shopping by supporting an important cause. And with our Destinations of Excellence catalog offering trips around the world and tickets to major events, you can make sure that your biggest supporters have the perfect travel package as a present.

In the end, there’s no one prescription for when everyone should throw a gala fundraiser. But keeping in mind the pluses and pitfalls of the holiday season, and applying those thoughts directly to your audience of donors, can be the difference between a successful outing and one that raises less than the goal amount. And remember – there’s always spring, too!