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Event Best Practices: A Few Holiday Thoughts

October 02, 2013
Event Best Practices: A Few Holiday Thoughts

The holiday season is an important time for charitable giving and the end of the year is the most popular time for organizations to host fundraisers. Roughly a third of all annual donations are made in December. Fundraising is all about generating income for a good cause and a successful event allows for fun and rewarding ways to generate donations. Best success is achieved with careful and strategic planning.

The holidays are simply the best time to fundraise! So start early with a few event must-do’s:

Thoughts on Themes


Don’t be afraid to be creative—as long as it’s in keeping with the interests and status of your target audience and—in some way—relevant to the equity and “ethos” of your organization. Keep your auction event fun with a theme that will excite your donors. Black tie galas and winter wonderland themes are always nice but a fun, pop culture pleaser like a holiday movie theme can rev up your guest list (a visit to Middle Earth courtesy of December’s Hobbit release perhaps?) Come up with a few creative ideas—and test out the best with a few key board members or regular contributors to get their input and tacit approval. Once they sign on, RUN WITH IT!

The Art of the Holiday Basket

Baskets are a solid way of enticing higher levels of giving—plus they can make excellent raffle prizes. Again, don’t be afraid of getting creative with the contents. Go green with sustainable foods and even cooking lessons or other hot trends such as pet gift baskets, premium cigar baskets and art gift baskets. Everyone loves a basket full of goodies. They’re great for re-gifting too!

Getaway Gifts

Consider travel packages. People love to travel, according to Travel & Leisure magazine, “Of course, one thing in travel remains constant year after year: the quest for new horizons.” You can offer a range of these from warm, exotic destinations to one-of-a-kind “experiential” trips! Look for places and packages that capture the imagination. What could be more fun at the holidays than knowing you’ve just won or purchased an exciting trip for yourself or your family! And doing it for a worthy cause is a win-win for everyone involved. A complete, all-inclusive package to the 2014 Super Bowl or a deluxe holiday shopping spree in NY? Surfing and scuba lessons in Maui? See these and more in our sample trips.

Keep your donors merry and be creative for your next holiday event.