7 Christmas Fundraising Ideas for Charities

‘Tis the season for giving. And with COVID-19 impacting our country and the world as a whole, more people than ever will be in need of some Christmas cheer. The holidays are the perfect time for your charity or organization to raise funds and make donations that you can use to make someone’s Christmas all that much brighter.

Looking for some creative Christmas fundraising ideas? 

This year, we had to get more creative since many of the traditional options are now off the table. So, here are some to add to your list.

#1 Polar Plunge

Who doesn’t love taking a dip in freezing cold water? This is a great way to both shock the immune system, and raise money or awareness for a cause. 

How it works is simple, “Supporters reach out to their social networks to raise money for a cause and then jump into cold water, outside, in the winter.” Whether participants pay an entrance fee or solicit donations via pledges, either way is a fun and easy way to fundraise.  

Be warned! This is not an event for the faint of heart. Pro plungers are always sure to have a towel, change of clothes, and a warm mug of cocoa ready and waiting for them. 

#2 Matching Gifts 

Speak to local businesses, churches, and charities to set up a matching gift program. For every donation you receive, they match it or give a percentage back. 

Many larger corporations already have matching programs in place. Simply contact their HR and see if you can enlist the help of some corporate partners.

A matching gift or donation program benefits everyone. The businesses get good PR and a tax writeoff, your organization takes in more funds, and more people have gifts beneath their Christmas tree and food on their table.  

#3 A Fun Run or Walk

It may be chilly outside, but a run or brisk walk will warm you right up. Being outside and socially distanced is a safe way you can still gather and fundraise for a good cause.

Ask participants to help promote the event and seek out pledges. 

Similarly, if you’re in the mountains, a speedo & bikini run is a fun way to highlight and then raise money for a good cause! 

#4 Christmas Cookie Bake-Off or Cookie Swap

Who doesn’t love cookies? Who doesn’t love homemade family recipes? Now, combine the two into a glorious cookie swap. 

This is a great christmas charity idea for smaller entities like a church or a local nonprofit. 

Encourage members of the community to bake several batches of their favorite cookies. Then the community buys an assortment of a dozen or a half dozen cookies. After, everyone can vote to see who has the most delicious Christmas dessert.    

#5 Cookbooks 

Another of our smaller holiday fundraising ideas, like the cookie bake-off, practically everyone has a favorite home recipe for a meal or an appetizer. Your team can partner with members of the community, local chefs, and restaurants to share their favorite recipes—whether that’s food or drink. 

What could be better than eating for a good cause?

#6 Virtual Raffle and Auction 

Although we likely can’t do the normal Christmas soiree and raffle this year, you can still make use of people’s generosity by simply moving the raffle to a virtual medium. 

Everyone can donate something, whether it’s a stay in someone’s vacation home, free or reduced professional services, or products from their store. Then, people bid on what they want!

Along the same lines, you can also have everyone bid on a 50/50 raffle, wherein the winner gets half of the prize money and your charity the other half. 

#7 The Give It Up Challenge 

The give it up challenge compels you to give up a guilty pleasure—be it coffee, dining out, or online shopping for a period of time (typically a month). So, instead of spending money on those things, participants put the amount in a jar and give it to charity at the end of the month. 

For instance, consider your daily latte from Starbucks. At $4.50 a cup, that’s $22.50 a week, and $90 a month that could be donated to those less fortunate. This challenge can become even more appealing by asking friends and family to pledge or join the cause. 

Give Back This Christmas

Even though fundraising this year will look a little different, there are still safe and creative ways that your organization can raise money for a worthy cause. 

These are just a few of the ideas you can leverage going forward. As you do, be sure to take advantage of social media to spread the news. So, feel free to try one or several of these fundraisers to meet your goals during this festive time! 

If you’re looking for hands-on help to raise money for your nonprofit, reach out today to talk to the experts at Puzzle Pieces Marketing.


Cause Vox. How to Run a Polar Plunge Fundraiser. https://www.causevox.com/blog/polar-plunge/

Center on Halsted. Santa Speedo Run. https://centeronhalsted.org/Santa-Speedo-Run-FAQs.pdf