HOW TO: Host a Holiday Giving Party

Giving Holiday Party
11.29.2011By
Giving Holiday Party

Image by Erica Hargreave

It’s that time of year again–time for holiday cheer, giving and parties! For the free agent fundraisers and party planners, make your holiday gathering that much more unique and meaningful by providing the opportunity for guests to donate to a cause you care about.

8 Steps to Inspire Giving at Your Holiday Gathering

1.  Assess your resources, energy level, and options.

You might want to do it all and are envisioning a huge, holiday fundraising gala. Before you send out the invites, double check your energy level, time availability and resources to assess your options. There are easy, low-effort ways to inspire giving–as well as larger than life ways.

Keep in mind that the holidays are a stressful time. You and your guests will have a more enjoyable time if you’re having fun by inspiring giving than losing your mind in the details. Determine what works for you (and maybe a few helpers).

2.  Make a holiday-themed personal fundraising page.

Once your page is created, you can encourage people to donate a number of ways. For example, if you’re planning a holiday party, a Christmas Eve dinner, or even a New Year’s Eve bash, share your fundraising page and goal with your guests.  When you send out your invites, be sure to include the URL to your fundraising page and invite guests to donate instead of bringing gifts.

Don’t want to have a party? You can still create a fundraising page and include the URL in your holiday cards or as an item on your wish list.

3.  Use QR codes on your invites and napkins.

If you want to get fancy on the fly, create a QR code out of the URL for your fundraising page. Creating a QR code takes less than a minute and a number of sites provide this service for free.

By having a QR code on your invites, people are able to donate without the use of a computer if they have a smartphone. By placing the QR code on your party’s napkins, people can donate on the spot–versus having to do it when they get home. This also helps create a conversation piece and bring more awareness to what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

4.  Charge a cover.

One simple way to increase the giving spirit at your event is to have a “cover charge.” You can ask guests to donate what they feel is appropriate or offer a “suggested amount” that you are comfortable in asking.

5.  Set-up a giving station.

Even if you do have QR codes on your napkins, it’s a good idea to set-up a “giving station.” This will also help draw attention to your cause. It also provides you the opportunity to provide additional information about the cause and set-up a cash/check donation option for guests that prefer donating the good ‘ole fashion way.

You can also create “giving boxes” for people to donate any spare change they have. These boxes can be placed in a few different places around the event. You might think the QR codes and the giving station might be enough. But you may want to consider taking up a collection. Choose a specific time (a time when the majority of your guests will be in attendance) and ask them to donate.

Note: If you have cash/check giving options at your party, have a plan for keeping an eye on it. Even though it’s the season of giving, the temptation to take might be too easy for some.

6.  Give the gift of giving.

You don’t have to ask your guests to give–you can be the giver! Some nonprofits let you donate to their cause and provide certificates you can give to others as a gift. In addition, Razoo also offers holiday giving gift cards. You choose the amount and the receiver chooses the cause!

7.  Get creative.

If you want to really go all out, here are some additional ideas you can weave into your holiday gathering:

  • –Forget the White Elephant party. Ask guests to bring an item to auction and donate all the proceeds to your cause of choice.
  • –Have a raffle. Proceeds from ticket sales can go towards your cause and the winner can go home with a nice prize–perhaps your revered pecan pie or a free photo session if you’re a photographer.
  • –Go caroling and take with you a bucket to collect donations people may offer in exchange for the music.
  • –Contact your local or favorite nonprofit. They may have added ideas on how you can get involved and help out during the holidays.

8.  Don’t forget the thank yous!

Whether your friends and family donate online or off, don’t forget to send them a thank you!

How are inspiring giving at your holiday gatherings?