December Fundraising Newsletter
Two Quick Tips for Holiday Fundraising
The holidays are an interesting and challenging time for any non-profit organization to raise money. The season is traditionally associated with goodwill and compassion, and many people are more inclined to donate to good causes. On the other hand it is also a season of increased expenses in gifts, food, and travel. During such interesting times, it is important to consider the whole situation instead of simply approaching it as any other fundraising opportunity.
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First and foremost, it is important to be respectful of the people you're approaching. During the holidays it is very likely they've already been approached by the Knights of Columbus, the Salvation Army, Goodwill and any number of other charities that have holiday-specific drives. Yes, it is important that you do everything you can to raise money for your cause, but the people you're approaching have lives and agendas of their own, and they may have already donated what they can handle. Be respectful and understanding, and don't let it get you down or discouraged.
Secondly it is important to consider alternatives to traditional
fundraising. People do get financially tapped out quickly during the holiday gift rush, but that doesn't mean they aren't willing to help in some other way. Consider asking them to donate an hour of time for your next holiday-themed event, or mentioning your cause at their next church or social function. Never underestimate the power of simple word of mouth, and never underestimate the power of compassion - if they can't help you directly, let them know other ways to help.
Small But Meaningful
A big part of what makes charitable donation such a joy is the knowledge of donating to a good cause. But as we've mentioned, the holidays are a tight time, and it can be agonizing having to choose between saving for a rainy day and opening up your wallet to help out a fundraiser you know is important. This is why so many fundraisers offer incentives, be they coupon books or make your own pizza boxes - people feel better when they know they're tangibly benefiting as well.
Now, if combining charitable good will with a practical return is satisfying, consider offering an incentive that gives people double value for both. Eco-friendly Go Green canvas tote bags are a wonderful way to do this. Not only are they donating to your charity, they're supporting environmental causes by reducing plastic waste. They get a goody in return for their donation, and instead of a chocolate bar that will be eaten and forgotten, they get a bag that will last them months or even years of steady use. And of course, they're wonderful for carrying home all of those presents they'll be receiving at the next family get together.
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Besides the archetypical Christmas tree, there is one plant that really stands out as a sign of the holidays - the poinsettia. This little plant has been associated with the holiday season since the 1500s! This may not be enough to consider it the oldest fundraising item in history (it seems that pies at least have been around a good deal longer), it certainly does have a lasting appeal and staying power.
According to some sources, poinsettia sales account for over eighty-five percent of all potted plant sales during the holiday seasons. This translates into something approaching $220 million each year. They're sold in stores, used to raise funds in churches and private organizations, they decorate offices and schools alike - a serious case can be made that they're even more a sign of the holiday than a pine tree for the charity minded.
Many poinsettias are purchased as memorials or honorariums, to acknowledge those who've sadly passed away or who have achieved some great success. The next time you see one, ask about who it was purchased for if you feel comfortable doing so. You may just hear a wonderful story and get a chance to grow closer to a friend or family member this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at FastTrack Fundraising!
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The FastTrack Fundraising Team
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