Winter Fundraising: Embracing The Giving Season

Winter Fundraising: Embracing The Giving Season

The arrival of winter brings with it a golden opportunity to tap into the power of giving and elevate your fundraising efforts. It’s a time of warmth, connection, and unparalleled generosity – making it the ideal season for fundraising success.

From captivating holiday-themed events to innovative winter campaigns, read our winter fundraising guide to unlock the full potential of the season.

Why is winter such a good time to fundraise?

Winter opens the door to remarkable fundraising opportunities that can leave an indelible mark on your supporters. Picture enchanting winter wonderland galas, exhilarating snow-inspired challenges, and heartwarming initiatives that bring joy to those in need – there are so many wonderful winter-themed fundraising options to choose from.

Often known as the most magical time of the year, Winter is also a season where generosity levels are sky high, with the festive cheer of the holiday season making donors all the more inclined to support your cause.

What are the most popular winter fundraising ideas?

Ready to start planning your winter fundraising initiatives? Want to ensure your fundraiser stands out in a sea of worthy causes? We’ve curated a list of our favorite winter-esque fundraising events that you can hold, to enchant and delight your supporters.

1) Ice Sculpture Competition

Showcase the talent and artistry of local ice sculptors by organizing an ice sculpture competition. Partner with a skilled ice sculptor or company to provide the necessary tools and resources. Invite participants to create captivating ice sculptures aligned with a winter or holiday theme.

Set up the competition in a prominent public space, allowing spectators to marvel at the frozen masterpieces. Incorporate voting or sponsorships to generate donations and engage the community in supporting the artists and your cause. A truly visually stunning and unique fundraising idea to inspire donations.

2) Winter Wonderland Gala

Transport your guests into a magical world of ice and snow with a Winter Wonderland Gala. Transform your venue into a whimsical wonderland, complete with sparkling decorations, elegant ice sculptures, and a touch of festive charm.

Incorporate interactive experiences like ice skating, snowflake crafts, or a hot chocolate bar. With live entertainment, silent auctions, and raffles, you’ll create an enchanting and engaging event for your cause.

3) Cozy online auction

Embrace the digital realm and host an online auction that participants can enjoy from the comfort of their warm homes. Curate a collection of unique winter-themed items, such as cozy blankets, gourmet hot chocolate sets, or ski resort getaways. The convenience and excitement of online bidding will attract a wide audience, allowing you to maximize donations and engage supporters both near and far.

4) Ice Challenge

Take the plunge and organize an ice challenge, an exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping fundraising idea. Encourage participants to brave the icy waters by taking a dip in a local lake or ocean, getting loved ones and friends to sponsor them for taking on the frosty challenge. Provide branded towels or certificates as mementos, and document the event with photos and videos to share on social media, increasing awareness and encouraging additional donations.

5) Winter Sports Tournament

Tap into the love for winter sports by hosting a Winter Sports Tournament. Whether it’s ice hockey, skiing, or snowboarding, create a thrilling competition that brings together your community with both participants and spectators. Encourage teams or individuals to fundraise leading up to the event, with proceeds benefiting your cause.

6) Warmth Drive

Combat the cold weather by organizing a warmth drive to provide essential items for those in need. Collect donations of new or gently used winter clothing, including coats, hats, gloves, and blankets. Collaborate with local businesses, schools, and community organizations to serve as collection points.

Raise awareness for your Warmth Drive through social media campaigns and local media coverage, inspiring individuals to contribute and make a meaningful impact in keeping others warm during the winter months.

7) Hot Chocolate Stand

Warm hearts and tantalize taste buds with a delightful winter hot chocolate stand. Set up a charming booth at a local winter festival, holiday market, or even in your local community. Offer an array of hot chocolate flavors, toppings, and specialty treats.

Don’t forget to add a donation jar or digital payment options, allowing visitors to contribute while enjoying their cozy cups of cocoa. This simple yet irresistible fundraising idea is perfect for spreading joy and raising funds during the winter season.

8) Winter Ball

Host an elegant Winter Ball, a glamorous affair that brings together supporters for a night of sophistication and generosity. Choose a stunning venue adorned with winter-inspired decor and twinkling lights. Guests can indulge in a delicious dinner, enjoy live music or a DJ, and participate in silent auctions and fundraising games. Encourage attendees to dress in their finest winter-themed attire, adding a touch of magic to the evening. With ticket sales, sponsorships, and generous donations, the Winter Ball becomes a memorable event that generates significant support for your cause.

9) Christmas Tree Competition

Embrace the festive spirit and ignite friendly competition with a Christmas Tree Competition. Invite individuals, businesses, and community groups to decorate and display their most dazzling and creative Christmas trees. Set up a public voting system, either online or at a designated location, and encourage visitors to donate or purchase votes to support their favorite tree. Awards can be given for various categories, such as “Most Creative,” “Best Use of Theme,” or “People’s Choice.” This engaging and festive fundraising idea not only raises funds but also spreads holiday cheer throughout your community.

10) Christmas Craft Fair

Embrace people’s holiday creativity by hosting a Christmas Craft Fair. Bring together local artisans, crafters, and vendors to showcase their handmade products and unique gifts. Create a festive atmosphere with holiday decorations, carolers, and seasonal treats. Attendees can browse and purchase a wide range of crafts, including ornaments, jewelry, artwork, and homemade goods. Collect a portion of the sales as donations to support your cause, while providing a platform for talented artisans to gain exposure and contribute to the community.

11) Ice Skating Competition

Lace up your skates and glide into a thrilling Ice Skating Competition. Invite skilled skaters of all ages to showcase their talent and grace on the ice. Set up different categories based on skill levels or age groups and have judges or the audience score the performances. Encourage participants to fundraise prior to the competition, with proceeds going towards your cause.

What are some useful tips for fundraising safely in winter?

Here’s some useful tips to help you maximize your fundraising efforts during the winter season and keep everyone enjoying your event safely. 

Monitor weather conditions: Keep a close eye on the weather forecast and adjust your plans accordingly. Postpone or cancel events if conditions are too unsafe for attendees, volunteers, or staff. And do make sure to communicate any changes or cancellations promptly and clearly to avoid confusion.

Prepare for winter emergencies: Be prepared for emergencies that can arise during winter events, such as power outages, icy sidewalks, or snowstorms. Have a plan in place to address any emergencies and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Take precautions for outdoor events: If you’re hosting an outdoor event, take extra precautions to protect attendees from the cold, wind, and snow. Provide ample shelter and warmth, such as heated tents or blankets. Encourage attendees to dress appropriately for the weather and provide additional layers if necessary.

Provide hand sanitizing stations: Make sure to provide hand sanitizing stations and encourage attendees to use them frequently. Winter is the cold and flu season after all! 

Consider virtual options: If in-person events are not feasible or safe, consider hosting virtual events instead. You can still create engaging and meaningful experiences for your supporters through online fundraising campaigns, virtual auctions, or digital events.

By prioritizing safety and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a successful winter fundraising campaign that protects the health and well-being of everyone involved. Stay adaptable and creative, and leverage the opportunities that winter presents to create memorable and impactful fundraising experiences that your supporters will be talking about for years to come.

Ella Jacques

Ella Jacques

Global Client Services Manager at Givergy

Ella heads up the global Fundraising & Events team. A key part of Givergy’s growth for four years, Ella has a passion for event planning and ensuring her and her teams’ clients exceed their fundraising targets. Furthermore, Ella’s exposure to some of the highest-profile fundraising events gives her a unique insight into the newest and most innovative way in which charities are engaging with their audiences.