Christmas in July!

  • by Lincoln
  • 16/02/2010

I know, I know …thinking about Christmas in July is about as welcome as seeing ‘back to school’ sales start before the kids have even broken up for the summer holidays.

But, it’s a key fundraising season. And a well-planned, well-integrated campaign can make a big difference to your fundraising year.

Santa Surfing

So what could you do?

Salvation Army, for instance, raised over £16 million last Christmas with an integrated campaign lasting just 24 days.

The Salvation Army

Of course, many people extend the Christmas season by starting much earlier. Driven by events like Movember, Children in Need and the Poppy appeals, November is actually the biggest month (according to CAF).

What’s also interesting (revealed in recent research by the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator) is that younger people – by which I mean 18-24 year-olds – are both savvier and more generous in their giving at Christmas. They intend to make the highest financial donation to charity this Christmas, with an average pledge of £31.29.

When you combine all the likely fundraising activity with peak season in the commercial sector – Black Friday for instance, Christmas present buying and the Sales - it’s an incredibly competitive time of year. So, the big question is how to stand out and make the biggest gains for your charity. Time to think differently, perhaps?

You could try a different type of giving, like Hands on London’s “Wrap up London” campaign. Over Christmas 2016, they managed to collect over 23,000 unwanted coats to help homeless people, the elderly and refugees keep warm.

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Or if you have a retail arm, Christmas offers many opportunities. Plenty of charities like Macmillan made the most of the opportunity with a great range of Christmas gifts. It was also interesting last year to see people like Christian Aid try to turn a Christmas gift into an ongoing regular gift with their “World of Friends” campaign.

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NSPCC’s "Letter from Santa" is a well-established seasonal favourite, running for many years, along with newer seasonal campaigns too. And I liked UNICEF’s Advent calendar idea, too. You pay £25 for an Advent calendar (which could provide 13 packets of life-saving nourishment for children). And then each time you open a window you reveal another gift idea. That’s what I call making the most of Christmas.

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Of course, some ideas begin simply with a seasonal engagement device, such as Save the Children’s "Random Christmas Jumper Generator" which is a lovely bit of interaction (and a nice piece of media placement, on TFL’s journey planner pages).

But whatever you’re hoping for this Christmas, there’s one important thing to remember: the sooner you start thinking and planning and creating, the more likely you are to create something really special to help your charity celebrate the season.

And if you need any help with that.. well, needless to say the elves at WPN Chameleon are ready and waiting.

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