The festive period is traditionally a key period in charities’ fundraising calendar. The lead up to Christmas is a time of heightened generosity among the public and a chance for charities to showcase the difference they are making to people’s lives.
In most years one in five charities look to secure around a quarter of their annual voluntary income in the run up to Christmas. The annual Giving Tuesday event also takes place in early December to further help good causes at this time of year.
But Covid-19 has restricted charities ability to raise funds through charity shop closures during lockdown and difficulties organising in-person fundraising collections and events due to social distancing measures.
Latest research suggests that around two thirds of charities expect donations to be lower than usual
To ensure Christmas is still of cheer for the voluntary sector many charities and their partners have turned to increasingly innovative digital fundraising campaigning methods.
Here we look at ten of the most innovative Christmas charity campaigns so far in 2020.
Homeless Link and Taskmaster festive fundraiser
Homeless Link has partnered with TV series Taskmaster, which features celebrities completing ridiculous tasks, to help increase donations for homelessness organisations this Christmas
For Christmas the show is offering people the chance to donate to charity by completing their own set of challenges, at home or via Zoom with friends, through an exclusive digital download video.
A minimum donation of £10 is required to access the video. All proceeds will go to membership charity Homeless Link, which will distribute the money to homelessness organisations this Christmas.
Online panto fundraiser
Wychwood Project and Mencap are among charities to benefit from an online panto fundraiser this Christmas. The Original Online Panto Company is performing a digital panto of Sleeping Beauty from 14 December to 3 January, for online audiences.
Every time a stream is purchased part of the proceeds go to Charities and UK arts organisations.
The campaign is being promoted on social media with the hashtag #letssavechristmas.
Christmas match funding
Online matchfunding platform the Big Give is supporting more than 750 charities through its annual flagship festive campaign, called the Christmas Challenge. Last year’s event raised £15.6m by offering charities the chance to see their donation doubled.
Match funding is provided by philanthropic organisations such as the Reed Foundation, Julia and Hand Rausing and The Childhood Trust.
Xmas Party Heroes
Teenage Cancer Trust is among charities to benefit from a campaign to encourage employers to donate the cost of their cancelled Christmas parties to good causes.
Social distancing this year has cut short most workplaces’ Christmas party plans, which has prompted the launch of Xmas Party Heroes, created by property firm Landmark Group and branding agency WilsonCooke.
The campaign helps firms to donate their entertaining budgets to good causes through its mobile fundraising partner Thinking of You. By early November £500,000 worth of pledges had been received.
As well as a dedicated campaign website Xmas Party Heroes is also promoting the campaign on social media using the hashtag #XmasPartyHeroes.
So many charities to choose to support with your company's unused #Xmas staff party budget, including @TeenageCancer— Xmas Party Heroes (@XmasPartyHeroes) November 26, 2020
Will your company become #XmasPartyHeroes for them or any of the others on our website?https://t.co/OLX0BZRShU pic.twitter.com/JqoJYpzWWE
Donating Christmas presents
What are the most needed gifts for charities to hand out this Christmas?
In Kind Direct, which donates consumer goods from companies to charities, has the answer in its in festive campaign, which flags up the most needed gifts for charities to give out this Christmas.
Called Christmas with Kindness, this campaign is highlighting the need to give games, toys, toiletries and perfumes to disadvantaged families during this Covid-19 impacted Christmas period.
Raffle by text
Selling charity raffle tickets amid social distancing regulations is tough. Children’s charity Packed With Smiles has got around this issue with the launch of a text based raffle in the run up to Christmas. The text raffle is being hosted via the digital fundraising platform DONATE and is live until 13 December. Hampers, paddle boarding sessions and limited prints are among the prizes on offer.
Money raised will support Packed With Smiles work to support disadvantaged pupils by providing basic school essentials.
The charity’s chair Elle Beadle said: “Our marketing concept was no tickets, no cash, no hassle. A ticket free raffle that didn't involve cash immediately caught people's attention.
“The text raffle means that the charity is able to raise funds, increase our profile, give something back to our business community and continue our work of supporting families facing financial hardship.”
Charities benefit from 12 days of Christmas
Charity insurer Ecclesiastical is staging its annual festive giveaway to charities in the run up to Christmas.
Called the 12 days of Christmas it will hand £1,000 each to 120 charities. The winners will be announced each weekday from 7-22 December.
Each weekday from 7 to 22 December, @Ecclesiastical will be giving 10 charities, £1,000. That’s £120,000 to 120 charities in 12 days!— Ecclesiastical (@Ecclesiastical) November 9, 2020
Find out more and nominate your favourite cause here: https://t.co/Doz6fREowq #12days #movementforgood pic.twitter.com/CnmovZRQ8N
Charities to benefit are chosen by the public, with nominations closing on 21 December.
Winners are drawn at random and “while it’s not a popularity content, the more times a charity is nominated the more chance it has of being selected,” said the insurer.
Retail staff and customers’ help FareShare and Home-Start
The charities FareShare and Home-Start have formed a Christmas fundraising link up with the John Lewis Partnership that aims to raise £5m for services for vulnerable families, including food and emotional advice.
The link up sees Waitrose and John Lewis staff and customers being encouraged to donate. All donations will be matched by the retail firm to the value of £2m.
Local charities near to each store will also benefit.
“Working with John Lewis Partnership colleagues, customers and communities, we can reach more families and communities at this vital time,” said Home-Start chief executive Peter Grigg
“We are proud to be a partner in this exciting ambition to transform the lives of thousands of families and children this Christmas and beyond.”
Engaging video content
Great Ormond Street Hospital is among charities to effectively use Youtube for its festive fundraising, through its Home for Christmas animation. This highly emotive video highlights the charity’s work to help hospitalised children return home to spend time with their families on Christmas Day.
As the video progresses the animation makes way for real life, as a family is united at Christmas. This is among the most simple, yet engaging Christmas charity videos we have seen.
Face mask fundraising for Children in Need
A number of charities and retailers this year have produced face masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic to help raise money for good causes . This has included Christmas themed face masks such as Pacamask’s Santa Sleigh Face Mask where £1 for every mask sold will be donated to Children in Need.