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10 Holiday Fundraising Ideas to Support Cancer Research

November 13, 2020

Happy Holidays from Team CRI!

As we approach this holiday season, we may find ourselves celebrating differently. Whether you can gather with friends and family in person, or find yourself joining together remotely, you can make a difference while making time for those you love.

The most important gift you can give this season is hope. When you fundraise for the Cancer Research Institute, you can fuel science to save more lives. This year, it's possible to double your impact as all donations will be matched by several generous donors up to $750,000 before January 1, 2021. Check out these fun, festive ideas for the holidays!

Friendsgiving Fundraiser

A quickly growing holiday tradition, Friendsgiving is a time when friends get together and make a feast not unlike that on the official Turkey Day. Organize your next Friendsgiving for a cause and ask your group of friends to make donations to your fundraising page, or make a team page and have your friends join as fundraisers to boost the season of giving. 

young woman drinks wine and paints

Paint and Sip

Do you find yourself with leftover Halloween paint as well as some leftover Thanksgiving wine? This is the perfect recipe for a Paint and Sip Night with friends. It’s surprisingly easy to do virtually. Create a fundraising page where you can list everything participants need and give them an opportunity to donate for a cause this holiday season. Choose a date and an instructional video for everyone to follow for their painting session.

Holiday Cookie Competition

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas sugar cookie, especially as we’ve been honing our baking skills these last few months? A cookie competition is a great way to get friends and family together—either around a plate or on a Google Hangout. Choose a simple recipe, make sure all the participants have the correct ingredients, and most importantly, set up a fundraising page with instructions and guidelines for the competition. Participants can bake whatever shapes or sizes and decorate as they please. Set up prizes for the most creative or most professional looking cookie.

mother and child decorate cookies

Ornament-Making Workshop

Homemade ornaments are the perfect craft for the festive season. Many families and friends will not be able to gather for the holidays, so a personalized ornament is a great gift for those who may be missing someone this year. Host a class and charge an entry fee to cover supplies and collect donations. Ornaments can take any form: round baubles, picture-holders, Styrofoam snowmen, or popsicle sleds. There are plenty of creative ways to organize this fundraiser.

Holiday Zen Series

It’s been a stressful year and the holidays may add yet another layer of anxiety for many. Take a break from the baking and cooking for a change of pace and achieve some Zen with a group yoga session. (If you don’t feel confident in your own yogi abilities, consider streaming an official yoga class.) Follow-up the next week with a meditation or tai chi session. Keep the chill vibes coming on your fundraising page, asking participants for a small donation for each session to spread both goodwill and well-being. Whether in person or virtual, there are many simple classes available.

Holiday Home Decorating Competition

Every year, we string up lights and decorate our homes for the holidays. This year, decorate for a cause and some friendly competition. Create a fundraising page and ask friends and families to get involved. Consider your prize categories: best window decorations, best driveway decorations, or (for those in apartment buildings) best door decorations. Don’t forget those Zoom background-ready interiors—dining room tables and living rooms are fair game as well! Visit, post pictures, or stream live to include more friends and family.

Gingerbread house in festive Christmas home

Christmas Concert

Raise every voice and sing. Online concerts have been incredibly successful and popular this year, and many choirs have worked out how to weave voices together successfully for their holiday concerts. Pre-record individuals or groups and put together a show. All those who would like to attend can donate and urge others to join.

Ugly Sweater Party

Hosting an ugly sweater party is always a great way to bring out everyone’s goofy side. Create a fundraising page where everyone can donate in order to participate. Award prizes for most original, funniest, or most festive. If you are hosting the party on Zoom, invite participants to use backgrounds to enhance their ugly sweater theme. Include costumes as well for more fun—the Grinch may need his time to shine.

Christmas Tree Competition

This year, take your Christmas tree decorating to a new level. You can find many new and creative ways to decorate a tree on Pinterest—you can even set it upside down! Get your friends and families to join the fun. Choose themes and prizes for participants. Create a fundraising page and set a date for the grand reveals.

oung girl holding family photos to decorate tree

Gift Exchange

There are many ways to exchange gifts this holiday season: Secret Santa, White Elephant, grab bag, or name drawing. This time add an extra twist. There is a usually a maximum for the amount for this gift, but this time hike up the price by a small amount for a donation to cancer research. This donation can be made in memory or in honor of a loved one affected by cancer. Promote your fundraising page to family and friends so your charitable gift exchange goes viral. 

Start a Holiday Fundraiser

We hope you are suitably inspired to raise money for cancer immunotherapy research. With your support, we can fund more breakthrough research and more cures for all kinds of cancer. Together, we can create a future immune to cancer.

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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