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10 Holiday Fundraiser Ideas to Share the Festive Spirit and Support Charity

November 18, 2019

Happy Holidays from Team CRI!

The best gift you can give this holiday season, or any season, is hope. When you fundraise for the Cancer Research Institute, you’ll be giving cancer patients the opportunity to become the next survivor thanks to immunotherapy. Double your impact now through December 31, 2019, with a dollar-for-dollar match from our Board of Trustees for the first $750,000 donated.

Want to know how to get started? Check out these fun and festive ideas to wrap up 2019!

Holiday Baking Competition

During cold winter months, who doesn’t love a home-baked treat? Organizing a bake off-themed fundraiser is a great way to get everyone together while the weather is chilly. Get your community bakers to contribute two dozen cookies (or rugelach, or a cake) each, and then charge attendees for samples. Encourage volunteers to create as many different types of treats as possible. Bake off!

Holiday Craft Workshop

Homemade gifts and decorations are often the most cherished. Host a class and charge an entry fee to cover supplies and collect donations. Whether you sew Christmas tree skirts, arrange wreaths, or knit scarves, a craft event is bound to attract families and friends looking for an afternoon of fun. If your town has a dedicated group of local artisans, hold an adult craft workshop where basic crafting skills are required, but attendees can pick and choose which items they want to make. Get crafty!

Gingerbread House Competition

Who has the best house on the block? Pair up people into teams to compete for the best gingerbread house in a set period of time. Set up tables with all of the staple items like graham crackers, frosting, and candy canes—all the fun of decorating without any of the baking! Or if your community is really dedicated, have everyone create their own individual gingerbread house to be presented at a certain date and time. Charge for entry and set prizes for a variety of categories, such as most creative or most festive. Participants, attendees, and judges may also be interested in a gingerbread house auction to choose which house to take home.  

Gingerbread House making via Shutterstock

Holiday House Decorating Service

Between shopping, travel, food, and family, it’s amazing that people have time to get their decorations up—or down. Many people would be willing to give to your cause in return for stringing lights, inflating a giant reindeer, and throwing around some tinsel. To start your service, you’ll need to recruit a few volunteers plus a few basic supplies. Create time slots when you and your volunteers will be available and start selling your services to the community. Reach even more potential supporters by sharing your service using our fundraising page. Deck the halls!

Carol for Donations

As Buddy the Elf once said, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Gather your team for caroling and go door-to-door to collect donations. Bring flyers with you that include a link to your fundraising page so people can easily connect with you online after they meet you in person.

Start a Holiday Fundraiser

Ugly Sweater Party

We all have one in the back of the closet. This is an easy way to throw a themed winter fundraiser. Rent out space at a local bar or restaurant and sell tickets, or invite guests to come to your home for snacks and cheer. Give out prizes for ugliest, scariest, or funniest. You’ll have the most Instagrammed party of the year. Cool threads, friend!

Ugly Sweater Party iStock

Santa Run

Grab some festive garb and your sneakers and lace up for this holiday run! A Santa Run is a hilarious and fun way to get the community into the holiday spirit while supporting a great cause. Ask all participants to create their own fundraising page with a minimum fundraising amount to join. Besides first place for the fastest runner, create prizes for ugliest sweater or best Santa outfit. The more involvement the better. 

Photos with Santa 

Forget the long line at the mall and put that money toward a much better cause. Recruit a few talented friends—handy with a camera or able to nail a distinctive laugh—and offer up photos with Santa. Consider what snacks, decorations, and other goodies you can offer at the same time. Start a fundraising page to get the word out that Santa Claus is coming to town. Say "Cheese"!

Holiday Movie Night

There are endless amounts of classic holiday movies from It’s a Wonderful Life to Scrooged (and some not-so-classic ones too if you prefer). Find a space for your screening (the community center? a local gym? your own living room?) or partner up with a local movie theater. You can charge per entry but offer guests a little more with each ticket type: just the movie, the movie and a few baked goods, the movie and a souvenir ornament, the movie and a special photo opportunity with a lifesize movie cardboard cutout. A festive raffle (DVDs and soundtracks?) can also generate some more donations. Grab the popcorn!

Holiday Movie Night iStock

Gift-Wrapping Competition

We all know someone who can wrap a present that looks straight out of a magazine. Let’s use those talents for good with a gift-wrapping fundraiser. You can set it up as a competition or just offer gift wrapping services to those who may not have the time. Charge per gift wrapped or for entry if you choose to do a competition. You can also try turning it into a double competition with a “w/rap battle”—wrapping and rapping until the last bow on top. Let's wrap this up!

Start a Holiday Fundraiser

We hope you’re suitably inspired to raise money for cancer immunotherapy research this holiday season. With your support, we can fund more breakthrough research and more cures for all kinds of cancer, and ultimately, we can create a future immune to cancer. 

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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