Christmas Fundraisers: How to Choose Products & Stay on Track

Tim Ahern | October 21, 2019

Christmas fundraisers can be a wonderful way to bring in some money for your group. Buyers are looking for great products to give as gifts to their friends and neighbors, and you can give them just what they want! Nobody really needs extra food or sweets during the holiday season, so wreaths and greenery are the perfect options.

Christmas fundraisers can be among the most exciting to plan. It’s a fun, festive season and everyone’s in a giving mood. But the weeks leading up to the holiday can be extremely stressful, making it tough to organize volunteers and track down supporters.


By starting well in advance of the holiday season, you can give your nonprofit an advantage. If your fundraiser involves Christmas-themed products, you’ll likely need to get a good head start on the season’s fundraiser. Here are a few tips to help you choose products and launch a successful holiday-themed fundraiser.

Consider Your Audience

Your audience is a big part of your project planning. They’ll help you decide what types of products to sell, as well as how early to start. If you know your biggest supporters are likely to be busy parents, consider when they’ll be ready to start ordering products for the holiday season. Plan to work around events like fall break and Halloween to ensure you catch donors when they’re less likely to be focused on other things.

Your supporters will also play a big role in the products you choose. If you’re in doubt, do a quick survey on social media and test a few ideas. Once you’ve chosen your items, be sure to track which items sell best and use that information to inform next year’s product selection.

Create a Schedule

Any successful project starts with a plan. Start by identifying the products you’re going to sell, then check with the manufacturer on the deadlines for ordering. Many holiday product distributors will ask that orders be in even before Thanksgiving, which means you’ll probably be cranking things up as summer draws to a close.


As you’re putting a schedule on paper, also take the time to set some goals, including a mission statement. You should know how much you want to raise and what your nonprofit will do with the funds. The more you can motivate your volunteers by focusing them on this end goal, the better success you’ll have as your fundraiser kicks in.

Start With Your Own Team

When setting a schedule and choosing products, your best resource is likely already part of your organization. Loop your volunteers and employees in and get their advice on products and timelines. They’ll enjoy being part of the planning process, and you’ll get some valuable help.

In the days leading up to the kickoff, schedule a friends and family promotion, inviting a small group of supporters to order early. Some product suppliers will even let you provide a discount to friends and close relatives of your members. This early promotion will help generate buzz, paying off in the weeks that follow.

A holiday-themed fundraiser can be fun and festive, even if you’re selling items in October. Make sure you plan ahead to give your volunteers plenty of time to take orders and submit them to you, and also outline how you’ll handle getting products to those who placed orders. Even if you start early, your products will arrive during the busy holiday season, so it’s important to have a distribution plan in place.

We have a handy holiday fundraiser planning timeline that can be a big help. Click here to get started planning now.