This week saw the 11th Let’s Talk Community Zoom call of 2021. How did that happen? It felt like I blinked on holiday in September and now we’re here… Anyway, my aim was to give practical, simple and resource effective ways for community fundraisers to say active within their community over the festive season. 

So, in case you missed it, I have summarised the key points from the session – so buckle in, and enjoy! 

Learn from last year
Cast your mind back, Christmas plans were cancelled within a very short space of time. We got excited over Summer, planned in advance in the hope to plug the gap formed by the first lockdown. Whilst this year looks very different, we can still learn from this. We can learn that physical events are what we do best, what we love, but we can also take so much away from the continuation of virtual events, maybe turn your physical event into a hybrid. Santa Fun Run in December? Allow people to also take part virtually, around their local area, in their own time. 

Revisit, recycle, reuse
Not getting all Greta Thunberg on you, what I means is, revisit, recycle and reuse ideas/ content/ campaigns/ events that have previously formed part of your Christmas fundraising calendar. Reinventing the wheel is great, but so is recycling. Revitalise that Christmas event, how can you make it work for the community in 2021? You may introduce diverse options for donating (think QR codes, contactless, Text Donate, monthly giving.) Creating something new is also good, but be mindful of the ROI, resource, the time you have (we’re already one week into November). 

Check what’s going on locally
You could get involved in a third party event by offering volunteers in return for a bucket collection. Or you could organise a charity stand to raise funds and promote your cause? Perhaps you can make an ask to be a benefiting charity from the proceeds of the event. Secondary to this, understand what other charities are doing, gage how your community feels about winter fundraising. My Facebook group is a great space to chat with fundraisers about what they are up to. It is also a good exercise to help you avoid diary clashes with other charities in your community, and the risk of over saturating with a similar idea. 

Stay active, be present
It is so important to stay active and present in your community. Make sure your ideal community can see you! Here are some ideas to help with that:

  • Keep in touch with donors/ volunteers. Just check in with them, see how they are. You may not necessarily have anything to ask of them, but keeping them up to date with your plans will keep them on board.
  • Organise collections in the community, take advantage of late night shopping before Christmas.
  • Contact local supermarkets to organise a bag pack, or bucket collection during busy periods.
  • Get involved in Santa float collections, offer to provide some volunteers to help with static or travelling floats. 
  • Start promoting your January fundraising now! Organising a keep fit challenge/ winter walk/ promote it now – let people know how they can get involved. 
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Join my Facebook group here and join the Christmas conversation… It’s never too early.