4 Winter Holiday Fundraisers

Vol. 13 No. 3

development eletter Vol13 No3 cookbook

Generosity and community are central tenets of the winter holiday season—both can translate nicely to your school’s fundraising efforts. Capitalize on the sentiment of the season by incorporating some of these ideas into your fundraising lineup.

1. A Winter Cookbook

Collect your parents’ and faculty’s favorite cold-weather recipes and create a yearly cookbook your school can sell to the community! From tips on cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey to moist red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day, you can cover the entire winter season so the cookbook is still useful after December. Use it as an opportunity to foster goodwill with community cooks who donate their family recipes, and as a chance to raise a little cash.

2. Holiday-Themed Auctions

Instead of a hodgepodge of disconnected items up for bid, have a silent auction with items themed for the season. Baskets full of holiday treats and warm hot chocolate mix would sell well as bidders anticipate winter’s bite. Trips to mountain resorts or ski lessons would have parents clamoring to bid—and get their children out of the house! Table centerpieces and wreaths, holiday musical tickets, catered meals—all of these are appropriately festive and popular choices for a holiday auction. Serve hot cider and mulled wine, and you’ve got yourself one lovely winter fundraising event.

3. Weekend Child Care

During the holiday season, parents are often desperate for a child-free afternoon to finish their shopping in peace. With a few teacher volunteers—or even responsible high-school age students!—you could arrange for extended evening hours or a few weekend days where, instead of paying a babysitter, the parents are donating to your school or charity.

4. Donor Dinners

The holidays are a time for families to come together and celebrate the year. Well, your school and donor families should do so, too! Consider hosting a sit-down dinner for potential donors. You could sell tickets to the event and make it a formal affair, or you could make it more family-style with parent volunteers bringing in food to share with the rest of the school community. Either way, it’s a lovely opportunity to bring everyone together for a good cause: Your school and its mission to educate young people.

No matter the religion or culture, the winter holiday season provides everyone a chance to come together and support the causes they really value. With the right timing, your school can be one of those causes this winter.

Additional ISM resources:
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 9 No. 7 It's Auction Time!
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 12 No. 4 Holiday Tips for the Development Office
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 12 No. 6 "Going Once! Going Twice!" Awesome Auction Ideas

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 31 No. 1 Receiving Non-Cash Gifts: Fair Market Value and Appraisals
I&P Vol. 31 No. 5 Large Non-Cash Gifts: Donations of Real Estate

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