Christmas is fast approaching which marks a very busy time for the Charity sector, perhaps unsurprisingly as it’s the season of giving! According to our 2020 Charity Awareness Monitor research surveying the general public, 60% agreed they hear more about charities at Christmas, making it an excellent time for charities to run campaigns, appeals, and fundraising events. Although restrictions (at the time of writing) aren’t as stringent as last year, charities have continued to adapt to the everchanging environment and there has been a shift away from traditional methods of Christmas giving, with a particular focus on remote events. So, as the countdown to Christmas begins, we highlight just a few of the numerous events, campaigns, and methods of support that have impressed us this festive season:
Virtual Carol Concerts
As we continue to adapt to a new normal, charities have embraced the virtual world, and it has been great to see Christmas fundraising events moved online this year to continue to encourage inclusivity. One such event is carol concerts. Singing along to Christmas classics is always a great way to get into the festive spirit, and there’s still time to warm up those voices as Solving Kids Cancer and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust have upcoming virtual concerts this week.
Turning your festive celebrations into fundraising events is a great way to support the sector and to help you on your way, many charities have created useful guides full of fun ideas and guidance for Christmas-themed activities. For example, the British Heart Foundation suggests running a quiz and have a downloadable ‘Quizmas’ pack; Safe Passage includes a Christmas film night among their list of ideas, and Centrepoint’s guide provides 12 days of Christmas inspiration, including a ‘Best Dressed Christmas Pet competition!’.
In 2020, our research surveying the general public showed that 30% of people tend to give more to charities at Christmas. In keeping with this Christmas generosity, ‘The Big Give’ recently ran a festive match funding campaign, where donations to participating charities were doubled, meaning one donation had twice the impact. Although the Christmas Challenge for 2021 is complete, it is an excellent campaign to keep in mind for next year’s Christmas donations.
Virtual Santa Dash… and walk!
For those of you who like to keep fit over the Christmas period, there is a perfect opportunity to get festive with your running and take part in the fun 5k virtual Santa Dash to raise funds for your favourite charity. This challenge can be taken on between now and the 25th of December, you can do it with friends, family, work colleagues, or competitively on your own but you MUST be wearing your festive finery!!
…And for those who prefer a slightly slower pace, there’s a similar event for you too! NSPCC are holding a virtual 5k Walk for Children on the 21st of December and if you decide to take part keep an eye out for landmarks lit up in green in aid of NSPCC.
Tis the season to get baking! The Great British Bake Off is one of Britain’s most popular shows and this year Re-think Mental Illness are running a festive version with a Bake for Mental Health challenge. To take part you must complete a difficult festive showstopper bake, ask for donations to spur you on, and share with all your friends and family!
A more traditional method of support for charities is through sending charity Christmas cards, which over half of the general public do, according to our 2020 research. It is always a perfect way to let people know you are thinking about them and to spread the festive cheer, whilst supporting the sector as the proceeds from each sale go directly to the charity.
Environmental issues have been brought to the forefront of our minds in recent months with the COP26 summit and an emphasis being placed on the need to tackle climate change. The Christmas holidays can be a hugely wasteful time of year, which is why Greenpeace have created an innovative ‘Guide to the Festive Season’, highlighting 25 different ways to make your Christmas kinder to the planet, reduce waste and support their mission.
Online Christmas Crafts
Deck the halls with Christmas crafts! Charities have been getting creative this year hosting online festive crafting events. For example, Children with Cancer UK sent out craft kits with materials to make 3 decorations and NSPCC held a Craft O’clock event. Unfortunately, many of these virtual events have already taken place but Brooke have created craft packs to do at your leisure, including a guide to make your own, very cute origami dinky donkey to support their campaign ‘Put donkeys centre stage in your own home this Christmas’.
And finally, volunteering. This year, restrictions around Covid-19 are considerably more relaxed (again, at the time of writing!) but with recent developments, it is understandable that many people may not feel comfortable attending in-person volunteer roles. Charities have recognised this, and some have opted for hybrid models of volunteering, which are a great way to ensure everyone can get involved. For example, Crisis are opening centres over the Christmas period to provide hot meals, access to advice and guidance, and companionship but they are also continuing with online health, wellbeing, and entertainment activities.
If you’ve seen a charity event or campaign that you think is interesting this Christmas, let us know in the comments!
Further information about any of these ideas can be found here: