October 10, 2019

Now’s the time to plan your holiday-themed fundraiser

Here are three lessons on how you can use fundraising events to support your community project during the holidays.

Lean into the holidays and plan a seasonal fundraiser this fall. Photo of an annual "costume dash" to raise money for The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is by Paul Marotta of Getty Images.

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

As the weather cools down, the calendar heats up. Between Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Halloween, Diwali, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa (among many others), the last quarter of the year is packed with events that bring people together for fun, fellowship, and commemoration.

The holidays are all about community, making them a perfect time of year to get eyes and ears on your community crowdfunding campaign—and win some hearts (and dollars) in the process.

[Read more: How to plan a car-free weekend street closure in your neighborhood]

Here’s how you can use fundraising events to support your community project during the holidays.

Lesson 1: Lean in to the “season of giving.”

As most seasoned fundraisers are well aware, the six-ish winter weeks between Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and the start of the New Year are when one third of annual giving takes place.

Tap into all those festive, generous vibes by holding a fundraising event for your crowdfunding campaign during this part of the year. Here are just a few successful ioby campaigns that made holiday events part of their appeal:

Lesson 2: Spread the celebration neighbor to neighbor

While others might be hosting pizza parties, polar plunges, or chili cook-offs to raise money in the colder months (and while we do raise our slices, sandals, and spoons to them!), the ioby way is different.

Crowdfunding with us invites dialogue, knowledge-sharing, and a sense of joint investment and responsibility for a project’s success. Unlike fundraising through events like those above, raising support for your project on our platform is not a one-for-one, give-to-get trade where the attraction is an essentially unrelated event. With ioby, donors give directly to the change they want to see. By cutting out the middleman, we can promote transparency, strengthen the bond between leaders and participants, and keep everyone’s eyes on the prize: a better neighborhood for all. When donors support ioby Leaders, they’re investing more than money: they’re voting with their wallet for tangible local change.

So what kinds of winter fundraising events can spark support for grassroots initiatives? In The Cold, our free guide to winter community projects, offers blueprints for organizing a holiday pop-up shop, corralling your neighbors to build and activate an all-season outdoor pavilion, hosting a post-Halloween pumpkin smash (for compost purposes!), and more.

Lesson 3: Capitalize on end-of-year urgency

One of our main recommendations to neighborhood leaders is to illustrate the sense of urgency around their projects. It’s important to explain not only why what you’re doing is worth funding, but also why people should make a donation to help you with it now.

Awesomely, the end of the year is rife with urgency! People are planning get-togethers and trips, working to meet deadlines, and deciding on resolutions before the clock strikes midnight. When you plan your fundraising event in this spirit of now-ness, you’ll be imbuing it with the same sense of timeliness as all the other imperatives your potential donors are working on. These three event-bearing projects, all based in NYC, are good examples:

Other quick takeaways:

  • When you’re hosting your fundraising event, remind your donors that when they give to your project through ioby, their contribution is fully tax-deductible.
  • Take advantage of school closures to involve kids in your fundraising events! Trust us: their cuteness at holiday-time will do wonders for your crowdfunding success.

  • For much more on the importance of fundraising events to crowdfunding campaigns—in every season—see our post Three ways events can help you crowdfund.

Are you ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign to make your neighborhood a better place? Tell us your idea, and we’ll help!

This story originally appeared on ioby’s blog.



The nonprofit ioby stands for “in our backyards,” but it also stands for taking care of each other, for civic participation, and for trusting neighbors to know what’s best for the neighborhood.

ioby gives local leaders the ability to crowdfund the resources they need to build real, lasting change from the ground up. Our crowdfunding platform helps connect local leaders with support and funding from their communities to make our neighborhoods more sustainable, healthier, greener, more livable, and more fun.