Christmas Card Fundraising: ideas + Tips to Boost Donations

christmas card fundraising

Planning to get started with Christmas card fundraising? You’re in the right place.

The struggle to stand out at crowded holiday fundraising stalls or to create enough demand for your Christmas cards amongst thousands of online sellers and Christmas fundraisers is a massive challenge.

Fundraising during Christmas is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there’s the potential to earn thousands of dollars from a single holiday season, and on the other hand, there’s the risk of getting lost in the large competition and being left with losses from unsold inventories.

You don’t want to land on the sorry side of holiday fundraising and that’s why, we with our team of experts have carefully put together this Christmas card fundraising guide.

In this easy-to-follow guide, you will learn exactly how to plan a winning Christmas card fundraiser, get plenty of creative Christmas card fundraising ideas that you can use to generate interest amongst shoppers, and execute your campaign in such a way that you hit your Christmas fundraising goals.

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The Basics of Running a Christmas Card Fundraiser

planning a christmas card fundraiser

The part that’s critical to your fundraiser is the planning stage. Do not skim past this section of the article even if it seems too obvious. Non-profit experts stress on planning because the success of a fundraiser depends entirely on the quality of planning.

Fundraising Objective

You’re a non-profit selling Christmas cards for fundraising. You’re not a business owner or a retailer. This means that you must define your ‘why’ clearly.

Why are you raising funds? For whom are you raising funds?

People love buying when they know where their money’s going. People love supporting causes they believe in even if they don’t always have a need for the product sold.

So get clear. Don’t leave it vague. Some terrible examples of not getting clear and express about your objective are

  • ‘The money goes for charity.’ ‘
  • ‘The money goes towards the causes we work towards’
  • ‘You can get more details on the causes we support on our website’

No! Define your objective and put it out in all your marketing material in one clear, concise sentence.


  • the money raised from Christmas cards shall go towards XYZ charity supporting orphans.
  • Your money will be used for buying food for famine-struck people in XYZ region.

Financial Goal Setting

This is the next most crucial step in the planning process.

The average profits per greeting card when sourced from suppliers are 3-35%. But the actual percentage may be lower depending on shipping costs, customization costs, overheads, etc.

So the foundation of your fundraising campaign rests in clearly defining your financial target.

Examples of a clear financial goal

We have to raise USD 4500 from selling Christmas cards at a profit of USD 3 per greeting card. So we must sell a minimum of 1500 Christmas cards.

The goals and the profitability will vary depending on

  • how you source your greeting cards
  • who your target audience is
  • where and how you plan to sell the cards (online, offline, stalls, fairs, schools, etc.)
  • how much your overhead costs are
  • what is the return policy on unsold cards

So make sure you prepare a clear planning sheet factoring all your costs before your finalize you decide on the

  • vendor from whom you would source your Christmas cards
  • sale price

Target Audience

Christmas or holiday fundraising is made to look so lucrative that very often you may feel tempted to cater to all possible audiences. You may feel like

  • setting up stalls at schools
  • attending corporate events
  • selling at Church fundraisers
  • promoting your online shop through social media campaigns
  • collaborating with other season greeting vendors, etc.

But by trying to be visible across various demographics you increase your costs. Inventory, overhead, manpower, planning, and coordination all multiply and often lead to failure.

Instead, focus on winning with one target demographic. Ideally, choose one that proves to be the most fruitful to you based on your past fundraising events.

Type of cards to offer (digital vs. physical)

Christmas cards have transformed so much over the years that the cards shared are not necessarily in physical form. Digital Christmas cards are often far more appealing to the following types of people

  • Environmentally conscious people
  • Budget buyers
  • Last-minute buyers
  • People with geographically spread out families
  • Tech-savvy individuals
  • Businesses/Groups/Associations

For fundraising purposes, selling digital Christmas cards is also hugely beneficial as it eliminates the need to manage inventory, distribution, setting up stalls, etc. It also provides you with a larger selling window as many last-minute buyers opt for digital cards.

On the other hand, physical greeting cards still appeal to a vast set of people like

  • People who are not tech-savvy (older generations)
  • gift-givers who send a card with the gift
  • DIY-lovers, craft-lovers who love making their own cards from the material they buy
  • people seeking a personal touch
  • collectors

So if your organization caters to any of the people above, you should choose to sell physical greeting cards for Christmas. School clubs for charity, children’s non-profit organization, religious charities, art-based charities should focus on fundraising through physical cards.

Christmas Card Fundraising Ideas

Personalized Cards

Personalized Cards for Fundraising: Personalized Christmas cards serve as a strong fundraising tool for your non-profit. Offering cards that supporters can customize with family photos or special messages provides a product people value and cherish.

personalized vintage greeting cards

Engage local businesses to participate, allowing them to add logos or branding to the cards. This approach promotes their businesses while expressing holiday sentiments, broadening your cards’ appeal and potentially increasing sales.

Utilize personalized cards to enhance your fundraising campaign and delight your supporters during the holiday season.

Online Cards

E-cards provide an eco-friendly twist to the tradition of sending holiday greetings. By advocating for the use of e-cards, your non-profit not only reduces paper waste but also showcases a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Many of your supporters will resonate with this green initiative, amplifying their enthusiasm to participate in your fundraiser.

digital greeting cards for christmas

Furthermore, social media platforms amplify the reach and success of online card fundraising campaigns. When you post e-card designs or campaign messages on networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you connect directly with a wide audience.

By fostering engagement through shares, likes, and comments, you enhance the campaign’s visibility. Engaging businesses to sponsor posts or partner in promotional activities can further boost the effectiveness of your e-card fundraising efforts on social media.

Themed Cards

Diving into the world of themed Christmas cards allows your non-profit to tap into popular trends and cultural traditions.

By offering cards that reflect current interests or time-honored customs, you cater to a diverse range of supporters, making your fundraiser more appealing to various segments of your audience.

Moreover, partnering with artists or local designers can give your themed cards an authentic and unique flair. These collaborations not only enrich the card designs but also support local talent.

By promoting the artist’s contribution, you create a win-win scenario: your supporters receive beautifully crafted cards, and artists gain exposure for their work, all while bolstering your fundraising campaign.

DIY Card Kits

Offering DIY Card Kits can be a game-changer for your non-profit’s fundraising efforts. By providing materials and step-by-step instructions, you empower supporters to craft their own personalized Christmas cards.

This approach not only gives them a hands-on experience but also resonates with those who cherish creativity and personal touches.

diy christmas card kits

Furthermore, organizing DIY card-making workshops can add another dimension to your fundraising strategy. These workshops can serve as community-building events, fostering camaraderie among participants while they craft their cards.

How Much Do Charities Make from Christmas Card Fundraising

Fundraising with Christmas cards is a tactic many charities adopt.

Success varies, but some charities report up to 30% of a card’s retail price going directly to their mission. The specific amount depends on factors like campaign scale, organization outreach, and the card’s design appeal.

The costs involved can be diverse. Expenses often encompass design fees, especially if you’re enlisting professional artists.

There’s also the production side, covering printing, packaging, and distribution. And don’t forget marketing – promoting the cards to reach a wider audience requires a budget.

If your charity sets up physical sales points, like stalls or shops, you’ll have additional overheads, including venue rentals and staffing.

On the flip side, the potential for profit doesn’t solely lie in card sales. Many charities boost revenue through additional offerings, such as envelopes or crafting materials for DIY card enthusiasts. Collaborations with businesses for exclusive designs can further enhance revenue.

How to Boost Donations from Christmas Card Fundraising

Christmas card fundraising can raise money and boost donations not only through direct sales but also through strategic pricing and collaborative add-ons.

Some ways to maximize donations are

1. Strategic Pricing and Discounts

Adopt a clear pricing strategy to cover production and distribution costs while remaining attractive to buyers. Implement tiered pricing, bundle offers, early bird discounts, or post-holiday sales to boost sales.

2. Collaborations to Cut Costs

Partner with artists, designers, or printing companies to get better rates. Businesses might sponsor a portion of the production in exchange for branding on the cards, benefiting both sides.

3. Exclusive Offerings for Premium Pricing

Introduce limited edition cards designed by notable artists or around special themes. Unique designs can command higher prices as supporters value exclusivity.

4. Engaging Storytelling

Include the stories or missions of those you’re helping with the sale of each card. When buyers connect emotionally, they’re more likely to purchase and even donate beyond the card’s cost.

5. Online and Physical Hybrid Sales

If you run a large organization with quick access to a wide number of volunteers and resources, selling cards online can reach a broader audience.

Don’t overlook the impact of physical sales points at events, markets, or pop-up stalls during the holiday season.

But if you are a smaller organization trying to maximize donations, avoid catering to a wide audience. Pick one type of offering and amplify its reach instead of opting for both physical and digital Christmas card fundraisers.

6. Add-on Products

Besides the cards, offer related products like envelopes with unique designs, stickers, or even Christmas ornaments or Christmas wreaths. These can enhance the purchase value of each customer.

7. Direct Donations

Incorporate QR codes on the cards that link to donation pages or videos showcasing the charity’s work. This offers an additional avenue for direct donations.

Tips to Make Christmas Card Fundraising Successful

Even though the success of a Christmas fundraiser rests on the quality and clarity of planning, there are other factors that you must focus on during execution for maximizing success.

Effective Marketing and Promotion

An impactful marketing strategy is pivotal. Use social media platforms, email newsletters, and local media to promote your cards. Highlight the cause, the unique designs, and the tangible impact of every purchase.

Limited-time offers or promotions can create urgency and drive sales. If budget allows, consider investing in targeted advertising or collaborating with influencers to amplify your reach.

Community Engagement

Your community is an invaluable resource. Engage local schools, colleges, or art institutions for card designs through contests or collaborative projects.

Not only does this produce unique and local-centric designs, but it also ensures community buy-in, as individuals are more likely to promote and purchase cards they had a hand in creating.

Furthermore, partnering with local businesses for promotions can help in increasing visibility and sales.

Prioritize Quality and Appeal

The success of your fundraiser hinges significantly on the quality and visual appeal of the cards. Invest in good-quality printing and materials. Collaborate with skilled designers or artists to ensure the designs resonate with your target audience. Remember, while the cause is vital, the card itself should be something people are proud to send and happy to receive.

What to Do with Used Christmas Cards

Many customers are often concerned about an environmentally safe way to dispose use greeting cards. As someone trying to raise funds using Christmas cards, you may also need to consider what to do with used Christmas cards

  • to provide disposal solutions to environmentally conscious buyers
  • to determine what to do with unsold cards

So here are some ways in which you could handle used/unsold Christmas cards –

Charities and Used Cards

Several charities recognize the value in repurposing and recycling used Christmas cards. They transform these cards into new products, either using them directly or recreating designs. These repurposed cards are then sold, and the proceeds go toward the respective charitable causes.

For instance, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children once had a program where they would accept used card fronts and have the children turn them into new cards. They would then sell these cards to support their programs.

Before sending your cards off, it’s wise to reach out to your chosen charity or organization directly. Ensure they’re currently accepting used cards and ask if there are specific requirements for donation. Some may only want the card fronts, while others might take complete cards. A quick call or email can provide clarity and ensure your cards are put to the best possible use.

Repurposing ideas: Crafts, decorations, and DIY projects

Instead of tossing old Christmas cards, tap into your creative side and give them a second life. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crafts: Transform cards into gift tags for the next holiday season, or cut out designs to use in scrapbooks.
  • Decorations: Create festive garlands by stringing card pieces together or make holiday placemats by laminating various card fronts.
  • DIY Projects: Older cards can serve as templates for stenciling projects or be turned into holiday postcards for the next season.

You could even conduct crafts workshops for your customers to help them repurpose used cards.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a journey of Christmas card fundraising offers more than just seasonal greetings; it presents an avenue for tangible change and community involvement. For non-profits, educational institutions, religious groups, and philanthropic individuals, this venture holds the promise of connecting with supporters in a heartfelt manner.

Each card becomes a beacon of your mission, values, and the cause you champion. As you ponder the prospect of this fundraiser, recognize the profound impact it can have — not just financially, but in strengthening the bond with your community. Dive in, harness the festive spirit, and let each card be a testament to your commitment and the difference you aim to make. Embrace the opportunity and inspire your community to join you in this meaningful endeavor.

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