Thinking about your Christmas Appeal in September?

Where has the year gone? With Christmas only a few months away, we began thinking about the amazing and creative Christmas campaigns we have seen from nonprofits in recent years. As you begin planning your Christmas appeal, we thought we would share some of our favourites to inspire you!

1. The Smith Family

In 2018, The Smith Family ran their Christmas Toy & Book Appeal, encouraging supporters to choose from several ways of donating, so that children in need could receive a gift to brighten their Christmas. One way of donating was to purchase a gift from The Smith Family online Charity Gift Catalogue, which contained a range of appropriate gifts for boys and girls from 0-12 years old.

Why is this campaign a favourite? Because it allows thousands of children to have an amazing and memorable Christmas. Our Christmas gifts are some of our fondest childhood memories, so it is a wonderful cause for some very deserving children. It is also easy for supporters to get involved by purchasing a gift online and ensuring the gift will get delivered to a child so they can also enjoy Christmas!

As a result of last year’s campaign, 60,000 new toys and 40,000 new books were delivered to 20,000 children throughout Australia – one of their largest Christmas deliveries ever!

We love that The Smith Family will be continuing its mission to provide more gifts and books to children in most need this Christmas. Though these children may be going through some rough times at home, the sense of joy and belonging this campaign brings truly embodies the Christmas spirit!

2. Starlight – Wishgranters

Starlight’s Wishgranting appeal is about giving a sick child a gift during the Christmas period by granting their Starlight Wish. These wishes range from meeting a famous pop star to flying the family to Gold Coast theme parks – whatever suits the child’s needs. They provide a  once in a lifetime experience giving the child and their family an exciting and memorable distraction from their treatment and surgery. 

From the moment a wish is granted, the child gets to focus on dreaming of their wish, planning their experience and sharing their story with others – a welcome distraction from their treatment or surgery.

Why do we love the Starlight Wish campaign? Because it is all about bringing people together for the common cause of making the impossible happen by giving a sick child hope and showing a sick kid that no matter how hard life can be, there’s always something to smile about!

3. Variety Australia – the Children’s Charity

Can you imagine a street filled with runners dressed as Santa? The Variety Children’s Charity runs a variety of Christmas campaigns across the state. We especially enjoy the Santa Fun Run, which encourages supporters to be a Clause for a cause and get involved in a fun run to fundraise and enjoy the day in their best Santa outfit.

Charity fun runs may not be a new concept, but we love the thought of celebrating the holiday by running as  Santa for charity! We love it because this jolly jog is a fun day out with family and friends. Not only does the run get people outside and active, it colours the streets in red and raises awareness for Aussie kids who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs. Last year’s event raised $11,000 – so we are looking forward to seeing this year’s Santa Fun Run top that!

4. Share the Dignity – It’s in the bag

What do vulnerable women need? Share the Dignity’s Christmas campaign highlights the needs women at risk and those experiencing domestic violence have throughout the year. As women tend to be those putting their needs last, Share the Dignity encourages supporters to donate a handbag filled with pads and tampons, personal hygiene products and everyday luxuries to help out these deserving women.

We love this campaign because not only does it help provide women with vital essentials, but it also raises awareness about their struggles. Women in crisis are extra worthy of Christmas cheer. They should, like any other woman, have access to personal care & sanitary items, so this gift is a lovely way to offer a thoughtful and useful present.

5. RSPCA Guardian Angel

We may be a bit biased, but we love the concept of being a Guardian Angel and bringing hope to an animal in need during Christmas. The Christmas holidays are the busiest time of year for the RSPCA, as more pets are surrendered or abandoned during this period.

The Guardian Angel database pulls individual animals currently up for adoption from every RSPCA shelter across the country and matches them with their ‘Guardian Angel’ so they are watched over during Christmas. The RSPCA’s Guardian Angel campaign allows donors to either donate and be matched to an animal in need, donate on behalf of a friend, or send a Christmas card to a friend who is then matched with the animal they are watching over during Christmas.

RSPCA did an excellent job last year allocating real animals to every supporter, and automatically removing adopted animals from the Guardian Angel database. We’re excited to be working with the RSPCA teams again this year to ramp up the appeal and raise more funds for animals in need!

6. Refuge UK’s Reversible Christmas Poems

*image taken from Ibbonline.

For Refuge’s 2018 Christmas Appeal campaign, they published a series of menacing poems that tell the harrowing story of women and children experiencing domestic violence at Christmas. This series of poems were published on social media, aired on the radio, and featured in the press and magazines. Each one tells a positive story when read one way but when read in reverse, they depict the terrifying reality of living with a perpetrator of domestic violence! A mobile responsive version of the poems were created to enable users to flip their phones 180 degrees so they could read the poem in reverse.What looks like it begins as a lovely Christmas poem becomes a terrifying thriller when you read from the bottom of the poem up. The tagline of the campaign reminds those in need “ if your partner turns on you, turn to us”.

The poems are incredibly powerful, and highlight that whilst for many Christmas is a wonderful time of year, for others, it can be a nightmare.

We love the smart and effective storytelling through reversible poetry. It is a gripping campaign that really highlights the victim’s experience and reassures them they are not alone and Refuge is there to help.

7. Online Gifts

An oldie but a goodie. Selling e-gifts and online gifts have become a staple for the charity sector. From Oxfam to WaterAid and Starlight, we have seen a variety of online campaigns centered around gifts.

If your nonprofit has a WordPress site, it is really simple to build an e-commerce integration, such as Shopify, to easily sell e-gifts or other merchandise. Here’s a link to one of our previous articles about supercharging your NFP with Shopify.

We love these types of campaigns because there are so many benefits to this simple, effective approach. You are letting automation do the work for you, especially if your focus is selling e-cards, and not physical products. It also allows you to capture a multitude of different supporters, which you can then nurture throughout the year and put them through your regular giving program.

Wrapping Up

Christmas is a great time to encourage people to think of those most in need. However, it is also a time when many of us are extremely busy. Creative and bold appeals grab and keep our attention during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Thinking about these imaginative and resourceful campaigns can help you plan in the months ahead to launch your own attention-grabbing Christmas Appeal! 

If you’d like to see how to transform your Christmas Appeal by digitising your campaign or want a more cutting edge or impactful approach to your existing digital strategy, contact us today, before the lead up to Christmas gets too busy.