The Christmas season is a time of generosity, so appeal to festive event-goers with a chance to give back. You can start hosting Christmas events as soon as December hits, but keep in mind that people’s schedules get fuller as the holidays near.

Read on to learn more about Christmas fundraiser ideas, from festive holiday games and competitions to markets and workshops.

Community fundraiser ideas for Christmas

You can use a variety of strategies to fundraise at holiday events, from selling food and drink to hosting seasonal games. Tap into eventgoers’ desire for camaraderie and connection with these community fundraiser ideas for Christmas.

1. Carols by candlelight

Serenade the community with a carols-by-candlelight event. Invite local musicians and choirs to perform and give the proceeds from ticket sales to your charity of choice. This fundraiser idea will attract attendees who enjoy live music and are looking to get into the holiday spirit.

2. Santa run

Imagine the holiday cheer that hundreds of Santas running through the streets would bring to your community. Host a race or obstacle course in December and ask entrants to wear their best holiday costumes. Entry fees, as well as ticket sales for spectators, can fundraise for your charitable cause. Legacy Cares in Mesa, Arizona, includes a holiday festival with its annual 5K to offer even more opportunities for raising money.

3. Holiday pet parade

Festively dressed pets are sure to attract a crowd. Host a holiday pet parade where participants bring their furry friends dressed for the season. You can charge entry fees for both participants and spectators to raise money. Give a prize for the dog or cat that rocks the best holiday getup.

4. Online silent auction

Host an online silent auction to raise money for your community. Collect donations from local businesses, with a focus on items that can be given as gifts. You can also auction food and drink or restaurant gift cards that can be used for holiday celebrations. All proceeds raised from your silent auction can support your worthy cause.

5. Board game day

Board games aren’t just for snow days by the fire. Set up stations where attendees can challenge fellow community members at different games. You can charge an entry fee for the event to raise money. Be sure to have prizes for the winners.

6. Holiday karaoke

You don’t have to be a professional singer to belt out “Santa Baby”. A holiday karaoke event lets attendees sing their favorite Christmas songs and listen to others as well. Raise money by charging performers a small donation per song.

7. Cookies with Santa

Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies with Santa himself. This family-friendly event will give kids the chance to hand-deliver their letters to Santa, too. Sell tickets to the event and charge a small fee for photos to raise money for your cause.

8. Christmas bingo

Christmas bingo adds a holiday-themed touch to this classic game. Use Christmas nicknames for the ball number-call, and play Christmas tunes between games. Charge a flat ticket fee for the entire event, with ticket sales supporting your cause. Need inspiration for your fundraiser? The Phantom Projects Theatre at La Habra Depot hosted a holiday event complete with Christmas trivia, bingo, and prizes.

9. Christmas movie night

Host a movie night for a worthy cause with a Christmas classic on the big screen. Sell tickets, red and green popcorn, and hot chocolate to usher in the holiday spirit. It doesn’t even have to be snowy — Wells Family Christmas Tree Farm in Norman, Oklahoma hosts holiday-themed movie nights under the stars all season long.

10. Christmas walk-a-thon

Encourage your community to stay active and get in the holiday spirit for a good cause by hosting a Christmas walk-a-thon. Participants pay an entry fee to walk, and they can show up in holiday gear to make the event more fun. Play holiday music along the route and provide cookies and warm drinks at the finish line.

Christmas carnival games

Creative, seasonal carnival games put the “fun” in fundraising. Charge admission or sell tokens to raise money for your cause. Consider these games as you plan your event.

11. Find the lucky stocking

Flaunt your décor! Hang stockings on a board and choose one to be your lucky stocking. Have each attendee choose a stocking and mark it with their name, then reveal who chose the lucky stocking at the end of the event.

12. Find Santa

Find Santa is an easy and fun game for players of all ages. You’ll need to wrap 10 boxes and stack them. Place a toy Santa in one of the boxes. Challenge guests to guess which box Santa is in to win a prize.

13. What’s in the stocking?

Fill stockings with small items, ensuring that the stockings are closed so that the contents aren’t visible. Then, ask participants to feel a stocking and guess what’s inside. Anyone who guesses the contents of the stocking gets to take it home.

14. Ring Rudolph’s nose

A stuffed or inflated Rudolph is the centerpiece of this holiday game. Give participants three chances to toss a ring onto Rudolph’s nose to win a prize.

15. Christmas bowling

Give bowling a holiday twist for your fundraiser. Set up plastic pins that you’ve painted to look like snowmen, elves, or Santa, and have participants bowl for prizes.

16. Snowball throw

Snow or no snow, you can still host a snowball throw at your event. Set up targets such as cardboard cutouts of snowmen with holes cut out. Then, encourage participants to throw a snowball (or beanbag) through the target for a prize.

17. Christmas photo booth

It’s never too late to take a Christmas card photo. Hire a photo booth or photographer and offer props like elf hats, reindeer antlers, jingle bells, and more.

18. Snowy treasure hunt

Turn a side room into a snowy wonderland with twinkling lights, fake snow, and cardboard elf houses. Hide small prizes or candy in the scenery and give kids a limited amount of time to grab what they can.

19. Hot chocolate stand

Sell hot chocolate to keep participants warm on cold December days. Offer different flavors of hot chocolate and toppings such as marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crushed peppermints.

20. Pin the nose on Rudolph

Give pin the tail on the donkey a holiday twist by playing pin the nose on Rudolph. Hang up a poster of Rudolph, blindfold your guests, and challenge them to pin the bright red nose in the right spot. The closest pin earns a prize.

21. Guess the weight of the Christmas cake

Display a Christmas cake and ask participants to guess how much it weighs. At the end of the event, award a prize — or the cake itself — to whoever’s guess is closest.

22. Christmas raffle

Sell raffle tickets for holiday-themed items to raise money. Items can include a new holiday wreath, a popular toy, or a gift basket filled with goodies. 

Christmas gifts and sales

Christmas is the season of giving, whether you’re buying gifts for family and friends or contributing to your community. Raising money by selling gifts and hosting sales can help your attendees do both. Work with local merchants to offer thoughtful, handmade gifts. Consider these options for an effective community fundraiser.

23. Community garage sale

A community garage sale gives people the chance to clear out their unwanted items before new Christmas gifts are unwrapped. Participants can purchase a booth, with booth sales going toward your fundraiser, and then sell their goods to attendees.

24. Christmas bake sale

The Christmas season is filled with sweet treats and baked goods, so host a holiday bake sale as a fundraiser. You can raise money by charging a flat fee for bakers to rent a table to sell their goods, or you can require that a percentage of each baker’s sales goes toward the cause. For added fun, consider offering a prize for the best in each category: cookies, cakes, brownies, and bars.

25. Gift stalls or card sale

Invite makers in your community to sell their goods at a Christmas market. Rent out booths where crafters and creators can sell their handmade items, cards, and art — perfect gifts for the holiday season. To find participants, reach out to small business owners and craft groups. The Junior League of Fort Worth hosts a 4-day holiday market, complete with a preview party and private shopping events.

Christmas services

The holiday season can be hectic, and people are always looking for extra help during this busy time. Christmas services help participants check items off of their to-do lists while contributing to a good cause. Consider these holiday services that you can use as a fundraiser.

26. Letters to Santa

Get children excited for the season by hosting a Letters to Santa event. Kids can write their letters to Santa and drop them in a special mailbox for delivery to the North Pole. Parents can pay to have their child receive a personalized letter back from “Santa” — a.k.a your willing volunteers.

27. Gift wrapping stall

Gift wrapping can be time-consuming — and tough to do well. Set up a gift-wrapping stall at your market for participants to drop their gifts and have your pro wrappers pretty them up. Learn more about how to recruit and retain volunteers for your event.

28. Yard clean up

Offer a lawn cleanup service in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Homeowners will want their property to look tidy in time for holiday decorating and hosting. Charge a fee for the service, which can include snow shoveling and debris removal.

29. Christmas decorating service

Gather volunteers to help decorate local businesses, homes, and parks for the holidays. You can promote this service in November, just in time for holiday decorating. Business owners or homeowners will pay your volunteers to add some festivity to their property, whether twinkling lights or garland. Offer to take down the decorations after the holidays for an additional fee.

30. Christmas singers for hire

Bring the joy of the Christmas season to your community by offering a caroling service. People can sign up to book holiday singers who come to parties and gatherings to spread holiday cheer. These singers can even be booked as a surprise for a friend or family member.

Christmas workshops

Give attendees the skills to design seasonal décor and handmade items they can give to family, friends, and neighbors. Take a look at these ideas for hosting a crafting workshop that raises money and creates thoughtful gifts at the same time.

31. Gingerbread house decorating

Host a gingerbread house decorating workshop for your community. Participants pay a fee to join, with a portion of the proceeds going toward your fundraiser. You can have pre-made gingerbread houses ready for assembly or have participants prepare the gingerbread themselves if you have the time and space.

32. Personalized jewelry

Invite a local artisan to lead your guests in creating personalized jewelry, which can be a thoughtful gift for a loved one. Offer a variety of styles and options, ranging from earrings to necklaces and bracelets, so that everyone takes home a unique piece.

33. Custom calendars

With a new year on the horizon, everyone needs a new calendar. Host a calendar workshop where participants create a unique calendar that they can take home for themselves or share as a holiday gift.

34. Christmas gift baskets/hampers

Gift baskets can please an entire family, so host a Christmas gift basket-making workshop for your community. Reach out to local businesses to secure donations for the baskets. Offer various basket price points so that you can cater to a broad audience. Ticket prices should include the cost of the basket plus a portion that supports your fundraiser. Check out these tips for pricing your event.

35. Advent calendars

Many families use Advent calendars to count down to Christmas. Offer a workshop that lets participants create a handmade Advent calendar that they’ll cherish using every year. Work with local businesses who might be interested in donating small items to include in the calendar. The more donations you secure, the more ticket sales you can put toward your fundraiser.

36. Candle making

Holiday-scented candles add instant ambiance to the home, and they make thoughtful gifts, too. Host a candle-making workshop so attendees can create presents for family and friends. Encourage them to bring repurposed glass jars, mugs, or pre-used candle holders to refill for greener gifting.

37. Christmas wreath

A wreath on the front door instantly adds holiday cheer — and it’s even more special when it’s handmade. Hold a wreath-making workshop where people can create hand-crafted décor. Reach out to local florists or craft stores to secure any item donations to cut down on costs and maximize profits.

Christmas competitions

Add a little competitive spirit to the holiday season by hosting a competition. These events can raise money by charging a fee for both participants and spectators. Offer prizes to attract competitors.

38. Ugly Christmas sweater contest

Host an ugly Christmas sweater contest for a good cause. Encourage participants to come wearing their over-the-top holiday attire, with a prize going to the tackiest outfit.  

39. Gingerbread man look-a-like

Gingerbread decorating makes for a fun Christmas competition. Participants can decorate gingerbread men to represent real people — whether that’s a local celebrity, a favorite musician, or themselves.

Christmas donations

Nonprofit Christmas fundraising ideas can incorporate various elements to maximize donations. In addition to donating ticket sales toward the event, you can also encourage other donations to make your fundraiser even more impactful. You can also solicit online donations to extend your fundraiser’s reach. Read on for these Christmas fundraising ideas.

40. Find sponsors to match donations 1:1

Stimulate giving by setting up gift matching — for every dollar participants give, you or your sponsor will give a dollar, too.

41. Set an extra place at the table

Encourage participants in your fundraiser to set an “extra place” place at their table on Christmas. Then, they can donate the money they would have spent on food, drink, and gifts for that person to your charitable cause.

42. Donate your Christmas

Reach out to the most generous donors by encouraging them to donate their Christmas. This fundraiser asks participants to donate the money that would have been spent on their gifts to your cause instead of purchasing those gifts. Donation ticket options for any event can be an effective way to raise even more money.

43. Last hour pay

Encourage potential donors to share their pay from their last hours of work before the holidays with your cause. To encourage this generous donation, take time to explain what your fundraiser will support and why the donations are needed. Donation videos or a Boost email marketing campaign can help drum up interest in this opportunity.

44. Dry January pledge

After a season of celebrations, a dry January might be welcome for some. Encourage your community to take a dry January pledge and donate the money they would have spent on alcohol during the month to your fundraiser.

Plan your Christmas fundraiser event now

Whether you want to create a week-long event for your community or a single day of holiday cheer, there are many Christmas fundraiser ideas to choose from. Eventbrite is here to help you plan and market whatever type of holiday event you want to host. Discover how to post events for free on Eventbrite to kick off your Christmas fundraiser planning.