Fundrais­ing Inspi­ra­tion Advent Cal­en­dar 2016

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of last year’s advent cal­en­dar, SOFII once again brings you fan­tas­tic fundrais­ing ideas, one for every day of the month of Decem­ber. We’ll add new links to this page every week until Christ­mas. Hap­py Holidays!

Written by
Joe Burnett
Added
November 16, 2016
Children at a ‘ragged school’.

1 December

One of the greatest authors in the English language, Charles Dickens, becomes the ghost of Christmas present, coming back from beyond to remind us of the importance of the passion and power of fundraising.


Peter Pan, Charles Dickens, a distinctive logo and a host of other characters all played leading roles in the Wishing Well Appeal to transform the UK’s most famous children’s hospital.

2 December

Dickens again features, alongside Peter Pan and a host of other characters as we celebrate the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Wishing Well campaign.


Operation Christmas Child rely on volunteers to help deliver the shoeboxes to children overseas.

3 December

A festive campaign in the form of Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox appeal, and a celebration of volunteer action.


4 December

Humber River Hospital Foundation introduce us to Humbert, a great character in their direct mail appeal. 


5 December

Direct response fundraiser Jonathon Grapsas gives his musings on finding the ‘sweet spot’.


6 December

We wouldn’t have thought about the SOFII fundraising advent calendar without Laura Croudace of The Resource Alliance and she provides excellent lessons from a charity shop.

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The creative work showed vividly the desperate need around Britain and the selfless, hands-on support delivered by the trusted uniformed officers and volunteers. Click on the image to enlarge.

7 December

If you want to raise money, investing in fundraising is essential, as The Salvation Army demonstrated with their successful 2010 Christmas Appeal.


8 December

Arrels Fundació have come up with an excellent way to wear your heart on your sleeve to raise money and awareness of the growing number of homeless people in Barcelona 


9 December

A quirky campaign from University College London features the head of 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham. It sounds weirder than it is, and it was hugely successful to boot.

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This was the first time that Wood Green Animal Shelters had used SMS in their fundraising and they decided to test it on a captive audience. Posters like this one were displayed on trains from London King’s Cross to Peterborough for four weeks.

10 December

Inspiration for small charities with Wood Green Animal Shelters’ Christmas campaign, with an innovative use of SMS resulting in new donors and gifts.


You can see more pictures of the event on Advantage Africa's 2012 Christmas Gift Wrapping Service Facebook page. Click here for more.

11 December

Simple ideas can produce spectacular results, as one charity demonstrated by wrapping Christmas presents for other people.

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This is the appeal that was sent to all WWF core donors. This was the most successful appeal in the organisations history.

12 December 

We love this exhibit: WWF UK’s Year of the Tiger Christmas appeal from 2009 is an example of a campaign tailored to fit different types of donor

13 December

The annual appeal letter made easy by top experts Jay Love and Tom Ahern of Bloomerang

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The organisers of the ‘delightful treasures’ event.

14 December

Grandmothers in Canada reach across the Atlantic Ocean to lend help to their counterparts in Africa, with amazing results based on a series of small events.

15 December

UK homeless charity Crisis show how to go about corporate fundraising in a special and inspirational manner with their ‘Send a singer’ Christmas card challenge.

Left: Barton addresses an audience, perhaps at Deerfield Academy (we have no idea). And at home with a friend, right.

16 December

A classic campaign from 1925 that yielded a 100 per cent response rate from a major donor mailing. Truly incredible!

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The letter emerges from its packaging a bit crumpled because of the uncomfortable shape of the bag of beans with which it’s packed. But it's none the worst for that. In fact, it all looks rather exotic and interesting.

17 December

It’s the little things that go a long way with Farm Africa’s exemplary thank you letter and gift for donors.

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The store logo.

18 December 

Portuguese Red Cross’ store that sells hope offered people a chance to make a difference and learn more about the charity whilst enjoying a normal shopping experience. A wonderful idea beautifully executed.

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A piece of rubble in a matchbook with good photos makes an ingenious incentive device.

19 December

A treasure preserved for 70 years: Great Ormond Street Hospital’s 1941 Christmas mailing

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Here to stay: a selection of appealingly presented and highly useful virtual gifts from the gift catalogues of ActionAid UK and ActionAid Sweden – gifts that keep on giving.

20 December

Virtual gifts that keep on giving from ActionAid, in a campaign only Father Christmas will dislike!

21 December

The David Suzuki Foundation put a humorous twist on the campaign to combat climate change by asking supporters to help save Santa Claus.

22 December

Who can say no to this campaign, as StreetSmart’s partner restaurants offer customers the chance to add a donation to their bill to fight homelessness? Fundraising innovation at its best!

23 December

Steven Dodds and Claire Jones from DMS give SOFII readers an insightful guide into how fundraisers can learn from street artists. 

24 December

How do we make donors feel really special and how do they want to see us? SOFII asks the big questions all fundraisers should consider and comes up with some important advice.

25 December

UNICEF Sweden reignite the spirit of Christmas with some humorous and original takes on the nativity and a delightful visit to ‘The House of Goodness’.

About the author: Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett (he/him) cut his teeth as an intern at the Association of French Fundraisers, he then embarked on a career in advertising before returning to where his heart lay: in the charities sector. Joe is passionate about fundraising and how it can be a force for positive change in the world. 

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