Advan­tage Africa: Christ­mas gift wrap­ping offer

Exhibited by
Andrew Betts, director, Advantage Africa.
July 22, 2013
Medium of Communication
Face to face
Target Audience
Type of Charity
International relief / development
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
December, 2012

SOFII’s view

Such a simple idea that is so easy to copy, not just small charities, but larger, national and international ones too. Imagine how much money you could raise if you could get your volunteers in towns all over the country to offer, or adapt this service. Never forget that the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada and the UK’s Macmillan Cancer Support have raised millions through the efforts of small groups of dedicated volunteers.

Creator / originator

Advantage Africa.

Summary / objectives

We set out to raise £10,000 towards Advantage Africa’s work with people affected by poverty, disability and HIV by recruiting. We achieved this by recruiting, training and supporting 92 amazing volunteers who professionally and beautifully wrapped more than 4,000 Christmas presents for shoppers in the Midsummer Place shopping centre in Milton Keynes from the 8 to 24 December 2012.

Customers paid from £1 for a small present, such as a CD, to £4 for a big box of Lego. The quality of wrapping, bows and ribbons and information about the life-changing work of our charity's compelled many customers to donate on top of these charges.


We’re passionate about helping people to help themselves and build a better future for their families and communities.

We’ve have raised money this way before and knew it could raise a significant sum for our charity.

The volunteers who undertake the wrapping love it. They like giving their time to help people in need at Christmas, learning a new skill, being part of a committed team and having great fun. They also gain fulfilment from helping to improve the lives of people in Kenya and Uganda.

Comments from volunteers include: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed it every time I did it! A really good laugh and I learned a skill (wrapping with hidden tape) that I employ a lot.’

And: ‘I loved the Christmas spirit of fellow volunteers and shoppers and the fact that what we are doing is so worthwhile’.

Influence / impact

We raised a total income of £10,759 including corporate sponsorship of £4,000; net income after paying our costs was £8,803 This funding has been used across Kenya and Uganda to provide HIV testing and counselling services, buy robust wheelchairs for disabled people living in remote areas, start a nursery school for orphaned children, give single parent families the means to earn an income to provide for their families - and much more.

It raised our profile in our local town.


We spent £1,956. This included a temporary project manager for two months (£1,200), bottles of water for the volunteers (£93), volunteer travel expenses £33, gifts to thank our volunteers £59, hire of a venue for three training sessions was £90 and and good quality wrapping materials including gift paper, sticky pads and more Sellotape and ribbon that you would never believe came to £481.


This is an innovative and cost-effective project that our volunteers enjoy and is a great confidence booster for some of them. Many make good friendships and come back every year and some decide to support Advantage Africa in other ways. We have even provided some volunteers with employment references to help them back into work.

It inspires others to give and wins support from two companies to the value of £4,000 that otherwise would not happen.

The funds raised are significant and change lives by helping people affected by poverty, disability and HIV to improve their education, health and incomes.

It’s a kind of social enterprise that provides a valuable and stress-relieving service for shoppers at Christmas and doesn’t really compete with other forms of fundraising.

Showcasing our campaign could inspire other charities to replicate this method of fundraising in other cities and countries.

Other relevant information

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

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