10 Ideas to Effectively Kickstart Your New Year Fundraising

Nonprofits may appreciate the downtime after the busy giving season, but it also means they may not have significant funds coming in for the first few months of the new year. That’s why the start of the new year is the perfect time to think of ways to keep the momentum going. Creative and fun…

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10 Ideas to Effectively Kickstart Your New Year Fundraising

Nonprofits may appreciate the downtime after the busy giving season, but it also means they may not have significant funds coming in for the first few months of the new year. That’s why the start of the new year is the perfect time to think of ways to keep the momentum going. Creative and fun new year fundraising ideas can make this happen for your organization.

In this article, we’ve included 10 ideas to help kickstart your fundraising calendar.

  1. New year celebrations
  2. Start a membership campaign
  3. New year’s resolution
  4. Walk your dog month
  5. Try something new
  6. Tour your facility
  7. Calendar sale
  8. Raffle ticket sale
  9. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  10. Winter sports events

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10 Creative New Year Fundraising Ideas to Grab Attention & Engage Donors

1. New year celebrations

After New Year’s Eve, you may think that donors would be less interested in another fundraising event or appeal. But your approach can be different. How about a party or a celebration event?

Your organization will have a competition for attendees this night, so imaginative ideas are vital. In January 2020, some nonprofits got creative with Back to the 20s Nights. Attendees dressed up and enjoyed music and dance from the 1920s.

If you hold a gala event, you must start advertising a few weeks ahead. You can include ticket sales with your end-of-year campaign, but you’ll want to be careful with your budget.

But it doesn’t have to be a grand evening. Simply ask supporters or volunteers to hold smaller events in their homes and provide virtual fundraising activities like trivia contests, auctions, or raffles. Add some activities for kids as well. Focus on making this event engaging and entertaining for all. Encourage people to donate and keep a small entry fee for each family.

Donorbox Events lets you create and customize online event pages. You can add unlimited ticket levels to your event page, and set ticket-buying deadlines, ticket availability, and tax-deductible information under each ticket level. You can also embed the event ticketing form on your website, refund ticket amounts in full, and accept Apple Pay payments.

new year fundraising ideas - Donorbox Events

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2. Start a membership campaign

The first campaign of the year should focus on thanking donors and building relationships. One way to do this is with a membership campaign.

At the start of the new year, you can develop a membership program that shares specific ways these donations help beneficiaries. Once you’ve created a webpage with this information, send emails or mailed appeals thanking donors for participating in previous campaigns and introducing this giving option.

Remember to share donor benefits for becoming a member. A few benefit examples include –

  • Discounted event tickets.
  • Free access to events and VIP treatment.
  • Regular program updates.

Membership campaigns can be held entirely online, so it costs less than other fundraisers. Which is why it can be an ideal option in January or February.

With Donorbox Memberships, you can create and customize membership pages, add unlimited membership tiers, manage members and payment data at the backend, and let members manage their own membership accounts on Donorbox. Here’s a great example of a customized membership campaign page created on Donorbox.

ideas for new year fundraising

3. New year’s resolution for your supporters

It’s that time of year again. Time to get healthy, read more, play with your kids, etc.

This year, your nonprofit can encourage donors to resolve to make another person’s year brighter than before. Create an online peer-to-peer campaign and reach out to a few supporters with a solid online presence to fundraise for you. These campaigns have great potential for boosting your outreach and donations.

Donorbox Peer-to-Peer makes this process a breeze for your organization and supporters! You can quickly create a peer-to-peer fundraising page and invite supporters right from the tool. They’ll receive email invites and will be guided on the tool to create their own fundraising pages. You can also add an “I want to fundraise” button to your main campaign page to let anyone interested opt to fundraise for you.

Center for Chronic Illness uses this Donorbox feature to give supporters a chance to raise funds to help those with chronic illnesses in 2023. As you can see, some people have already begun to fundraise for them.

new year fundraising

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4. Walk your dog month

January is when everyone starts thinking of ways to get healthier. Walking your dog is an easy way to stick to this new year’s resolution.

Animal rescue nonprofits can host a walkathon in January and encourage supporters to join you in person or online with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

You can also make additional funds by offering vendors a table at your event or selling t-shirts for people and pups in person or online.

This is one of the simplest new year fundraising ideas. If you turn it online, it would require even less effort and budget at your end. Read this guide we’ve prepared for successful virtual walk-a-thons.

5. Try something new

After the holiday season, most people feel discouraged about getting back to the old, mundane routine. Inspire them to take up new hobbies and stick to them for the whole month – every day!

Ask them to create their own fundraising pages and share this challenge with their networks. People who want to support and encourage them can make a donation to your organization. And in turn, they’ll keep sharing progress and updates on how they’re doing with the new hobby.

After one month, hold an event to appreciate their efforts. Ask them to bring their supporters along. This can be a day for these people to share their inspiring stories of starting the new year in a new and meaningful way!

You can leverage this opportunity to share about your organization, its impact, and its beneficiaries with the attendees. Also, provide ways for people to give easily through text-to-give or QR codes.

6. Tour your facility

It’s a new year, and your organization may have won several new supporters over the giving season. Now is the time to get to know these donors and allow them to check out your facility in person.

Your goal with this type of campaign isn’t to raise funds, but it can raise significant amounts of money in the long run. Focus on building trust and giving supporters an incredible experience. Encourage them to get involved, become members or volunteers, ask questions, and share feedback.

If this idea doesn’t fit your nonprofit type, you can partner with a suitable business and offer a facility tour for people. Sell tickets and send tour passes. Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County NY does the same with the below nonprofit event page on Donorbox. They partner with breweries to hold facility tours and sell tickets to raise money.

new year fundraising ideas - nonprofit event

7. Calendar sale

Buying a new calendar is another thing to look forward to in January. You can start selling calendars during your year-end campaign or wait till the new year. Either way, this is an easy way to raise funds.

Come up with a theme and include images of beneficiaries or donor activities from the last year. Remember to include your organization’s logo and mission statement to share your organization’s branding and purpose with new supporters.

You can hire a professional designer or use an online tool like Canva to create a calendar on your own. Once printed, your organization can sell them at your location, during events, and online. Check how this nonprofit offered new year calendars in return for donations through this on-brand donation page.

fundraising page - new year fundraising

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8. Raffle ticket sale

Raffle ticket sales are another fundraising activity that doesn’t require much planning or effort. It can also be a fun and easy way for supporters to help their favorite charity.

If you hope to build a relationship with a new sponsor, this can be an excellent way to start. Ask for an item you can auction and promote the company to supporters who purchase raffle tickets.

If you can’t find an item to raffle, you can always hold a 50/50 or reverse raffle where ticket purchasers can win cash. Set up an online raffle event page and sell tickets to your supporters, as shown in the example below.

raffle event for new year

Raffles can take place in person or online. Online raffles have the potential to reach more people. But before holding an in-person or online raffle, ensure you know and understand the raffle laws in all ticket sale locations.

9. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and can be an excellent way to improve your organization’s DEI initiatives. MLK’s life and legacy give teachers and nonprofit managers opportunities to share the difficulties minorities face in the real world.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day allows nonprofits to involve followers and staff who may have felt left out in the past. Unless your organization’s mission addresses civil rights or racial justice, you shouldn’t raise funds during this event.

Still, you can share any DEI initiatives your organization has made with donors and the press. This will help spread the word about your work and the organization in general.

10. Winter sports events

The best part of winter is sports and activities like ice skating, skiing, tubing, the Polar Bear Plunge, and snowman contests. Nonprofits can join in on the fun and hold winter events with one or many of these activities.

Winter sports and outdoor activities are exciting options for families and younger supporters who don’t regularly attend nonprofit galas. Nonprofits can find sponsors, sell tickets, hold raffles, and more.

You can even turn this into a virtual or hybrid event and ask people to record and share their winter activity online and raise funds with peer-to-peer campaigns.

In Conclusion

January and February can be exciting fundraising times for your nonprofit. With a bit of inventiveness and open-mindedness, you can develop a full-scale gala or outdoor event or hold a smaller online campaign that reaches out to a specific donor type.

While new year celebrations are great for strengthening relationships with donors, nonprofits should also raise funds with event tickets, raffles, and peer-to-peer campaigns. Donorbox helps make this easy with powerful fundraising tools and insightful resources.

Learn about our features such as Recurring Donations, Fundraising Pages, Text-to-Give, QuickDonate, Donor Management, and more on the website.

Find hundreds of free articles, guides, checklists, samples, and other resources on the Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter and rest assured – we’ll send our best resources to your inbox every month!

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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