While December may be the most popular time of year for giving, sometimes wanderlusters are in need of funds long before the joyful season begins. Maybe you’re looking to volunteer abroad for spring break, learn a language abroad for the summer, or study abroad in the fall?
Additionally, many FundMyTravel campaigns only run for a few months to keep audiences interested while not going over any time limits, and December may not be in that time frame!
Many campaigners create a strong message for why they need funds to travel, and they can recruit the help of their network through social media, email, text messages, and other means. Asking may be enough to reach goals in many cases, but sometimes campaigners need extra help.
Lots of organizations use donation incentives to give their cause an extra boost, so why not you too? Elevate your FundMyTravel campaign with the 12 festive holiday-themed donation incentive ideas listed below!
Why are donation incentives a good idea?
Most people would like to feel appreciated in some manner when they donate. Incentives for donors not only encourage participation and provide motivation, but they also show how grateful you are for their contribution.
Donation incentives also help to raise excitement for your cause, and donors are more likely to share your campaign with others. The donation gifts don’t need to be grand or expensive—it’s more about recognizing their contribution. By taking advantage of the holiday during your campaign time frame, you can maximize your efforts while giving back in return!
12 festive donation gifts for the holiday season
1. New Year’s Day — Personalized calendars
January is a time of celebrating opportunities ahead in the new year while appreciating good memories of the year before. A personalized calendar rises to this challenge. Ask each donor to send you 12 of their favorite photos, and you can use an online PDF template to assemble a fun calendar that looks good in black and white.
If that proves to be too challenging, you can find plenty of beautiful, free stock photos to use online on websites like Unsplash and Pixabay. When you’re done crafting your masterpiece, you can email donors the finished result for a calendar they can easily print at home and cherish all year.
2. Valentine’s Day — Gift card raffle
Celebrate love with a fun raffle! Everyone loves the chance to win something amazing. For every person who donates to your campaign, enroll them in a drawing to win a $50 gift card. The gift card can be for a common restaurant, a massage parlor, a theatre, or donor’s choice. At the end of your campaign, post a video of the drawing where you put everyone’s name in a basket and draw the winner!
3. St. Patrick’s Day — Win a treasure
Fill a glass container with lots of candies, which will be the symbolic “pot o’ gold” at the end of the rainbow. You can post a video of the filled container on your campaign page to give them a 3D viewing. For every person who donates, give them a chance to guess how many candies are in the container. The lucky winner who guesses the right amount will win the jar of candy!
4. Easter — Egg-filled surprise
Easter is a good time of year to provide a small incentive for every donor. Fill lots of plastic easter eggs with thank-you notes, mints, candies, keychains, and/or small toys or office supplies. Send a filled plastic Easter egg to each donor for an eggcellent surprise.
5. Mother’s Day — Breast cancer awareness
Moms love May because they get some recognition they deserve on Mother’s Day! For every donor who gives a certain amount to your campaign, commit to contributing a portion of their donation to an organization that fights against breast cancer—or any cause that your mom or maternal figures in your life are passionate about. Donors will be able to tell their mom that they donated in their mother’s name for a good cause.
6. Father’s Day — Choose dad’s gift
Every year, people struggle with choosing a gift for dad, right? To help them out, why not create personalized donation gifts? Donors will receive gifts for their dads based on the amount of money they contribute, and you can customize them. For example, BBQ aprons for $100 donations, mugs for $75, cozies for $50, keychains for $25, etc. You could also have another raffle for the winner’s dad to receive a box of donuts!
7. Independence Day — Virtual bake sale
Who doesn’t love a dessert that demonstrates America’s pride with stars and stripes and red, white, and blue? Cookies and cupcakes are usually cheap to make or buy. You can work with local bakers or make the goods yourself for the campaign. For those who donate a certain amount ($100 or more), promise to make baked goods for them or for an organization of their choice (a nonprofit organization, senior care center, etc.).
8. National Dog Day (August 26th) / International Cat Day (August 8th) — Box of Treats
Invite all of your donors to submit the best picture of their cat or dog. At the end of your campaign, ask everyone to vote for the picture they like the most. The donor’s picture who receives the most votes wins a mystery box of treats for the pet! The mystery box could have things like toys, snacks, grooming items, a leash, and other things. You might even be able to get a few things for free at local pet stores if you mention it’s for a good cause.
9. Labor Day — Providing labor
One of the best incentives for donations is via labor for an organization. Choose a few local organizations or schools where you can volunteer. Reward every person who donates a certain amount (for example, $50) with a vote for the school or organizations where they want you to volunteer for a day. The one with the most votes wins your labor!
10. Halloween — Costume contest
If you’re up to this “spooktacular” challenge, you can provide a costume contest as a donation incentive. Choose three embarrassing costumes (that are cheap or easy to make) and ask each donor to vote on which costume you have to wear on Halloween; you can give donors a vote for every dollar they donate! Your friends and family will love this idea.
11. Thanksgiving — Cookbook
A good way to get people to donate even a small amount is the promise of a unique cookbook. Ask everyone who donates to your campaign to contribute their favorite recipe—it can be of their all time favorite food or of their favorite Thanksgiving dish. At the end of your campaign, you can create a PDF cookbook with all the recipes that people gave you, and distribute it to everyone who donated to your campaign.
12. Christmas — Postcard ornaments
Many people in your network would love to receive a postcard of the place you visited as a thank you for their donation. Why not create something special for them to put on the tree every year? You can customize the postcard with frames, embroidery, lamination, etc. and put a ribbon through the top. Each donor will have a special reminder every year of how they contributed to making your travel dreams come true.
You’ll have happy holidays with these donation incentives!
While these donation incentive ideas are for the more popular holidays, you can also take advantage of fun and silly holidays throughout the year. (There would be some pretty creative incentives attached to Arbor Day and Earth Day, for example!) It’s also recommended to reach out to local companies for sponsorship or to gather free supplies for events if you need to minimize expenses. You’d be surprised at how many people you know have a business and would love to take advantage of the free advertising.
If you have skills in photography, carpentry, design, or anything else, you may be able to provide donation gifts with these talents. You can also provide incentives for donations by providing your time or labor for them. Plus, you could also host contests, tournaments, sales, and other events in person if possible and ask people to contribute to your FundMyTravel campaign. Many people also find that incentives for donors have helped them build relationships and surpass their campaign goals!
This article was written by Sydney Lutz. Growing up as an “army brat,” Sydney could not help but develop a thirst for traveling. She has visited all 50 states as well as England, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia. Sydney graduated with a master’s degree in public communication and technology in Colorado, and taught abroad for a year in Quito, Ecuador. Her favorite things to do include studying Spanish, practicing yoga, and travel writing.