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15 Ways to Spread Christmas Cheer: Nonprofit Edition

Get inspired with creative ways for nonprofits to spread Christmas cheer in their communities.
Cassie Viele
Published Nov 14, 2022

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by SERVING loud for all to hear!

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As an organization with an others-first mission, YOU are uniquely positioned to help encourage this growth, and there is no better time to focus on social capital than the Christmas season. Spreading Christmas cheer can create serious social capital gains, and the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by SERVING loud for all to hear. Keep reading for creative ways to make that happen in your community!

A Note About Involving Others...

It can be tempting to try to go it alone when you get excited about a new idea or project. However, as you seek to build social capital it is ESSENTIAL that you involve others in your endeavors and volunteer opportunities. From your key staff, dedicated volunteers, donors, and service recipients to other like-minded nonprofit organizations and community-focused businesses, your social capital can only grow when your networks are allowed to expand. Everybody needs to be invited to the party for your community to see success!

Looking for creative ideas to spread the word about Christmas cheer opportunities? MyCreativeShop has a wide variety of customizable templates that can help you make the connection, including newsletters, posters, flyers, and postcards. Our all-in-one direct mail service can also get your message to those you know and those you want to know, with minimal effort on your part. Christmas cheer in just a few clicks!

15 Ideas -

1. Give your donors a chance to play Santa by making your own Christmas wish list.
Sites like allow you to create easy-to-shop wish lists that can be shared with your donors and other stakeholders.They can even choose to have your wish list items shipped directly to you! To give them an even more Santa-like experience, you can create your own custom postcard that shares your needs and includes a QR code or web address that takes them right to your wish list. If only Santa was that high-tech!

2. Host a Christmas open house to give your community a chance to see what you do.
Encourage your employees to decorate their desks and office spaces and put out holiday treats. Make sure to feature your print marketing materials, including brochures, business cards, and flyers. Time for an upgrade? Check out our expansive catalog of customizable nonprofit marketing templates. We can even handle the printing and ship them right to your door!

3. Organize a group of staff and volunteers to go caroling and share your mission.
Give everyone a piece of clothing (hat, scarf, shirt, etc.) that identifies them as being connected to your nonprofit. Bring your joy to local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, grocery stores, and even shopping malls. Consider spending a little time practicing before you head out so that you can sing with confidence!

4. Organize a group of staff and volunteers to bless another nonprofit in your community by volunteering in order to encourage camaraderie and a sense of teamwork.
When we work together to better our community, we are all stronger. Helping another org reach their goal or fulfill their mission will not only spread Christmas cheer, your own team will be uplifted by being able to bless others!

Angel Trees are an effective way to spread Christmas cheer to those who could use some joy!
Image via The Tallahassee Democrat

5. Partner with the Salvation Army in your community to have an Angel Tree set up  in your facility OR commit your organization and its donors to meeting the needs of an entire tree.
Angel Trees are a simple yet impactful way to meet the needs of those in your community who are vulnerable, especially children. Providing space for a tree in your building (if it gets enough traffic) or adopting an entire tree can make a huge difference in the lives of so many.

6. Host a free Christmas dinner for those in your community who may not have anywhere to go.
Keep your costs lower by asking local businesses to donate food items and paper products and sharing the need with donors. Encourage homebound individuals to sign up to receive a delivered meal if they are unable to make it to the event. Invite your employees, donors, stakeholders, and their families to help prepare and serve the meal, and then stick around to eat and fellowship with those in attendance.

Get the word out to the community by utilizing your entire marketing arsenal: call the local radio station to ask them to share the details (or even just have you on to talk about it!), connect with other social services organizations in your area so that they can let their service recipients know about the meal, and customize your own banners, yard signs, posters, and postcards to ensure no one is uninformed. Start from one of our nonprofit templates to give yourself a head start!

7. Set up a Santa s workshop for underprivileged kids to come and shop for gifts for their families.
This one is always a cheer-bringer. Connect with local schools, foster care providers, and social service organizations to find your shoppers. Solicit donations from local businesses, retail stores, and even restaurants (gift cards?!). You can also ask your donors and stakeholders to help provide the inventory and to help staff the workshop or serve as a personal shopper for a child. Make it your ambition to provide each shopper with the dignity he or she deserves as a member of your community. Include a gift wrapping station so that the children can wrap their gifts before heading home.

8. Play Santa by responding to letters written by kids in your local school and fulfilling their wishes.
Connect with an elementary school in your community and find out if they are willing to let your organization serve as Santa. Seek out donations of cash or gifts from the community and local businesses to help meet the need. Let your donors know about the opportunity to give by posting about it on your social media pages, including the details in your email updates, or sending out custom postcards to your entire mailing list. 

Don t have a postcard at the ready? No problem! Choose one of our nonprofit postcard templates, customize it, and send it out to your existing mailing list, without ever having to lift a finger (other than to click or type) by utilizing our all-in-one direct mail service. Nothing says, Merry Christmas like the gift of time!

Image via Country Living

9. Put together Christmas dinner kits for families in your community who can t afford them.
Helping needy families in your community provide an abundant holiday meal for their children and other loved ones is a gift that will not be easily forgotten. Work your network of local philanthropists to gather all that is needed for a DIY Christmas feast, then wrap all the fixings up in a roasting pan and distribute them to the families you identify with the help of your other local network - teachers, social workers, churches, and more. You ll be spreading cheer one turkey (or ham!) at a time!

10. Organize a toy or winter clothing drive to provide for underprivileged kids or those at your local children s hospital.
Whether you choose to provide winter warmth for coatless kiddos or a spark of joy for a child facing a serious illness, organizing people to come together to spread Christmas cheer collectively is always a winning strategy. Deploy your top-notch team of nonprofit pros to launch an enthusiastic campaign of generosity in your community. Give your staff a chance to really put their kindness into action as they seek out donations and find ways to meet the needs of others. 

Get the word out to your stakeholders via social media, email, or with a creative postcard mailing. You can even save time by using our all-in-one direct mail service to customize your postcard design, choose your recipients, and launch your mailing. No need to print address labels or affix postage; we handle it all for you!

Image by Kris via Pixabay

11. Host a snowman/gingerbread house building contest, with funds raised going to help provide Christmas blessings for needy families.
If your climate allows, take advantage of the ourdoor landscape to hold a snowman building contest to raise money to bless needy families in your community. If the weather isn t cooperating (or if you just prefer indoor activities), turn it into a gingerbread house building extravaganza. Award competitors for their creativity and use the entry fees and hot cocoa stand revenue to spread Christmas cheer and build up your community.

Create your own posters and flyers to promote your event, then hang them all over town. We have a variety of customizable options to save you time and help you maintain your own Christmas cheer levels throughout the season!

12. Set up an Adopt-a-Family program that pairs willing families with a low-income or refugee family to build relationships that last beyond the season.
Welcoming strangers is one of the best ways to build true community. Sometimes, those who want to build relationships struggle to find those who feel the same way. Why not encourage your donor and employee families to be willing to adopt a family of strangers. This idea can take many forms, but inviting a new family to join you for a meal in your home is a simple way to get started. As you play matchmaker, you can consider connecting families with children of similar ages or a variety of other characteristics. 

13. Encourage your employees to volunteer in the community while still paying them.
As a Christmas gift to your community, hold a volunteer day for your organization, where every employee can spend their regular workday helping out another group in town with their Christmas activities while still being paid as an employee of your org. Not only will you be bettering your community, you ll be cultivating goodwill amongst your employees and fellow organizations. Christmas cheer for all!

Begun in 1895, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is one of the most iconic fundraisers (or cheer-spreading opportunities) of the Christmas season.
Image via Salvation Army

14. Adopt a day to ring bells for the Salvation Army in your city - Invite donors, employees, and stakeholders.
The Salvation Army s Red Kettle Campaign has already proven itself successful at spreading Christmas cheer. Magnify the impact it can have on your community by adopting a bell ringing day. Build a team of employees, donors, and stakeholders and send them to kettles across the city. Helping another organization reach a worthwhile goal will always spread Christmas cheer!

15. Partner with a local elementary school or classroom to bless the teacher and students with their classroom needs.
If it fits your mission (and even if it doesn t), another practical way to spread joy this season is to adopt a local classroom and its teacher. Ask the teacher to put together a wish list for their classroom, then do everything you can to go above and beyond it. Get your employees, donors, and other stakeholders invested in this class s success as you give them tangible ways to bless their fellow community members.


That's a Wrap!

Building social capital in your community matters. It makes an impact on outcomes, quality of life, and has the added bonus of bringing YOU joy. Find a way to make a difference by spreading cheer while you serve others this Christmas! We're here to help with anything you need - just don't ask us to try spaghetti with maple syrup...

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