Here are two fun and creative ideas to boost your holiday online giving results.  Okay, you probably don’t have time to do much with it yet this year.  But I urge you to start planning for next year now.

Why start now?  Because now you too are in the holiday spirit so your frame of mind is “right” for generating creative seasonal ideas.  And it also gives you plenty of time to do a great job on the project.

The two ideas come from a Chronicle of Philanthropy article:

  1. Send gift cards instead of a traditional gift.  In this example – a charity portal in Israel – offers charitable gift cards that people can give in lieu of Hanukkah presents.  The recipient then uses the card to choose among 300 charitable beneficiaries.
  2. Five charities receive donations that start with children playing video games on Club Penguin.  As they play the games they earn virtual coins.  The coins are used to vote on how $1-million Canadian is to be divided among the five charities.

If by chance you’re a smaller nonprofit and think only the big national and international orgs can play this game . . . please do some research before dismissing these ideas.

First, here’s a possible resource for the gift  Give them a call.  See what they can do for you.  Another resource is The Good Card from Network for Good.

Second, your video doesn’t have to be an elaborate website with several videos to choose from.  Start with one on your own site.  Talk to kids.  Ask them what types of video games they would enjoy.  Can you tie it to the theme of your mission?  Hope so.

Example: Literacy charity has kids play games (you don’t have to create the game; use commercial games available in stores) that build reading and writing skills.  Turn it into a contest and make it fun.

Set it up so kids earn points that convert to donations made by their parents (donors on your house list and also prospects).  The kids feel like they’re helping while having fun and getting exposed to philanthropy.

But if you want to create your own game . . . Formulate the idea and then get several quotes (no obligation for getting quotes) from  You can definitely get quality work from these people.  See how it fits into your budget.  And who knows, maybe one of your major donors would enjoy funding the project!

Most important is to promote and cross promote the heck out of it!  See what happens with one video and expand from there.  Oh, and if you go with the gift cards you definitely do massive promotion for them too.

The point is that creative ideas like these can really boost your fundraising results when done well.  People respond to fun and easy.

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Seasonally Social – Social Media That Is — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
September 20, 2011 at 8:45 am

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