Not All Holiday Fundraising Is Created Equal
The very word conjures up notions of celebration, warmth and love.
If you’re a donor-centered fundraising practitioner, you’d be a fool not to take advantage. Why not tap into pre-existing positive vibes to increase the chances your appeal will be warmly received?
After all, if you can channel something positive that’s more or less universally felt, this gives you a leg up. It puts your donors in a giving mood using familiar symbols and traditions.
Except when it doesn’t.
A True Holiday Fundraising Story
This childhood experience is one I’ve never forgotten—trick-or-treat for Unicef—a tradition begun by the organization in 1950 “to help kids who need more than candy.” I received my milk carton in school, covered it with bright orange paper emblazoned with Unicef branding, and proceeded (as instructed) to head out with my sister to ask neighbors to drop change in the cartons on the afternoon preceding the big night. We felt really good about helping other kids.
But then… we knocked on a real witch’s door. She screamed at us: “HALLOWEEN IS FOR CHILDREN!” She then smashed some taffy candies through the smallish holes in our milk cartons and slammed the door! Even at that young age, we were dumbstruck. Yes, Halloween was for kids. All kids. That’s why we were fundraising. What was making this woman scream at us? Why had she stuffed my carton so full there was no more room in it? I remember having a really tough time back home fishing the taffies out of the carton, so I could access the already-amassed change–much less than I’d hoped to collect—and turn it over to Unicef.