Of all the times of the year, the holidays are one of the best for fundraising. People are already looking for ways to reduce their taxable income, chartable giving increases, and there’s a general mood of generosity that surrounds Thanksgiving and Christmas. With so many fundraisers ongoing, it’s important to choose a campaign that stands out from the crowd and gets people excited. A photo fundraiser is a great way to get people involved in your organization, and gives you the opportunity to capitalize on holiday themes like:
Festive Holiday Fundraising Ideas: Photo Contest Themes
- Ugly Sweaters
- Christmas Trees
- Christmas Cookie Decorating
- Ornament Crafts
- Christmas Lights
- Santa Portraits
- Decorating Gone Wrong
- Matching Outfits
- Pajama Party
If you’re looking for holiday fundraising ideas that everyone can get excited about, whether you need holiday fundraising ideas for non-profits, for-profit ventures, or holiday fundraising ideas for schools, running a photo contest might just be the best fundraiser you hold, yet.
9 Festive Holiday Fundraising Ideas for Photo Contests
1. Ugly Sweaters
Nothing says Christmas like office parties and ugly sweater contests. But you don’t have to relegate the fun of ugly sweaters to the office when you use this as the theme for your photo fundraiser contest. This is one of the best holiday themed fundraising ideas for maximum donor engagement, fun photos, and good times shared by all.
With an ugly sweater contest, you get to challenge everyone, including the staff, club or community members, and any interested participant you’d like to join in on the fun. Ask people to submit photos of their most atrocious store-bought or homemade ugly Christmas sweater. Everyone will enjoy voting for their favorite. Make this Christmas fundraising idea even more fun by offering a trophy to the person who gets the most votes for the ugliest Christmas sweater of all.
This is one of the best fundraising ideas for the office that can easily turn into a community-wide fundraiser that involves anyone and everyone who is involved with the organization.
2. Christmas Trees
Another great contest theme for Christmas fundraising time is Christmas trees. This photo contest idea can start the day after Thanksgiving and run all the way through New Year’s Day to give you a range of times during which people can submit their favorite Christmas tree photos.
This holiday fundraising idea can be broken up into sub-themes, as well, if you want to offer multiple contests in one. Sub-themes could include ideas like “Finding the Christmas Tree,” “Decorating the Christmas Tree,” “Unique Christmas Trees,” and “Best Decorated Christmas Tree.” The possibilities are endless, which makes this contest a fun one for the holiday season whether you’re running a booster club fundraiser, need unique school fundraising ideas, or simply want to refresh your standard holiday fundraiser. With this contest, everyone has an opportunity to participate—whether they want to become a donor by voting for pictures or taking pictures for submission.
3. Christmas Cookie Decorating
If you’re looking for a fundraising event that you can hold in-person and virtually, then you’ll definitely want to consider this photo contest theme. With a Christmas cookie decorating theme, you can hold a cookie decorating fundraiser in person where admission is charged to decorate cookies. Then, pictures can be taken of the decorated cookies and submitted to the photo contest.
You can also host a virtual digital fundraiser by challenging entrants to take pictures of Christmas cookie decorating in their homes. If you go this route, you might consider offering two photo contest themes. First, you can solicit pictures of an individual or family members as they are decorating. Second, you can invite each participant to submit pictures of cookies they’ve decorated.
Whichever direction you choose to head, you’ll host a fun Christmas cookie event that everyone enjoys participating in. You might even create a fundraiser tradition that continues for years to come.
4. Ornament Crafts
Ornament crafts are another fun opportunity to get the entire community involved in your fundraising campaign. Many families enjoy making ornaments and Christmas decorations together before decorating their Christmas tree. Invite each participant to take pictures of the creation process and the ornament itself when it’s finished. These pictures can then be submitted and voted on.
You might consider splitting submissions into categories, such as “Best Overall Ornament,” “Best Family Shot,” and “Most Unique Ornament.” This photo idea is great if your supporters are already on the crafty side and would enjoy getting in on a hands-on virtual fundraising idea.
This photo contest theme can also be repurposed for holidays like Valentines Day, where crafts and making holiday cards are a typical part of the festivities.
5. Christmas Lights
Everyone loves looking at Christmas lights or decorating their homes with hundreds of twinkling lights for the season. Offer a photo contest that features Christmas lights, whether they’re photos of someone else’s well-decorated home or their own house.
This Christmas fundraiser is a great way to encourage people to get out into their communities and enjoy holiday cheer or complete a family project together by decorating their own homes. The photos can be used to raise funds for any need, and potential donors will enjoy getting to vote for their favorite photo that represents the theme.
If you want to offer a prize to the top entrants, consider something simple like a gift card to a popular store so they can purchase gifts or splurge on the store’s gift wrapping services.
6. Santa Portraits
The day after Thanksgiving, you can find Santa Claus in just about every mall across America with kids lined up waiting to take pictures. Consider combing this popular event with a holiday donation campaign in the form of a photo contest.
If you already have Santa Claus come to your non-profit organization for a holiday event, this photo contest theme could be an easy way to encourage participation in your fundraising goal. The best part about this theme is that the portraits don’t just have to be pictures of children with Santa. Some families understandably might not feel comfortable posting pictures of their children online. Instead, you could solicit pictures of Santa with family pet, Santa with the whole family, Santa with adults, and Santa with grandparents.
If you want to open the contest theme further, you could even ask for pictures of Santa Claus on break, Santa eating cookies, or Santa drinking hot cocoa.
7. Decorating Gone Wrong
If you’re looking for holiday themed fundraising idea that is fun, humorous, and creative, you might consider “decorating gone wrong.” These pictures will require careful forethought, planning, and a safety warning, but your supporters could come up with genuinely hilarious photos for your contest.
To help inspire your photo contest entrants, get them going with photo suggestions like, “Cat topples over the Christmas tree,” “Dog plays fetch with the ornaments,” “All the lights on the roof are dangling off,” or “Frosty the snowman melts.”
These fundraising ideas for the holiday season could be just what is needed during a time when everyone tends to get stressed running around, buying presents, and decorating their homes to perfection. Inspire your community to put a splash of fun back into the holiday with this Christmas fundraising idea.
8. Matching Outfits
Everyone loves the opportunity to wear matching outfits during the holidays, so why not combine this theme with your fundraising ideas for the holiday season? There are numerous opportunities to show off matching outfits during the holiday season. For this contest, suggest the following activities where fashion-forward duos, triplets, or entire families can show off their style: holiday parties, parades, Christmas caroling, and holiday vacations.
And don’t forget the furry friends! If you need holiday fundraising ideas for your shelter, kennel, or animal-focused non-profit, this theme will work wonderfully. Animal siblings can be dressed up to match each other or their human family members, depending on how you want to run the contest. There are no limits to what you could do with this theme.
This fundraising theme will appeal to those who want to go all-out for the holiday season, have fun with matching sweaters, outfits, and styles, and contribute to your fundraising goal. Fundraising doesn’t have to be boring, thanks to fun, interactive photo contest theme ideas like this one.
9. Pajama Party
Another great holiday fundraising idea is to center your photo contest around the theme of a pajama party. Many families purchase brand new pajamas to wear on Christmas morning, and oftentimes they’re matching. What better way to celebrate the fun that each family comes up with than to hold a photo contest where Christmas pjs are the theme?
This is bound to garner more attention and involvement than holding the same silent auction no one attends, or a the dinner no one wants to go to. You can involve the entire community, put your contest in the press, share it on social media, and encourage everyone’s participation virtually. This is sure to put some extra cheer into your fundraising effort during the Christmas season as you raise funds for a good cause while keeping participating easy and stress free.
Benefits of Hosting a Holiday Photo Contest Fundraiser
Running a successful holiday fundraiser that encourages recurring donations, enthusiastic participation, sharing, and working toward a fundraising goal is a lot easier than it sounds with photo contests. Once you understand how photo contests work, you’ll see that there are multiple reasons to give this unique fundraising option a try.
Since it’s entirely digital, we host your contest on our platform, making it a breeze to set up. You don’t need to schedule and plan a full-blown event in order to host this fundraiser. We make it simple to get people’s contact information, collect funds, and keep supporters engaged with the fundraiser. Since it’s online, you can tap into the power of crowdfunding, and sharing becomes an easy way to spread the word about your fundraiser, needs, and goals.
You don’t have to take our word for it, though. We have plenty of success stories for you to read that demonstrate just how well this fantastic new fundraising idea works.
Photo Contests are a Fun Way to Fundraise During the Holiday Season
Are you ready to introduce a new, exciting, and fun way to involve the entire community in your fundraising efforts? Is it time to plan a creative new outlet to reach new goals and get more people involved than ever? If so, request a demo and let us show you how it works today!