Loading Page...

Sponsor: Available! 

Does your business help nonprofits fundraise through holiday events? Tell our fundraisers all about it!

4 Steps to Plan a Gift-Wrapping Fundraiser

Find a location.

Hosting a successful gift-wrapping fundraiser hinges on finding a great location. To make the most of this fundraiser, you’ll need to find a location with lots of foot traffic, preferably from holiday shoppers. Places like malls, shopping centers, or even large department stores are great options.

Secure your supplies.

Stocking up on supplies should be next on your to-do list. There are a lot of ways to gather supplies for this fundraiser, and some are more cost-effective than others.

Some nonprofits run gift wrap selling fundraisers in tandem with a gift-wrapping service. These fundraisers serve as a one-stop-shop for supporters to get gifts wrapped. Because supporters are buying the wrapping paper, you will only need to purchase materials like tape, scissors, and bows. If selling wrapping paper isn’t in the cards for your organization, you can purchase the supplies yourself or ask for supply donations.

Find skilled volunteers.

When it comes to finding volunteers to run the fundraiser, recruiting those who are talented wrappers is best. Ask around for volunteers who are willing to show you their wrapping skills. It’s best to make sure the people providing the gift-wrapping service can create a neat, professional final product.

Decide how you will raise funds.

Before launching your fundraiser, define a fundraising plan. Deciding how you will make revenue at the fundraiser can ultimately determine your ROI.

Whether you sell by the number of gifts wrapped or the size of the gift boxes, it is important to decide early and keep your team up to date. You don’t want to end up with some volunteers leaving donation size up to participants while others ask for $5 per gift. Having conversations about fundraising early can limit miscommunications that could have a negative impact on revenue.

Is a gift-wrapping service fundraiser right for you?

Do you have access to a promising location?

Since finding a great place to set up is such an important part of this fundraiser, be honest with yourself about whether you have a truly perfect location.

Focus on finding a location bustling with busy holiday shoppers, and avoid setting up somewhere like a church or school gym. While these locations do have plenty of space, they will not attract the crowds that places like malls can. They also aren’t as convenient for your supporters because they will have to travel out of their way and remember to bring along gifts and supplies.

Do you have the right volunteers?

While most fundraising opportunities only require you to find enough volunteers, this one requires you to find volunteers with a specific skill set. You should make sure that any volunteers you recruit are very skilled wrappers who can create a beautiful final product. If you are low on volunteers, consider training them or potentially switching out this fundraiser for one like selling gift wrap.

Can you set up an efficient workspace?

If you have a great location and volunteers who could be professional gift-wrappers, the next thing to check for is a highly functional workspace. There are a few ways that you can create a workspace for volunteers where they can efficiently wrap your supporters’ gifts:

  • Block out a space. Find an area in the mall or shopping center with enough room for you to set up as many tables as you need. Cramming volunteers into a cramped corner might slow down their work.
  • Give wrappers room to spread out. Avoid bumping elbows by making sure volunteers have enough space to wrap quickly and neatly. Depending on the size of your tables, you should probably aim to have no more than two volunteers at each table.
  • Show up prepared. To cut down on reaching over and under arms, bring enough tools for everyone. Supply heavily-used tools like scissors and tape at each volunteer’s station so they are always within reach.

Give your volunteers optimal wrapping conditions so they can do their best work efficiently and keep long lines of grumpy holiday shoppers at bay.

How to Maximize Revenue for Your Gift-Wrapping Fundraiser

While this fundraiser can be rewarding, some nonprofits struggle to profit significantly. Often, the cost of supplies eats into the funds raised. However, there are some strategies that your organization can implement to circumvent this issue and maximize your profits.

Ask for help with supplies.

From rolls of gift wrap to ribbons and bows, gift-wrapping requires a lot of expensive supplies. If you purchase all of these materials yourself, expenses can quickly outweigh profits. You can employ some strategies to curb the cost of gift-wrapping supplies such as:

  • Asking your volunteers to bring materials from home
  • Having participants bring materials with them and set up prices to reflect the cost of just the service
  • Requesting donations in preparation for the event — for example, launch a gift wrap donation drive during Thanksgiving

By implementing one or more of these strategies you can likely collect enough wrapping material to successfully pull off this fundraiser. If you’re low on certain items, fill in the gaps with a few purchases from affordable stores.

Set up a pricing structure.

While some organizations choose to allow participants to donate whatever amount they see fit, this can be risky when you’ve invested time, materials, and skill into a fundraiser. Set up a pricing structure so you can accurately predict revenue from the fundraiser. From pricing based on box size to the number of bows you use, there are endless ways to price your services.

Offer extra information about your mission.

During the holiday season, participants might be more likely to be in the “spirit of giving.” Take advantage of holidays that encourage generosity by displaying information about your organization at your gift-wrapping booth.

Because you are more likely to encounter people who are not already familiar with or supporters of your organization, this is a great time to acquire new donors. Sharing information about your mission gives them extra context about what they are supporting, and they might be interested in volunteering or donating again in the future. Send them off with a flyer for your next event or a brochure with information about how to get involved.