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Does your organization provide supplies or support for gingerbread house decorating fundraisers? Consider sponsoring this fundraising idea to expand your reach!

4 Steps to Run a Gingerbread House Decorating Fundraiser

Your organization can get started with gingerbread house decorating in four easy steps:

1. Decide on the Logistics of the Fundraiser

Since gingerbread house fundraisers are very flexible, you’ll need to make a few decisions about the event as you get started, including the:

  • Format. You could either host an in-person decorating party or pack up individual gingerbread house kits for supporters to take home.
  • Location. If your fundraiser is in-person, you’ll need a large room with tables and chairs to serve as the event venue. For take-home gingerbread house decorating, you simply need to designate a pickup point.
  • Date and time. The holiday season can be busy, so confirm the date well in advance and schedule it at least a week before Christmas to allow supporters who are planning to travel to participate while they’re still in town.
  • Cost. You’ll fundraise by directly selling the take-home kits or allowing supporters to buy tickets to the in-person event. Figure in the cost of supplies when setting a price point, and make sure you can accept a variety of payment methods (cash, credit cards, mobile payments, etc.).

If you aren’t sure what format or date is best, consider sending a survey to some supporters in your target audience–likely parents or grandparents of young children. That way, you can appeal to their preferences and maximize participation.

2. Spread the Word in Your Community

As with any event, it’s important to market your gingerbread house decorating fundraiser early and often so supporters are aware that it’s happening and know how to register. Communicate about your event using the following channels:

In each of your marketing materials, include a link or QR code to an online form where supporters can sign up and pay the entrance fee in advance. This way, you’ll have an idea of how many supplies you’ll need to provide.

3. Assemble the Gingerbread House Kits

The core of your fundraiser, is, of course, the gingerbread houses! Put together one building kit for each registered participant plus extras to sell at the door. Everyone should receive:

  • Baked gingerbread or graham crackers, cut to the correct sizes to make walls and a roof.
  • White icing in a prepared, tied-off piping bag with plastic wrap over the tip to prevent leaks.
  • Various candies for decorating, such as peppermints, gumdrops, and candy melts.

Especially if you’re making these kits for supporters to take home, package them carefully to avoid breakage. For an in-person party, you could place the gingerbread at each seat and have the whole table share several bags of icing and bowls of candy.

4. Host the Fundraiser and Follow Up

On the day of your fundraiser, arrive at the venue or pickup point early to set up and ensure everything is in order. Have a quick meeting with the staff members or volunteers working the event to review everyone’s responsibilities and answer any last-minute questions before participants arrive.

Don’t forget to thank your supporters and volunteers for their contributions after the event! Also, remember to calculate your fundraising and registration totals and store that data to use as you plan future fundraisers.

How to Make Your Gingerbread House Decorating Fundraiser More Engaging

As stated previously, there are many ways your organization can adapt the concept of gingerbread house decorating into a unique fundraiser, such as:

  • Selling other holiday items alongside your gingerbread house kits, including ornaments, wreaths, and wrapping paper.
  • Making the decorating one activity at a larger holiday party, Christmas movie screening, or parents’ night out event.
  • Turning the event into a contest. Allow event participants to nominate their favorite gingerbread houses, then have them cast ballots to determine a winner. Or, take pictures of the nominees, post them on social media, and have all of your organization’s followers vote for their favorite in the comments.

Additionally, consider sending a follow-up survey to participants to collect their feedback, which can be helpful if you make your gingerbread house decorating fundraiser an annual event.

Organizations That Host Gingerbread House Decorating Fundraisers

Gingerbread house decorating is the perfect fundraiser for any organization that wants to engage kids in their mission and bring supporters together during the holiday season, including:

  • Nonprofits
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Sports teams
  • Clubs and community groups