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Why host an ornament sale?

Ornament sales have a lot in common with other merchandise fundraisers, but they also have a few unique benefits, including: 

Extra year-end revenue

The end of the year is an extremely important time for nonprofits, as most organizations earn the majority of their fundraising in the last few months, if not the last few days, of the year. Ornament fundraisers provide another incentive for your supporters to give during this important time and can help your year-end campaigns by:

  • Meeting supporters’ shopping needs. Most supporters buy from nonprofits because they want to support their cause first and need a new t-shirt or tote bag second. However, with an ornament sale, you can provide supporters looking for new holiday decorations with exactly what they need, especially if you branch out and offer more creative designs. 
  • Being a timely gift item. If your organization is running a big year-end fundraiser, ornaments make effective bonus gifts you can send supporters as thanks for their donations. For example, if you’re hosting a crowdfunding campaign, you might send every supporter who gives over $75 an ornament branded to your nonprofit. 
  • Demonstrating your nonprofit’s activeness. Supporters sometimes stop giving to organizations not because they no longer support their cause but because they’re not sure if the organization is still operating. Ornament sales are just a small way you can show your supporters you’re aware of the moving calendar year and are ready to take action to make the most of each season. 

Remember, to ensure supporters’ ornaments arrive before the end of the year, start your ornament fundraiser early. Make sure your ornament designs and promotional strategy are already decided far in advance of the holidays. 

Annual reminder to give

When supporters break out their holiday decorations each year, they’ll see their ornaments from your nonprofit and remember to give again. You can make buying ornaments extra worthwhile for your most loyal supporters by changing the designs you offer every year. For example, you might include the year in the ornament’s design and update it the next time you sell ornaments. 

If you do plan to change up your designs each year, be sure to promote your new ornaments heavily in your marketing. That way supporters who may assume they’ve already bought your organization’s ornaments will see there are new ones to get excited about.

Sense of urgency 

All holiday fundraisers are annual events, and with a product sale like an ornament fundraiser, supporters who want to buy one know they have a limited amount of time to do so. Offering limited edition items create a sense of urgency, which can drive more sales, faster. 

You can boost this sense of urgency even more by adding a countdown on your merchandise store. Create a timer that lets supporters know how long they have to buy your ornaments before they’re gone until next year. 

How to Launch Your Ornament Sale

Ornament sales operate like most merchandise fundraisers. They just have a more limited window for sales and need a bit more care to make sure these fragile decorations are stored and shipped safely. 

To launch your ornament sale, follow these steps:

  1. Choose your designs. Decide what you want your ornaments to look like. Ornament providers you’ll partner with will offer templates and base designs, but it’s important to have a few basics down first to help guide your choice of producer. For example, you might want your ornaments to be made of a certain material besides glass or maybe you want ornaments that are an unusual shape to stand out.
  2. Partner with a provider. Research ornament providers. When looking at manufacturers to partner with, assess their costs, design options, and shipping methods. Additionally, consider how many ornaments you intend to purchase and if it makes sense to buy in bulk and store ornaments somewhere in your office or place orders in smaller batches. 
  3. Create marketing materials. Take pictures of your ornaments to show them off in your marketing materials. Feature pictures of both the ornament with a plain background and of it in use to let supporters get a good look at your merchandise and envision how it will look in their homes. 
  4. Start selling. Create an entry on your merchandise store, add ornaments to your merchandise booth at events, or both! 

If you do have extra ornaments left over afterward, consider hosting a last-minute sale with reduced prices to give supporters a chance to buy an ornament they can display next year. Or, if you want to keep your ornament sales as limited-time events, give them out as gifts to staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries.