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How to Ask for Donations as Gifts this Christmas

14 Nov 2023

Asking for donations for weddings instead of gifts has become more popular in recent years but can still be a delicate topic at Christmas when presents are so central.  

We don’t want to deny our friends and family the joy of hunting for the perfect presents and eagerly awaiting the moment they see our faces light up as we unwrap their gift.

But maybe you have everything you need this year, want a more sustainable Christmas or truly want to make a difference in someone else’s life. Whatever the reason is, if you’re looking for the right way to do this, here are polite and creative ways to approach the idea of donations as gifts with friends and family this year.

Tips for a gentle and effective ask

Express the joy of giving twice

During your family’s annual holiday planning, when the subject of gifts comes up, let them know that you have all you need and want this year and that a donation to others on your behalf will be a wonderful gift to you. If your family organises Christmas with wishlists, you can also include donations as gifts on your list.

If asked why, emphasise the joy and fulfilment that comes from giving donations as gifts. Donation gifts truly give twice! In addition to being a great gift for you, they can empower families and communities and make a positive impact on important causes.

If you’re choosing our charity gift cards, for example, your donations can improve access to clean water, empower women starting their own businesses, and support communities in moving toward clean energy.

Avoid pressure

When you talk to your family and friends about donation gifts, let them know there’s no pressure. As with any gifting, it’s ultimately their choice, so respect whatever choice they make. Just be clear and kind, and answer any questions they may have.

Suggest your favourite charitable organisation

Recommend your preferred charitable organisation as part of the discussion, and share with them why it’s meaningful to you. If you have any personal stories or anecdotes related to the cause, it’s a great time to share them. This can show them how impactful that donation will be for you, in addition to the important cause it supports.

And from a practical point of view, there are so many organisations that support donations as Christmas gifts, mentioning a specific charity gives them a place to start.

As part of the discussion, you can also let them know that donating to a cause that is important to them would also be a great gift to you. 

Choose charities that offer multiple options for flexibility

While some may be happy to contribute to an organisation that just takes cash donations, others may prefer another way to give. For example, they might opt for cryptocurrency donations, gift cards, or in-kind donations. Some might consider donating stocks or setting up recurring donations to provide continuous support. Others might offer their time and skills as volunteers.  

There are many ways to help, so when recommending charities to them, consider varied preferences. Oxfam Australia, for instance, supports both cash donations and fun and quirky donation gift cards.

Be transparent and offer resources

If they ask, share resources related to the charity you’ve chosen to show where the donations will go and how they are used. Most charities will have a website and social media, including articles and videos on the work that they do and details on how donations are handled. 

There are also organisations that assess charities and track their impact.  Many feature annual reports and other helpful information that may make people more comfortable with the idea of donating if doing so for the first time.

Be genuine

Speak from the heart and genuinely convey why the cause matters. People can sense when you’re being genuine versus when you’re just going through the motions, such as if you’re doing it only for social media challenges or for clout.

Other creative ways to ask for donations as Christmas gifts

Lead by example 

Give donation gifts this Christmas season to lay the foundation for the coming years. As more people in your circles see the value and feel the impact of donation gifts, it can become a tradition for many Christmases to come. 

And, if you send your donation gifts early this year, you may potentially inspire others to choose charity Christmas gifts this season as well. 

Or maybe you can say, “Hey, I’m planning to give to charities this year. Do you have any recommendations?”

Gift wrapping for a cause

Another way to ask for donation gifts for Christmas is by offering a service in return, such as gift wrapping. 

Pitch it with a genuine sentiment, saying, “This Christmas, rather than receiving gifts, I’m offering to wrap your presents in exchange for a donation to <name of charity/cause>.”  You can even offer to handle the donation process itself if they prefer.

DIY ornaments party

You can combine creativity with charity by hosting a DIY ornament-making session. It’s a fun way to get everyone involved, including the kids!

In your invitation, let everyone know that you will host and provide all the basic crafting materials in exchange for a small donation to your charity:

“Everything’s provided for–crafting materials, snacks, drinks, and even some background music to set the mood. Just bring yourselves and your creativity, and I’ll take care of the rest. Looking forward to a fun-filled crafting session with all of you!” 

To make the experience even more seamless, offer to handle the donation process when people RSVP.  To make the event memorable, a thoughtful touch would be to send out cards to everyone afterwards, including snapshots from the event. Want to donate and send those cards at the same time? We’ve got quirky and fun animal Christmas cards that the entire family will love, and each donates directly to farming communities. 

Donation Christmas gifts at Oxfam Unwrapped 

Choose donation gifts that make an impact! Oxfam Unwrapped gift cards will empower women, build sustainable communities and help families have a stable source of income this festive season and beyond. You can choose between our Christmas charity cards, bundles and other charity gifts!

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