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Christmas Best Practices

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TEEN SANTA
PURPOSE: To provide for teens with needs at Christmas time, since many times the cutoff for Christmas toy assistance is at 12 years old. Teen Santa cards are hung on the Teen Santa Tree at the mall along with our Angel Tree tags for children. Shoppers select a tag and are registered with the teen's ID number. Shoppers then purchase a $35 gift card that is returned to the tree location. Cards are given to parents of teens on the day of toy distribution.
PARTNERS: Media
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 6 - 12 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


TRANSPORT
PURPOSE: To provide donated bicycles to needy children. The Salvation Army partners with a local bicycle club to obtain donated bicycles. The club and volunteers ensure the bicycles are in good repair, and as a theft deterrent the city registers the bicycles. Local children, identified by schools and service agencies, are then provided with the bicycles.
PARTNERS: Other Non-Profits
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


ANNUAL CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON
PURPOSE: Provides the opportunity to showcase the Army during arguably the most visible time of the year for the organization. It also serves as a fundraiser to provide revenues to support the Christmas effort.
The Annual Christmas Luncheon has been held since 1948 and is considered to be a highlight event within New York City, what many consider to be a key "launch" to the Christmas season. Held in a major Manhattan venue, the luncheon attracts an attendance of 1,300-1,500 from the corporate sector, as well as Army circles (boards, donors, volunteers, corps). It features the bestowing of awards, namely the "Pinnacle of Achievement" and the "Community Service" awards that are given to highly deserving individuals, corporations or foundations that have been advocates for The Army, as well as the community overall. A 10-minute video is shown highlighting the work of the Army, and a high-ranking Army official (Territorial Commander, National Commander, Divisional Commander) delivers a special Christmas message. The New York Staff Band provides exceptional music.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: >10K
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 6 - 12 months
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


ANGEL TREE

PURPOSE: To undergird the Angel Tree program with corporate volunteer and financial support. Until a few years ago, the only source of income for the Angel Tree program was a donation from our Women's Auxiliary. We began soliciting local corporations that adopted large numbers of angels and were asked for their financial support to help underwrite the program. In return, we printed their company logo on the angel tags. While this funding does not completely cover the Angel Tree expenses, it does generate more than $45,000 annually.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: N/A
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


BUCK$ 4 BIKES

PURPOSE: Bikes are among the most requested toys in the Angel Tree program. Desiring to make every child's dream come true, the "Buck$ 4 Bikes" monies help to purchase bikes for unadopted Angels. Buck$ 4 Bikes is an August blitz fundraising effort. On the first day of August, Auxiliary volunteers deliver Salvation Army countertop kettles with attached signs explaining the Buck$ 4 Bikes program to participating businesses. Kettles are placed in high traffic areas such as lobbies and employee break rooms. Auxiliary members check on the kettles throughout the month. The campaign ends on the last day of August. Presentations are also made at the August meetings of organizations such as Rotary club. Each presentation ends with, "Now is the audience participation part of the program. Take out your wallet, pull out a buck and place it in the kettle that is being passed." This humorous closing has always been well received. One group of Rotarians became so enthusiastic about the project that they volunteered to assemble the bikes at the Distribution Center. Bikes are purchased through Academy Sports at a discount.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 1K - 5K
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CELEBRITY GIFT WRAP

PURPOSE: To offer a stress-relieving service and raise funds for the Army.
College students and semi-pro sports teams, community leaders and media personalities volunteer to wrap gifts at the Mall in exchange for donations to The Salvation Army.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 5K - 10K
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CHRISTMAS BILL STUFFERS

PURPOSE: To help raise additional funds during the Christmas season.
Contact local businesses that do mailings to their customers (e.g., utility companies, banks, etc.). Ask to insert a donation envelope (the size of a check). The companies often stuff the envelopes and cover the cost of the mailing. The only cost to you is the envelopes.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CHRISTMAS HONOR CARD

PURPOSE: A fundraiser to help pay for our Christmas programs. Each year we try to have an original theme describing one of our programs. The cards are sold for $5 each. The Christmas Honor Card this year was created with the help of a local artist group working with children who live at our transitional housing facility, The Center of Hope. Children ages 8 to 15 gathered at ArtQuest in downtown Greensboro to illustrate what "home" means to those who have no home. Their images remind us that home is not a dwelling. Home is what dwells within the heart. The front of the card depicts a heart with the following: "May Christ be newborn in your heart this Christmas." Inside is a seasonal greeting and a note indicating a gift in a person's name has been made to The Salvation Army to continue its ministry of faith, hope and love.
PARTNERS: N/A
EXPENSES: 1K - 5K
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


FISHNET HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER
PURPOSE: To raise holiday funds employing the traditional and local style of using fishnets to solicit funds. For the past seven years, The Salvation Army, in partnership with local television station KHON TV2, has established the Lokahi Giving Project as a venue by which people can donate to help families in need. As part of its annual holiday kickoff, the campaign used 200 volunteers to solicit donations from motorists using fishnets at 12 major street intersections. The successful campaign generated more than $47,000, doubling the previous year's donations.
PARTNERS: Media
EXPENSES: 1K - 5K
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


FUNDRAISERS
PURPOSE: To raise money to purchase stocking stuffing items. The Outback restaurant in our area opened for a Saturday afternoon luncheon, at which they provided all the food, drink and dessert for individuals to whom we sold tickets for $25. We were able to keep all of the funds except for a tip left for the volunteer waiter and cook staff of the restaurant.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 1K - 5K
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


MAKE IT / BAKE IT

PURPOSE: To involve and encourage Auxiliary members and Salvation Army staff to make and bake items to be auctioned at the Christmas Luncheon for fundraising. This annual luncheon event was designed to encourage the Women's Auxiliary members to challenge their creative side by making or baking items to be auctioned off to other members during the Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon Celebration. Homemade cakes, cookies, breads, candy, quilts, blankets, floral arrangements and other hand-crafted items are always coveted and bring large sums of money when auctioned. During the luncheon, fellowship abounds as Christmas carols are sung, and brain teasers or other games are played by all those attending. The competition gets a little heated when snowmen items are on the auction block, for several members are collectors of snowmen and will go to great lengths (and dollars) to acquire those cherished characters. All collected funds go into the Women's Auxiliary coffers and help support the many services and programs of The Salvation Army within the Community. This project raises nearly $1,000 and generates fun and fellowship and encourages hospitality as well as raising holiday cheer!
PARTNERS: N/A
EXPENSES: N/A
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: N/A


MERRY, MERRY SHOW TUNES CDS AND THEATER CARES EVENT

PURPOSE: To raise money to purchase new furnishings for the Youth Services facility, a residential program for adolescents, ages 12 to17, who are victims of abuse or neglect, or are at risk. This project consisted of two phases: (1) Merry, Merry Show Tunes CDs were put together by Birmingham's best and brightest talent. A collection of holiday hits from theater, cinema and cabaret was put together on a CD. These CDs were sold to the public; (2) Theater Cares Event was a concert featuring music from the Merry, Merry Show Tunes. Setup was on a Broadway theater-style stage where local artists performed. The public was invited to attend. This fundraiser originated from a lady named Jan D. Hunter, who is a part of the theater community. She wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday by raising money for The Salvation Army.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: 5K - 10K
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


OPEN HOUSE/CHRISTMAS TEA

PURPOSE: The money raised for this fundraiser helps support programs in our area. By invitation only, individuals are invited to celebrate the holiday season in a lovely, historical setting. The tickets are sold for $25 per person; the event takes place on a Saturday afternoon. Live entertainment is provided; a harpist adds to the enjoyment of tasting holiday delights and meeting friends.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: 1K - 5K
REVENUE: 1K - 5K
TIME TO PLAN: 6 - 12 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT WALK
PURPOSE: To raise awareness of Salvation Army programs as well as to raise funds for Christmas programs. Walkers collect pledges for walking. The walk takes place as a part of the city Christmas kickoff on the day after Thanksgiving. Participants walk from The Salvation Army to downtown, arriving as a part of the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. When the procession arrives, the participants line up behind the city Christmas tree, their lit candles adding to the beauty of the scene. The signal is then given to begin the tree lighting celebration. In this way, the Army is a high-profile part of the local Christmas celebration.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 1K - 5K
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

PURPOSE: To build community awareness of Army programs and services during the Christmas season. To build ongoing relationships that allow the Army to maximize community resources and help individuals in need.
The Salvation Army partners with the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots and Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund programs each Christmas season. With our combined efforts, we are able to maximize the monetary and in-kind donations that the community generously gives to our organizations. Parents are able to complete one application for assistance and pick up gifts from one location, The Salvation Army Christmas Depot. Eligible families with children receive food boxes, a parent gift, bears, stockings, toys and new clothes through the Angel Tree program. Partnerships with Operation Blessing International and the local food bank provide food items.
PARTNERS: Other Non-Profits
EXPENSES: >10K
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: Ongoing
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


MEDIA APPRECIATION LUNCHEON

PURPOSE: To thank the media for their tremendous support in telling our story to the community and creating excitement for upcoming public relations opportunities by giving them a "sneak peak" of upcoming events at The Salvation Army. A networking lunch with a short program and an award ceremony, during a lunch hour in January. The Community Relations Department works with the Advisory Board and Public Relations Committee to produce a media guide and a "survival" kit. The media guide includes holiday highlights, calendar of upcoming events, statewide program summaries, story idea lists and contact information. The media survival kit includes lip balm, water, energy bar, TSA notepad, pens, a $15 coffee card, fruit snacks, mints and band-aids. The awards given out are media related and fun. This is a great networking, educational and fun event.
PARTNERS: N/A
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


TOYS FOR TOTS PARTNERSHIP 2006

PURPOSE: To secure donations of toys to provide for clients in need of holiday assistance. Prior to the partnership, the majority of the toys had to be purchased. The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots conducted a toy drive for the exclusive benefit of The Salvation Army. All of the publicity for the campaign jointly featured both organizations. A commercial was produced and distributed that featured our Divisional Commander and the Toys for Tots representative. Registration to receive toys was conducted at TSA sites with the assistance of the Marines. Distribution was also conducted with the assistance of the Marines and other volunteers. Area agencies wanting to receive toys from the program did so through TSA.
PARTNERS: Other Non-Profits
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


ADOPT A FAMILY RADIOTHON
PURPOSE: To invite radio listeners to call and volunteer to "adopt" a family or senior citizen and ensure that local needy families receive food and gifts for the holidays. For six years, a live broadcast from The Salvation Army Lied Renaissance Center has spread the word about "adopting" needy families who apply to the Army for help during the holidays. More than 1,600 families were "adopted" in 2005 thanks to radio stations Star 104.5 FM and 97.7 KBBX Radio Lobo (for Spanish-speaking donors). Donors promise to provide a meal for the entire family and a toy or clothing for each child, and deliver the wrapped gifts to their assigned family. They can adopt from one to 12 family members. Information about sizes, ages and gift preferences is sent to the good-hearted donor to help them shop. It's a heart-warming sight to see 200 volunteers show up to cover phone banks, handle mail requests and carry out many other duties during the three-day marathon. Last year, eight companies pitched in to sponsor the event, making this a community-wide effort.
PARTNERS: Media
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: 6 - 12 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


COATS FOR KIDS

PURPOSE: To collect coats for children (and adults) within the community through a campaign coordinated with local television station KNDU-TV. The campaign has become an annual partnership between KNDU-TV, The Salvation Army and several other sponsors, to ensure that every child in the Tri-Cities area who needs a coat will get one. Coats are taken to donation sites where they are picked up, dry cleaned and given to children (or adults) who are in need of a coat. If a person needs a coat for a child, they are referred to The Salvation Army.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: Ongoing
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers


MR. BINGLE

PURPOSE: To help clothe children for Christmas. Mr. Bingle is a well-loved snowman figure that this area has cherished for approximately 20 years. It works like the Angel Tree, but when a child is "adopted" and the gifts are returned, the donors receive a Mr. Bingle tree ornament to remind them of their generous donation. They assist approximately 300 children every year and have raised in excess of $600 through this project.
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: N/A
REVENUE: Minimal
TIME TO PLAN: 3 - 6 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


OPERATION ANGEL

PURPOSE: To collect toys through the Angel Tree. We establish an Angel Tree location at a local car dealership. The dealer then commits to center his advertising for the holidays around the Angel Tree. Each day the dealer calls in to the radio station they advertise with and says, "I have a Salvation Army Angel here, and her name is Sandra. All she wants for Christmas is a Barbie doll. Will you come down to Alexander Ford and purchase a gift for Sandra and check out the new cars while you're here?"
PARTNERS: Local Business
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Staff/Officers

OPERATION TURKEY DROP AND SAFETY FAIR
PURPOSE: To collect turkeys and other food for Christmas food distribution, as well as provide holiday safety information. The National Guard kicks off the event the day before by bringing in a load of frozen turkeys via a Black Hawk helicopter. This kickoff attracts media and provides advance publicity for the food drive. The day of the drive, local radio station, Newstalk 780 KOH, broadcasts live during a 12-hour period. On-air staff urge listeners to drive through TSA's parking lot and drop off frozen turkeys and nonperishable food. Law enforcement, fire department and ambulance personnel display squad cars, command posts, fire trucks, ambulances, etc., and provide safety information for the general public. They also provide the labor to offload food donations.
PARTNERS: Media
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 1K - 5K
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


SHOPPING FOR MOM/DAD/GRANDPARENTS

PURPOSE: To allow low-income children an opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for their adult caregiver(s). Throughout the year, as donations are received at the local Thrift Store, new items are put away to be used for this event. In November, letters are sent out by Social Services inviting low-income children to come to the Thrift Store on a specific date in December to "shop" for a gift for their mom and/or dad, or grandparents, if they're being raised by them. Children arrive at their designated time and are brought to an area where all kinds of gifts are laid out for the children to choose for their caregiver(s). After they have chosen what they want to give, they are then assisted, if needed, to wrap and decorate the gift(s). When done the children are treated to cookies and apple cider, and they also receive a small gift to enjoy.
PARTNERS: N/A
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: 1 - 2 months
RESOURCES: Volunteers


CHRISTMAS BRASS CAROLING

PURPOSE: To thank top donors, businesses and foundations for their support. Pull top 3% donor list, sort by zip codes. Select weekdays and evening times to carol in set neighborhoods. Your corps officer and musicians from the corps and local groups visit homes for several evenings three weeks prior to Christmas. Pre-call families and set appointments or notify that they will be caroling in their neighborhood. Can talk with Major or just listen. The band plays several songs per house and asks if there are any requests. Major is available to visit with donors and answer any questions during this time.
PARTNERS: Schools
EXPENSES: Minimal
REVENUE: 11K - 50K > 50K
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Volunteers


PROJECT KNIT AND CROCHET
PURPOSE: To provide scarves, hats and mittens to people in need.
We wanted to provide hats, scarves and mittens, while giving out coats during our coat distributions. We wrote news articles asking people who had yarn they were not using to drop it off at specific sites; the same article asked people to knit or crochet hats, scarves or mittens for this project. It worked extremely well in every county that has done this project. People drop off unused yarn, and those who want to knit or crochet pick up yarn. Many people seem to have extra yarn sitting around they are happy to donate. We have also found many individuals who enjoyed knitting or crocheting but could not afford to buy yarn. Leftover items are usually given to local schools to distribute to children in need. During the last project, a small county collected more than 12 large boxes of items for distribution.
PARTNERS: N/A
EXPENSES: N/A
REVENUE: N/A
TIME TO PLAN: Minimal
RESOURCES: Volunteers

 

 

**Please contact the Communications Bureau for more details - communications_bureau@ uss.salvationarmy.org

 






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