Valentine’s Day is a day focused on love. It’s also a day focused on thoughtful gifts. A recent article reports that at least £1.8bn is spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and treats across the UK. And the trend is growing; another source says that of those who plan to purchase items for Valentine’s Day, they would spend more in 2022 than they did in 2021.
It’s no surprise that savvy charities are tapping into this buying potential – and the theme of love – to leverage the holiday as a hook to engage donors. It’s not really our style, so this post presents a few ideas to help your charity engage with new donors and drive fundraising around Valentine’s Day. So for our #FundraisingFriday, we are looking at ideas for Valentine’s Day-themed fundraising campaigns.
Throw a Valentine’s Day Party
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to throw a fundraising party. Most people want to get out and do something special on Valentine’s Day, whether they are in a couple, single, with coworkers or in a group of friends. What better way to celebrate a day of love than by giving back to an important charitable cause?
From a gala dinner to a wine tasting, or a school party, events are a great way to get your donors in a room. Start thinking now about what type of engaging activities you could include at your event, like a silent auction or raffle. You could have everyone in your school pay a pound to come in wearing red, or have the office donate a fiver and enter into a secret santa-style draw to buy someone a blind gift.
There are tremendous opportunities to drive fundraising at a special Valentine’s Day event. This begins before guests even arrive. In your invitation and subsequent communications, share the story of your charity and encourage people to come prepared for special activities, like a silent auction.
If you plan to sell customised merchandise, showcase some of the top items in advance to really whet your guests’ appetites!
Custom Sweets and Gifts
Flowers, valentines and sweets are universally popular Valentine’s Day gifts. This year, take it one step further and customise some sweet treats. You can add your charity name and logo to lollies with branded wrapping, individually wrapped biscuits in printed packets, Haribo jelly shapes, chocolate beans and more!
But where to sell them? Add a special love-themed banner to your charity website and sell these items online. Lastly, you could work with a retail outlet to offer these branded sweets for sale at counters and check-out points. Flowers are a great idea, too – try partnering with a local florist to allow people to purchase special flowers or arrangements that will give back to your cause.
Tap into the love with couples-themed items like matching his and hers t-shirts with clever messages. For example, if you work with cancer prevention and awareness charity, what about pink or red t-shirts with slogans like “She Beat Cancer,” for her and “I helped her beat Cancer” for him, that feature your charity logo? These items could be sold on your charity website, at events or in stores to build awareness and drive donations for your cause.
You could also make this into a competition – everyone loves Bake-Off, after all!
Build a Wall of Love
Partner with a local retailer to create a “wall of love” in which customers at a shop can purchase special Valentine’s cards at the point of checkout, write a special message on it and pin it to a public wall in the store.
Often these wall of love cards are sold for a very nominal price to encourage more people to participate. Look to partner with a retail chain or launch a wall of love in multiple stores to really maximise your fundraising.
To get the most mileage, leverage social media at every corner. Include a hashtag on your cards and ask donors to take and share a selfie. Periodically, your staff could visit your wall of love and share photos of the growing display on your social media channels and website.
A Little Love Note Goes a Long Way
Feeling the love, and perhaps some ambition? Take a note from the British Heart Foundation’s 2016 record-breaking ‘Love Notes’ campaign. Throughout January and February, local British Heart Foundation shops are filling their windows with love and attempting to break a world record for the longest chain of paper hearts.
Supporters could pop into their local shop and purchase a £2 Love note to be part of the foundation’s World Record attempt. The campaign was a creative way to raise funds and awareness while giving supporters a chance to be involved in something a bit different.
If you decide to pursue your own record-breaking attempt, make sure that it’s something that everyone can get involved in. Promote your efforts widely – these types of campaigns can be a great way to gain coverage in the press and on social media. It’s back this year as ‘Show Some Love’.
A Gift Basket, or Perhaps a Reusable Gift Bag?
Gift baskets are a tried-and-true favourite, especially around 14 February. Consider packaging customised items together, like sweets and t-shirts. Your charity can sell these baskets to people who are looking for a special and meaningful gift for their Valentine.
One idea to differentiate your gift basket from the rest is to do away with the traditional “basket” concept and put your items into a customised and eco-friendly bag. Don’t forget to insert a brochure or literature about how the gift is making a difference. The bag is functional and reusable, so people will continue to carry it to shops or while travelling long after Valentine’s Day, ensuring a little extra mileage to raise the visibility of your charity.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t miss out on an opportunity to tap into the love! This is a time when people celebrate with others and buy thoughtful gifts for their loved ones. Show people how they can support an important cause at the same time. When the recipient knows that the proceeds of their gift went to support an important cause, they will treasure it that much more!
Happy Valentines Day from WWSET
We’re a bunch of romantics here at Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust really, so keep your eyes peeled for our Valentine’s Day fundraising campaign in the next few days!
Please do share with us in the comments if you are planning a campaign – we’d love to hear about it. And if this article has been useful to you, we’re not against a small donation via our JustGiving Page!