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Is your Christmas appeal in jeopardy this year?

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

How to reset your Christmas & new year appeals in a recession

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and charities around the UK have been hard at work planning their big Christmas appeals. Meanwhile CAF reported, around two thirds of people plan to cut back in the face of rising living costs, and around one in eight say this will include charitable donations.

Concerned? Read on... As winter approaches and families across the UK brace for higher heating bills, it's hard to ignore the potential impact on Christmas giving. Inflation is at its highest level since 2008, leaving many struggling to make ends meet. While supporters know that charities play a vital role in helping those in need, the public is now faced with the hard choice of cutting back on all spending to ensure they can make it through the hard months ahead.

Here's what you could do to ensure your Christmas and new year appeals get the response the deserve this year...

1. Pre-Launch: Use digital to test the strength of your appeals in advance of spending large amounts of money

Christmas campaigns are a gamble where charities often spend half their fundraising budget in the hope of a windfall result. Testing is kept minimal and everyone hopes that this year's campaign will beat last year’s results. But the results are inconsistent and charities are often unclear about why they under perform so they can learn for the future. Tip: A strong experimental social media framework can help you test your appeals in advance of launching them (sometimes even during), saving you thousands of pounds in marketing fees.

2. Build trust: Be extra clear about how donations will be used

We know that people feel most motivated to support a charity when they are clear about how their donation will be used. With money being scarce this year, the public will be looking to support charities that are the most deserving of their money which makes radical transparency an important piece of your Christmas appeal and going into 2023. Tip: Consider publishing appeal specific impact reports as a way to build public trust.

3. Consider your mission and message this time of year.

Christmas time doesn't always mean a successful fundraise. Although we often associate the holiday season with giving, it's important to remember that not everyone experiences success during this time of year. For some, the pressure of gift-giving and family gatherings can be overwhelming. Also, some charity mission statements may lend themselves more naturally to giving over Christmas than others. Tip: Consider the alignment between your mission, message - Spend less if they don't align, save your ad spend for later in the year or contact us at to help refine it.

4. Go beyond just asking for funds

As we enter the holiday season, many charities are thinking about how to best take advantage of Christmas for their annual fundraiser. But it's important to remember that this is also a great opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level and reinforce your brand's purpose for 2023. Successful fundraising and effective engagement are more aligned than you think. Tip: Consider putting aside some money to spend on engaging new audiences who could resonate with your cause at this time of year. An effective engagement strategy, alongside a Christmas appeal could result in funds continuing to flow in way after Christmas and into the new year.

5. Be flexible: Expecting business as usual results in unusual times is folly

At times like these, where supporters aren't likely to behave as they usually do due to circumstances beyond their control...consider fresher tactics and newer more nimble approaches you can take to make sure you are maximising your fundraising, stretching your budget and innovating where needed.

Tip: Consider leveraging digital and technology within your marketing and fundraising to help reduce costs and build more predictable outcomes for you and your teams going into 2023 and beyond..

Contact us for case-studies and to explore your options with us at

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