How Charitable Organisations Can Use Christmas Cards As a Key Part of Their Marketing Strategy

How Charitable Organisations Can Use Christmas Cards As a Key Part of Their Marketing Strategy

Read Time: 5 Minutes


30 Aug 2023

There are many reasons for charities big and small to send Christmas Cards during the holiday season. Whether it’s current donors, past donors, corporate sponsors, volunteers, other charities or even relevant community groups, ensuring that these cards reach the appropriate recipients who have expressed interest in staying connected, can foster a sense of goodwill and strengthen relationships. There’s a whole host of benefits to sending a Christmas card and, budget permitting, it could be a staple in any charity's marketing strategy.


Why Should Charities Send Christmas Cards and How Can They Form a Successful Marketing Strategy?

Depending on your Charitable organisation's goal, Christmas Cards are a hyper-effective way of building momentum on your way to achieving their Charities mission. Christmas cards are an excellent way for charities to express gratitude for the support provided throughout the year. 


  • Christmas Cards Help Retain Donors in the New Year

Building on existing relationships with donors should be a key focus for charitable organisations. Sending a Christmas Card to members of the public who have supported your cause is a great way to show your gratitude for their ongoing support and also an opportunity to remind them of the impact that they’ve had by donating. 


  • Strategic Segmentation of Audiences 

Thinking about who you’re going to be sending your Christmas Cards to is a great way to manage budgets and set clear objectives for your marketing activity. For example, you might only send your Christmas cards to donors over a certain amount or you might be a national charity with regional initiatives and want to showcase the impact your organisation has had on donors living in that area. Thinking about who is going to receive a Christmas card and why is key to any charity marketing campaign.


  • Christmas Cards Can Increase Funding

Christmas Cards can be used to highlight how prospective donors can make donations, drive awareness of a campaign or be sold at a profit. The profits raised can be used for projects and programs that could be outlined within your card’s design. You can include QR codes inside Christmas cards for an accessible way to encourage donations or offer discounts for events, products or services your charity offers.


  • Multigenerational Appeal

Christmas cards have a broad appeal, reaching various generations. They can resonate with both older individuals who appreciate traditional methods and younger generations who value authentic connections. Christmas Cards can be used to re-engage your customers, look at who has stopped engaging with your email marketing lists over a period of time to use this opportunity to reengage them with an omnichannel approach. 


  • Referral Campaign 

Maybe you could send some Christmas cards to your donors to give out to their friends and family. This would be a fantastic way to spread awareness of your charity's brand and increase interest in your charity's cause. These Christmas cards could contain links to your website that showcase testimonials from beneficiaries of your charity's initiatives.


In essence, the strategic deployment of Christmas cards aligns with multiple facets of a charity's mission. These cards go beyond mere holiday greetings, becoming indispensable tools that express gratitude, sustain donor relationships, invigorate fundraising, engage various generations, and amplify the charity's impact through referrals. When integrated thoughtfully, Christmas cards emerge as a cornerstone of successful charitable marketing campaigns.


What Are the Considerations of Charities Sending Christmas Cards and How Should This Be Managed?

Curating a Christmas Card marketing campaign has some key considerations for Charities, There’s an abundance of directions a Charity can take their design in from funny, to traditional to support the impact the card will have. Ensuring your Christmas Card contains the right message is also key. 


Consideration 1: Cost Efficiency

Producing custom Christmas cards can be expensive, and charities need to ensure that their budgets are used wisely.

How Charities Can Manage This:

Purchase in Bulk: Charities can reduce the cost per card significantly by ordering Christmas cards in bulk. 
Partner with Sponsors: Once you know how many cards you’re going to need to make a difference in your campaign, why not seek partnerships with businesses or individuals willing to sponsor the production costs in exchange for their logo or name on the cards? This approach can offset expenses and also support local businesses. 


Consideration 2: Diverse Preferences

Not everyone appreciates receiving physical Christmas cards from a charity. Some may view them as wasteful or impersonal depending on the funds utilised to purchase them.

How Charitable Organisations Can Manage This:

Allow Opt-In: Instead of automatically sending cards to all supporters, offer customers the chance to manage their preferences by adding an opt-in/ opt-out option. This way, you cater to those who genuinely appreciate the gesture.
Segment Your Audience: Send cards to those who have expressed interest in receiving them. Segmenting your audience ensures that your efforts are more targeted and appreciated.


Consideration 3: Environmental Impact

Producing paper-based Christmas cards can contribute to environmental concerns which may be high on your supporter's agenda. 

How Charitable Organisations Can Manage This:

Choose Sustainable Materials: Opt for paper stocks that are certified by organisations like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or use recycled paper stocks to minimise the environmental impact.
Highlight Eco-Friendly Choices: When communicating about the Christmas cards, emphasise your commitment to using sustainable materials. This can appeal to environmentally conscious supporters.


Consideration 4: Message and Design

Creating the right message and design is crucial to convey the charity's mission and evoke the desired emotional response.

How Charitable Organisations Can Manage This:

Align with Your Cause: Ensure that the message and design align with your charity's mission and values. The card should reflect the impact you're striving to achieve.
Offer Personalisation: Printing the cards blank and allowing for chairpersons to sign cards with a meaningful message or signature is a great way to add a personal touch making the cards more valuable to recipients.


Consideration 5: Targeted Marketing

Sending Christmas cards to the right audience is essential to maximise the impact of the campaign.

How Charitable Organisations Can Manage This:

Utilise Data: Use your donor database to send cards to your most engaged and supportive donors. Segment the list based on their interests and engagement level.
Tailor Messages: Craft different messages that resonate with specific donor segments. A loyal supporter might receive a heartfelt message, while a potential donor might receive an introductory card explaining your cause.


By addressing these considerations and managing them effectively, Charitable organisations can create a well-executed Christmas card marketing campaign that resonates with supporters, communicates their mission, and maximises the positive impact on both their cause and the recipients.


How Should Charities Measure The Success of Their Christmas Card Campaign?

Measuring the success of a Christmas card campaign requires a strategic approach tailored to the campaign's goals. Depending on whether the focus is on donor retention, recruitment, referral or driving traffic to your website through a QR code, the following steps outline how charities can effectively gauge the campaign's success:

  • Donor Retention: Calculate the percentage of donors who continue to support your charity after receiving the Christmas card. Compare this rate to the retention rate of donors who didn't receive a card.


Retention Rate = (Number of Donors at the End of a Period - Number of New Customers Acquired During that Period) / Number of Customers at the Start of the Period x 100 


  • Recruitment: Monitor the number of new donors acquired as a result of the Christmas card campaign. Compare this to the number of new donors acquired through other channels to assess the campaign's effectiveness.


Total Volunteer Number (Post Campaign) - Current Volunteer Number (Start of Campaign) = Total Number Recruited


  • Referrals: Track the number of referred supporters who engage with your charity after receiving a Christmas card. This could include new donors, volunteers, or individuals who sign up for your newsletters.


Total Number of New Referrals - Total Number of Existing Customers = Total Referral Number 


In Conclusion

Measuring the success of a Christmas card campaign for charities is a multi-faceted endeavour that demands a tailored approach based on campaign objectives.


About the Author

Hi, I’m Craig, instantprint’s Marketing Manager. I have a passion for discovering new and innovative ways small business owners can give their marketing a boost.