With Christmas close by, fundraising opportunities are ripe for your ministry.

4 ideas for a successful Christmas fundraiser

We celebrate the birth of our Lord in December, and it is always a festive season. With nativities on display next to lights that color the night, people are out and about looking forward to spending time with their family and loved ones on Christmas. It is a time of celebration and reflection as we look back on the year and remind ourselves of the message Jesus Christ spread.

For your ministry, Christmas is also a great time to raise money. Many parishioners will look forward to holiday services, whether you partake in the Feast of the Immaculate Conception or send out carolers to spread the love of God during this joyous occasion. It may be a good time to look at some unique fundraising opportunities that will bring your congregation together and help you stay afloat well into the new year. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Gift wrapping paper and service
While not everyone truly appreciates the holidays for their spiritual message, that doesn't mean you can't be part of the spirit that guides this time of the year by being charitable to them. One way of doing this is by giving back to the community in return for donations. One area where you and your staff should be helpful is in wrapping gifts, according to Udemy. Many people, including your parishioners, will likely have trouble concealing presents through paper wrapping, since it tends to require some skill.

Gift wrapping is one great church fundraiser around Christmas.Gift wrapping is one great church fundraiser around Christmas.

Following a service or during a special Christmas-related event, you can set up a table with volunteers, offering to wrap gifts in exchange for a tithe. Have some of your best wrappers on hand to complete the task, so that way people will see it as a benefit to them. If some people feel they can do the wrapping themselves, you can offer a variety of papers that works best for the gifts they need as well.

Crafts fair or Christmas market
Some people see the holiday season as a time to purchase various material items. Instead of just railing against the consumerism of the holiday season, sublimate those feelings by having your parishioners create goods they can share and sell with everyone else. A crafts fair or Christkindlmarket are great opportunities for your congregation and ministry to give back to the community, as suggested by the Aid to the Church in Need. It can also be a great way to raise funds. Along with selling items and goods that people will enjoy, you can provide materials that match with the spirit of the season, such as selling icons, candles, representations of the nativity and more. By doing this, you're directing the material nature of the holiday to take a more religious tone.

Christmas markets are great fundraising opportunities.Christmas markets are great fundraising opportunities.

Advent calendars and candles
Many ministries celebrate the coming of Christmas with Advent, the season leading to the holiday. Starting at the end of November, you may offer a daily devotion or prayer that helps inspire people to get into the spirit of this time of year. A great way to offer such service is to provide an Advent calendar, which often takes a form of a box with little windows holding Scripture and other materials for the sake of your parishioners. Providing these with a donation will help your congregants stay devoted during this time of the year.

In addition, selling Advent candles are useful, for they help track the four Sundays before Christmas. They give your parishioners time to reflect on the season ahead and the year behind them.

Christmas carols
If your ministry has a choir, then you already have a great fundraising avenue from the start. One thing that gets everyone into the festive spirit of Christmas is caroling. You don't even need to get the whole choir involved at once, though that is an option. What you can do is create routes around town and in the neighborhood. Put together at least one volunteer group of your best singers and have them go on these routes every few days in the days leading up to Dec. 25. As they sing songs, people will feel compelled to donate to your church and possibly attend services if they don't already.

Any of these methods will help you get more donations that you can then put to your mission. It helps you spread the message of our Lord and the holiday spirit that goes with it.