A Quick Guide to Wrapping Paper Fundraising and Gift Wrap Fundraisers

 A Quick Guide to Wrapping Paper Fundraising and Gift Wrap Fundraisers

It's common for schools and nonprofits to launch "wrapping paper" fundraising campaigns as the holiday season approaches. The strategy involves selling gift wrapping paper, bows, bags, and other items to raise funds for a worthy cause. 

These campaigns are popular and have a long history in the United States, stretching back to the 1990s. When the sillyseason arrives, everyone needs gift wrap for the presents under the tree, and it's the perfect time of year to launch these campaigns for maximum reach and success. 

Wrapping paper is readily available at grocery stores, but the diverse designs and quality in fundraising gift wrap catalogs are far better. Fundraising is critical to nonprofit models, giving them the revenue to further their cause and initiatives during the year. 

Nonprofits depend on donations for most of their financial responsibilities. Gift wrap campaigns offer organizations another means of fundraising and raising awareness of the nonprofit's goals.

This post unpacks a brief guide to wrapping paper fundraising. 


History of Wrapping Paper Fundraising - Sally Foster & Innisbrook

In the 1990s, Sally Foster and Innisbrook were the dominating forces in gift wrapping fundraiser materials. These Companies fizzled out, and they no longer operate. Thirty years ago, before the advent of the internet spread throughout the world, there were limited options for wrapping paper supplies, and these two companies dominated the space. 

Today's technological era means there are dozens of options for gift wrap suppliers online. One of the biggest innovators in the modern fundraising wrapping paper market is Charleston Wrap, and they hold the biggest market share, with competitive pricing and a huge range.

Charleston Wrap is successful because it doesn't limit its product range to gift wrap. They offer an extensive range of wrapping paper designs and gifting supplies. It makes them a one-stop shop for everything you need to run a wrapping paper fundraising campaign. 


The Benefits of Wrapping Paper Fundraising

Raise Funds – A gift wrap fundraiser generates revenue for schools and nonprofits, bolstering their financial resources. Organizations utilize these funds for expansion, community projects,program development, scholarships, medical research, and other initiatives. 

Engage with Your Community – Wrapping paper fundraisers get nonprofits and schools into the community where they engage with households, spreading awareness of their cause. It's a great way to meet prospective donors who might contribute to the organization beyond supporting the gift wrap campaign. Wrapping paper fundraisers fosters community involvement and positively impacts the community, strengthening community relationships.

Community Engagement & Development –Nonprofits and schools can use the funds received through these campaigns to develop community infrastructure and other related projects or initiatives.They offer opportunities to promote environmental sustainability and social welfare, adding value to the community through campaign directives and nonprofit causes.

Campaign Visibility & Awareness –Fundraisers can spread the word about their organization, its vision, and its goals through strategic gift wrap fundraising campaigns. It provides a platform for sharing progress on the organization's goals and educating the public about the importance of its mission.

Skills Development – Campaign volunteers can develop their organizational and creative skill sets with well-planned gift wrap fundraising campaigns. Volunteers gain invaluable experience in teamwork,customer service, attention to detail, and time management, which assists them in their personal endeavors. 


Steps to Start a Wrapping Paper Fundraiser


Step #1 – Identify the Gift Wrap Fundraisers Purpose & Goals 

Planning is crucial to any gift wrapping fundraiser. The first stage in the process involves identifying the goal and fundraising target of the campaign. There can be several goals apart from raising money. 

For instance, the campaign goals may include spreading awareness of the organization's goals in the local community. It's important to have a pitch telling potential donors how your organization intends to use the funds you raise. 


Step #2 – Selecting a Venue for Your Wrapping Paper Fundraiser

The venue for your wrapping paper fundraising campaign is a critical decision. Going door to door was fine back in the day,but this strategy is dangerous in the modern world, especially in large cities.So, locations for proper campaign venues are crucial for campaign success. A Good idea is a pop-up booth in a shopping center, community center, or at schools. 

You'll need a venue offering ample space for inventory, gift-wrapping stations, and a welcoming atmosphere for prospective donors. Ensure your venue choice aligns with where your target audience visits during the holiday season and offers an ambiance conducive to your goals,organization's reputation, and donors' requirements.


Step #3 – Recruiting Fundraising Volunteers

Volunteers are the backbone of the gift wrap fundraising campaign; without them, you don't have any means to collect donations. Reach out to community organizations, local schools, and businesses to recruit enthusiastic people willing to dedicate their skills and time to your cause and campaign for free.

You must assign volunteer roles like host,coordinator, greeter, wrapper, and cashier. Create a schedule to ensure you have a team readily available at all stages of the fundraiser. Add SOPsencompassing instructions, guidelines, and training on customer service,wrapping techniques, and event protocols and programs.


Step #4 – Choose a Reputable Gift Wrap Supplier

Choose your inventory supplier for your campaign. Don't go with the lowest-cost provider; look for products that balance quality and cost. You'll need gift wrap, sticky tape, scissors, bows,ribbons, and tags. Reach out to local businesses to find sponsors who contribute to covering your costs and optimizing your profits from the fundraising programs.


Step #5 – Create a Fundraiser Marketing Strategy

Your campaign will fail if no one knows about it. Develop a marketing plan involving outdoor and online strategies to maximize reach and awareness in your target audience. Define your target donor persona – the people you want to market to. 

Structure your campaigns around where these individuals source their information. Do they drive past a specific billboard every day? Do they use social media like TikTok or Facebook? Explore a multi-channel marketing strategy to get as many eyes as possible on your upcoming gift wrap campaign. 

Step #6 – Reach Out to Local Businesses & Organizations for SchoolFundraising Opportunities

Reach out to local organizations,communities, and businesses to generate support for your fundraising drive and spread awareness of the campaign. Contact restaurants, grocery stores, schools,community centers, clubs, and religious institutions, and ask them to promote a fundraiser through their network with kickoff videos, pamphlets, and other marketing materials to attract attention.


Best Practices for a Successful Fundraiser


Scheduling & Task Management

We lightly discussed the importance of volunteer scheduling for the fundraiser. It's a critical component of the campaign, directing your volunteers to ensure you maximize your human capital.

Create schedules outlining time slots for different tasks and activities. Assign your volunteers to roles and ensure you communicate their duties and responsibilities effectively to keep them accountable. You should have coverage of all positions at all times, especially during peak times. 


Efficient Inventory Management

You don't want to run out of gift wrap or other supplies during the event. You'll also need to ensure you don't waste your inventory. Create systems for organizing wrapping paper, bows, ribbons,and other wrapping materials. Check stock levels regularly and order more as required. Implement an inventory sign-out system to prevent loss and monitor usage. 


Transaction Handling & Record Keeping

Create a system for managing financial transactions during the campaign. Train your volunteers in processing electronic or cash payments, ensuring confidentiality and accuracy of transaction processing systems. Provide clear guidelines on recording transactions,issuing receipts, and maintaining the record-keeping system in real-time.Regularly reconcile financial records to maintain full accountability and transparency.


Gift Wrap Fundraising Challenges and Solutions


Volunteer Recruitment

Finding the right volunteers is one of the most challenging aspects of organizing a gift wrap fundraiser. Ask the following questions when creating your volunteer profile. 

  • Why does the person want to volunteer for your campaign? 
  • Do they have a special connection to your cause?
  • Do they have a skill set that's beneficial for your nonprofit goals?
  • How many hours do you need them to contribute to the campaign?
  • Will they have a full-time job, or are you looking for students or retirees to help?
  • Do they have experience working with gift wrap campaigns or other nonprofit     fundraisers?

Interview your volunteers and ensure you tell them about your expectations for their performance. Many volunteers eventually become donors to the cause, so fill them in on your organizational goals and targets.


Engaging Donors

You'll need to meet your donor expectations for your gift wrap fundraiser to be a smashing success. Individuals, small businesses, and corporations will only donate to nonprofit campaigns if they feel they can trust the organization and know where their money is going. 

Ensure you offer full transparency of the funds collected during the campaign and how you intend to spend them. Thisstrategy builds rapport and confidence in the donor base, maximizing revenue collection. 


Financial Issues

Cash flow and revenue collection leave plenty of room for error. Failing to manage your finances properly can result in disaster for the campaign. Build stable financial accounting protocols and structured management to ensure you maintain financial stability for the organization during and after the campaign. Proper financial management includes strategic planning and budgeting, calculation of profit margins, and potential cost of wastage and loss. 


Alternatives to Wrapping Paper Fundraising

Wrapping paper fundraising campaigns are popular but fall out of favor with the eco-conscious crowd. The reality is that gift wrap is a one-off item, creating a significant amount of waste. Nonprofitsinvolved in the environmental sector can look into the following innovativeFundraising ideas as alternatives to gift wrap fundraisers. 

  • Raffles.
  • Silent auctions
  • Bake sales
  • Crowdfunding  drives
  • Online sales
  • Company match fundraisers.
  • Text campaigns.
  • Tree planting campaigns.
  • Art auctions.
  • Movie nights.
  • Golf tournaments.
  • Bowling nights.
  • Book sales.
  • Talent shows.

These are just a few effective fundraising events that draw great community responses. Your choice of fundraising platforms depends on your organization and its goals. For instance, a school may do well with movie nights, bake sales, and raffles. Humanitarian nonprofits may benefit from golf tournaments and crowdfunding drives.


A Quick Guide to Wrapping Paper Fundraising – FAQs


Q: How much can one expect to earn from wrapping paper fundraiser?

A: It's challenging to nail down a number.The amount of funds you raise with your campaign depends on the size and scale of your operation. For instance, how many venues will you use if you're doing apop-up wrapping station at a shopping mall? Other factors influencing campaign earnings include inventory, service pricing, marketing, and overheads. You can implement strategies to reduce costs, such as forming supplier partnerships & sponsorships to lower overheads.


Q: Are there eco-friendly wrapping paper options available?

A: Yes! There are plenty of eco-conscious or"green" alternatives to gift wrap. Many suppliers offer biodegradable products or recyclable wrapping paper. You can also use gift bags or gift boxes, which your customers can repurpose for future gifting. 

The following wrapping paper materials are sustainable and have a low environmental impact compared to conventional gift wrap and promotional materials. They're the perfect choice to satisfy the modern movement toward social sustainability and environmental consciousness.

  • Reversible roll and jumbo reversible wrapping paper
  • Newspaper
  • Cotton, silk, & polyester
  • Stone wrapping paper
  • Deadstock fabric
  • Non-coated newsprint paper, biodegradable PLA
  • Upcycled cotton or jute
  • Organic cotton
  • Recyclable paper
  • Hemp-based wrapping paper


Q: How long does a typical wrapping paper fundraiser last?

A: It depends on your organization's fundraising goals and fundraising strategies. Most gift wrap campaigns last two to three weeks in the winter, from the beginning of the shopping season inDecember to Christmas Eve. Instead of extending the time into November, when there will be less traffic to your wrapping station, consider expanding your reach to other locations to capture more donations. 



Wrapping paper fundraising campaigns offer nonprofits and schools a great way to raise cash during the holidays. They Leverage people's feelings of giving during the silly season, allowing nonprofits to capitalize on this generosity to maximize donations and achieve their organizational goals. 

Plenty of elements are involved in successfully structuring and executing a gift wrap campaign. To make it work,you'll need to consider costs, locations, volunteers, inventory, marketing, and financial management. 

If you run a school fundraising initiative or have a nonprofit or charity that can tie your mission into the giving season, gift wrap fundraiser could be the ideal strategy to finish your financial year with a bang. 

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