Ho, Ho, Hosting a Photo with Santa Fundraiser

Have you ever wondered why you line up year after year with your small child or pet in a crowded mall to fork out your hard earned cash for a blurry photo with the big guy in the red suit?

Santa Photos

Mall outfits make money hand over fist for one quick snap with Santa. So why not take advantage of the man who’s in high demand come December? First you can offer quality Santa photos and second, you can earn lots of money for your fundraising group at the same time.

A Santa picture fundraiser is a great way to make money for your cause. All it just takes a little planning, a festive location and a volunteer who’s willing to don a fuzzy red suit and a beard (the belly may be already included).

Here’s what you’ll need to ho, ho, host a successful Santa photo fundraiser:

Finding a location

If you are a local school team or church group you are in luck and already have the prime location to hold your photo shoot. However, if you’re not, start by contacting local churches or community buildings to see if you can use their facility for the event.

Most places will allow you to use their facility free of charge if it’s for the benefit of a local charity. Secure the facility as soon as you can and set the date and time!

Enlist your happy elves

Once you’ve got a date and a place, it’s time to get your helpful elves (volunteers) to the workshop (on board to help you with various tasks).

You will need a lot of people to help decorate the location, put up posters advertising your event, gather supplies—such as costumes, a photographer, etc., for free.

Find a photographer

Reach out to your local community to see if there is a local photographer willing to do some charity work in exchange for the free promotion of their business. You can also allow the photographer to put up a sign for publicity and ask him or her to donate a percentage of sales to your organization.

Alternatively, reach out to a local art college. We bet there are many willing students out there who are more than willing to snap photos of kids on Santa’s knee in exchange for a reference or material for their portfolio.

If you still have no luck, guaranteed there are some novice photographers in your group of willing volunteers who are great behind the lens.

Secure a Santa

This one is easy! Everyone likes to be the star of the show and the reason for making so many kids smile and laugh. Simply ask around your community, Santa could be as close as your neighbor’s husband, your friend’s uncle, or your grandpa Joe!

Entertainment – No doubt, the main attraction will be Santa! But to avoid long lineups with noisy, anxious children, you’ll want to have other activities planned to entertain the kids while they wait to sit on Santa’s knee. Here are some options:

  • Ask a volunteer to read holiday stories to those waiting in line
  • Enlist a walking choir to sing (and encourage a sing along) holiday songs to the line up
  • Set up a coloring or craft table with card or ornament making
  • Feature a pin the carrot nose on Frosty game
  • Offer face painting—a kids’ favorite
  • Sell Christmas treats, hot drinks or set up a bake sale stand


Put up paper flyers at the local library, bookstores, preschools, daycares and elementary schools, grocery stores, markets, and recreational/community centers.

And don’t forget to contact the local media (such as the newspaper, radio station, local cable channel and even online about your event), and finally, get your volunteers out in the community to spread word about your event.

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