Holiday Bazaar and Toys for Tots Fundraiser
A well-planned bazaar and fundraiser during the holiday season will catch donors and attendees when they are already in a giving mood. At the same time, the holiday season is always busy so it’s best to plan the event well in advance so that there will be less chance of a conflict with your resident attendees Here are a few tips for planning a non-profit bazaar in your community that can hold space as a fun and successful event.
Decide if your event will be open only to residents, or if you will open it up to other community members as well. You may decide on a compromise and insist that each resident is allowed to bring one or two “guests” to the event from outside the community. This can allow residents to bring partners, friends, family members, or any other guests others who may enjoy the event and/or donate to the cause.
Image source: Pixabay
Getting the word out
Advertise well in advance of the day so that community members can get the event on their calendars and be sure to make time to stop by. Print postcards, hang flyers, and make sure you announce the event in your newsletter and on social media.
Set up a page on your website with all the most frequently asked questions and most important information. You can direct all inquiries to the page for answers to their questions.
Ensure that you co-ordinate your efforts with the charity you’re planning to support so that they can advertise the event in their network as well – especially if you’ve decided to open your event to the greater community.
Choosing a theme
While a theme is not required for your holiday bazaar, you may want to consider at least a color scheme to keep things looking cohesive.
If you want to get more elaborate you can check out some of these amazing event ideas and party themes that include everything from black and white, to movie-inspired.
This event functions as a craft and holiday bazaar, so one of the key components it to rent booth space to local artists and artisans.
Allow chamber connections and other resident businesses to rent table and booth space to display holiday gifts for sale. Reach out to local home-based businesses in your community, like AVON, Cookie Lee, Shakeology, personal trainers, etc.
Image source: Pixabay
Consider listing your event on www.craftlister.com for free. You can also search this site for local vendors and send personal invitations. To find additional potential vendors, search websites like www.etsy.com for local and handmade businesses by clicking on “buy” and then “search local.” Send invitations to local crafters who make cute handmade items and ask them to participate – don’t forget to include your website and e-mail address so crafters can get back to you with any questions.
**TIP** Keep the booth rental fee low to encourage participation. No more than $30 for a table, chair, and advertising. This will get more people interested in participating, yet still ensure that you have enough funds for other aspects of the event. Anything left over at the end of the event can be donated to charity as well.
Also, remember that the size of the booth spaces is a very big deal, so be sure that the boundaries of each booth are clearly marked out. If you are holding the event indoors this can be easily accomplished by measuring and marking the floor of each space with masking tape.
The best way to make sure you get as many donations as needed is to set a target well before the event. If you want 50-100 toys, then aim to reach out to ten times as many potential visitors. In lieu of cash, for entry into the event you can require an unwrapped toy above a certain dollar amount, and collect those toys for the charity of your choice.
Additionally, because of the low booth rental fee, you may want to require vendors pay a certain percentage of their total sales – five to ten percent is a good amount - to the chosen charity.
If you want to only collect money in donations for a local charity you can set a ticket price.
Depending on your community demographics and the type of people you expect at your fundraising bazaar, book appropriate activities and entertainment as needed. If you have a mixed crowd your best bet is to cater to the younger more active audience.
Connecting with guests
Before the event is over get commitment from attendees that they will continue to support the charity in the future. Since this event is a fundraiser their commitment could come in the form of an additional donation, but it doesn’t have end with that.
Encourage volunteer pledges or get attendees to do something as simple as signing up for a mailing list. By the end of the event, residents should be excited about the ongoing plans and eager to help in new ways.