Flaunt Your Artistic Side with a Craft Fundraiser

You know that artistic hobby you have? The one your parents said would never be a full time career? Maybe you write poetry in the park, or paint watercolors when it rains, or you’re more of a hobby fashion designer with homemade crochet bathing suits. It doesn’t really matter what your hobby is, as long as it puts you in touch with your artistic side.

No need to hide your inner Picasso any longer! Put your paint brush or pottery wheel to work and make some money for your charity of choice with art.

An arts and crafts sale is a great way to make money. All you need to do is set up a booth at a local market, or even during a yard sale in front of your house. Handmade crafts will sell pretty much anytime of the year, but especially in the fall, just around or after Thanksgiving as folks start to do their Christmas shopping.

Craft items that can be given as unique gifts will sell right up to Christmas, and are especially handy for last-minute shoppers.

If you’re the artsy type, but you’re not quite sure what to sell, it’s time to get in the car and go to a few arts and crafts shows. As you’re looking around, settle on a specific handmade gift to sell that is affordable to make, useful to the buyer, and can be customized to suit anyone.

The best way to sell your handmade crafts is at a booth or table. You can look to a flea market or craft sale, but you can also ask local shopping malls or even book stores if they’d be willing to sell your gifts on consignment.

You should also let them know that some or all of the proceeds will go to charity. Regardless of where you decide to set up shop, it must be in a high-traffic area.

If you’re not interested in simply hawking your goods for charity, another excellent option is offering classes or weekend workshops on your art of choice. Many popular arts of interest include:

  • Canning/preserving
  • Baking
  • Flower arrangement
  • Cake decorating
  • Stain glass
  • Pottery
  • Furniture design
  • Painting
  • Writing workshops
  • Poetry groups
  • Leatherwork
  • Metalworking
  • Stone masonry
  • And more!

Craft Fair Fundraisers

If you are interested in getting your artistic vision out to the public, a craft fair is the perfect way! Craft fairs are great fundraising events because they not only charge the buyers admission to come peruse the goods, they also charge the artisans to display and sell their goods at the show.

If some of the proceeds are going towards charity, they also take a cut from the final sales. Typically, fundraising percentages can range from 10% to 25% of the final sales for the day.

To organize properly, you should start your planning between two and six months prior to the date you'd like to host your sale. This will give you plenty of time to arrange all of the following details:

A market venue – This could be your charity or community group's meeting area, a school gymnasium, a church recreation area, a school yard, a street sale that neighbors host, or even right at your home.

Just be sure the artisans have enough space to set up tables, and that buyers have enough room to comfortably look around. As a last resort, if excess room is needed, you can rent a space for a nominal fee. But try to seek out a discounted or free space in the name of your charity.

Gathering craftspeople – It’s necessary to get a variety of artists and wares for your craft sale. You can do this by being involved in the community yourself. As a craftsman you will likely travel to fairs throughout the year and to talk to other sellers who have booths.

You can also join a social networking group like Facebook. Many artists are on the lookout for new places to sell their handiwork, and will respond positively to an invitation to sell for your charity.

Advertise your fundraiser – Get word out to the community about your fundraiser with printed flyers, an ad or story in the local newspaper, radio or television coverage on your community stations, via email and social networking groups like Facebook, via blogs, and even through a mailing list.

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