Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fundraising do's and don'ts

I am almost back.
My marathon of vendor events is nearing a close and I can't say that I am sad about it.
Last night and all day today I was selling at a church fundraiser.
It should have been profitable. We set up Saturday afternoon for an evening sale.
There was Christmas music, wine, cheese, lots of great vendors.
No one came.
We thought that maybe it was because of the two inches of snow that fell.
Today there were four services and then an afternoon concert.
We thought that maybe people would come in after every Mass and before the concert.
They didn't.
I didn't know who to feel sorry for, us vendors or the folks who worked so hard on the event.

Fundraiser Do's and Don'ts:
( pay attention those of you that do these church/school/charity fundraisers!)

  1. Although it may only take one or two high powered women to run an event, make sure EVERYONE in the organization/congregation has a job. Make one up! Anything to insure that they must walk through the door to attend the fundraiser.
  2. BIG, HUGE sign in front of building as a reminder to anyone that might have forgotten the event. Flyer's in windows of local hot spots. Mass e-mail reminders day before and day of event. Announcements made in school or church/temple.
  3. Create incentives to encourage customers. Tricky trays, auctions, Holiday plant pick-up, etc.
  4. Have entertainment on the hour. Choirs, bands, Capella groups all love to perform. Give them a stage and their parents/ grandparents will show up and... shop.
  5. Coordinate date of event to coincide with other event such as Santa's breakfast, Hanukkah week, marathon/5K, parade, etc.
  1. Do NOT rely on vendors to invite their customers, friends, and family.
  2. Don't have 20 jewelry vendors and expect people to return the following year. ( good mix of vendors is a must.)
  3. Don't charge people admittance and then also bother them to buy raffle tickets, expect them to shop with the vendors and have the lame bake sale be the only food available.
  4. Do NOT blame the economy, because half the vendors just worked an amazing event the night before and know the real reasons ( lack of advertising, support from members, quality of vendors) why there is NO ONE at the #$%@ show!
  5. Do NOT, EVER have an event in the morning WITHOUT @#$% COFFEE!!!
I feel better now.


Frau said...

Sorry that sucks, you have really good points.

Susan said...

Oh Crumb! I'm so sorry to hear about this. Been there...Done that (unfortunately).
However, you have learned a valuable lesson and next time (assuming there will be one) you will know exactly whatto do and what not to do. First and foremost...hit **@#% Starbucks first thing.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I know exactly how that feels. My weekend craft show was very similar. Ugh. A lot of work for nearly zero reward.

Susan said...

OH...I'd be SO up a weekend in December! Great points...

Ina in Alaska said...

OH MY what a disaster!! You work so hard!!! Lesson learned!!

And thanks for your kind words about my mom. Yes, what a disappointment. We think she had infection that set in when the knee appliance was implanted because this is her 3rd bout with cellulitis! I am trying to get a flight out of AK to surprise her for Christmas, so don't please don't mention it on my blog comments because family members read it.... I will let you know what's up soon via email. xoxo

Plastic Flamingos said...

Great fundraising tips! Have you tried flamingo flocking? Our blog has a lot of tactical tips on doing this. Lots of tricks for making the fundraiser fun and profitable. Many church groups have raised a few thousand dollars doing this.

Good luck!

t.t. millers said...

That stinks! I'm so sorry you had an awful event! You sounded frustrated and I don't blame you!!! I'd be VERY angry! I would think twice before I'd do THAT fundraiser again.