Church Craft Fair

by Phil Girling
(West Sussex)

I don't think our fundraising idea is particularly unusual but it did prove to be quite profitable for our church. We held a simple craft fair.

Participants could either pay a fee to have a little stall or donate 20% of anything they took (several donated everything). We had a good mixture of amateurs and a few semi-professional crafters. There were several young women who made cards, some jewelery people, someone who made and sold candles, a man who made walking sticks and another chap who did wood turning. There was a really lovely woman who made  sweet little baby shoes with flowers on. There were also several potters two painters and one sculptor. A local garden designer had a little display and was trying to sign up new clients, and there was a portrait photographer who was busy promoting his studio.  There was a woman who does scrap-booking who did a little talk and sold equipment for anyone who wanted to do their own. There was also someone from a wooden toy company and another who was a franchisee for Barefoot Books. These last two weren't really crafts but they added to what we could offer. 

We found most of these crafts people through word of mouth but also we had collected business cards at other craft events. 

We made some extra money by selling refreshments and their was a small raffle and cake stall.

Our town  is quite small so we held our event in the town hall which is right in the middle of the main street. This meant that we were able to put an "A Board" out on the pavement to attract passing trade and quite a few tourists seemed to come in too. Also we had been advertising the event at the church quite a lot and a good number of our regular congregation made a point of stopping by.

Our craft  fair had a really nice feel to it. We had some nice quiet music on in the background and I think people enjoyed having a look around. Most of the craft people seemed quite pleased too. We had been worried about attracting enough visitors but although it wasn't bursting at the seams it was never empty.

We plan to do the same again next year and the only change we think we would make is perhaps to try and include some gardening and flower crafts which we think would be popular.
I hope this idea helps other fundraisers.

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