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Six Steps to Successful Fundraising With Craft Shows

Although it requires a little more time and organization than a basic raffle or car wash, fundraising with craft shows is an excellent way to raise funds and raise awareness for your organization. Craft shows are also a great way for community organizations, schools and churches to reach out to their communities while raising funds.

In today's economy with companies shutting down and unemployment on the rise, a lot of people today in all age ranges are getting into making and selling their crafts as a way to make money due to job loss supplement their unemployment or to supplement disability and retirement income. Many crafters are actually trying to build a business by showing at craft fairs too.

Fundraising with craft shows take a little bit more effort, time and organization to set up but if you have a large enough organization to delegate out the different responsibilities, the end result is a lot of fun, meeting new people and raising funds and awareness.

How do you get started? Follow these steps to a successful craft fair fundraiser:

1. Find the location

First, you need a place for people to set up. Craft fairs can be set up virtually anywhere that has level ground and is easy for visitors to move around in and for vendors to get set up in. Unlike flea markets, craft vendors often have items that may not fair well in inclement weather and their displays are a lot more organized and professional than you'd see at a typical yard sale or flea market.

If you're planning an indoor⁄outdoor event, a paved lot is ideal so vendors can set up outdoor canopies with sides to protect their craft items. But it's also a great idea to offer some indoor or covered spaces as well, especially if some of your vendors require electricity for their displays.

High schools often make use of as much space as possible; gymnasiums, auditoriums and even hallways if they're wide enough. Churches may have large social rooms and outdoor parking lots and local communities may use areas of parks or community halls.

If you're a new organization without your own space, call around to different places that have large rooms and see what they charge to rent space. Depending on the place and your organization, you may be able to negotiate a discount.

2. Set Your Table⁄Space Rates

If you have a lot of 8-10 foot spaces available, fill them all up by charging less. If you charge too much, you may not get all your spaces filled up. If this is your first event, you might want to make this first year a special and either offer free space or a token $5.00 per space to get the most vendors.

Other options would be offering a free space if the vendor brings his⁄her own table and $5.00 if you provide the table for them. You could also charge $5.00 if the vendor requests electricity. Don't get greedy by trying to make money off the tables! Your organization will have other opportunities to raise funds at the event without gouging vendors for money to set up.

Visitors want to see a lot of vendors when they come to your event. The more crafters, the more traffic, which equals more money raised.

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