Christmas or holiday-time bazaars can be profitable fundraisers for churches and community groups. Bazaars bring people, crafts and food together as well as put local talent on display. In addition to raising money, bazaars provide shoppers with an avenue for obtaining a variety of diverse Christmas or other holiday presents and supporting the local economy. Make your next bazaar a successful one with some unique ideas.
Invite vendors to serve snacks at your holiday bazaar. If you live in a warm-weather climate, hold the bazaar outdoors, either on your organization’s property or at a local park. Negotiate with vendors to donate a portion of all sales, such as 10 or 20 percent, to your organization; this way shoppers can feel satisfied both physically and emotionally as they browse the bazaar knowing that even their food purchases are going to support a cause or organization they care about. You may also consider catering a buffet lunch or hosting a snack and juice bar for shoppers to enjoy. If you choose to offer food for no cost, you may want to assess a cover charge to get into the bazaar to cover the cost of the food and drinks, and then let people know that their ticket purchase not only includes food but also a donation to the organization. Wherever possible, ask vendors to donate food or drink or a portion of concession sales to your organization.
Invite local artisans to showcase crafts, holiday ornaments, wreaths, and other fall and winter decor at your bazaar. Issue a call throughout the community for craft makers and artisans to sell their creations at your bazaar. Include an announcement in your local business journal as well as the newspaper. You may also want to advertise the bazaar with local PTA groups and on school bulletin boards. Consider creating a website for your bazaar and posting information as well as vendor lists for interested attendees to access online.
Have a bingo table in a portion of the bazaar space. If the event is to be held outside, consider having a dunking booth or other carnival-type games, such as throwing darts at a particle board filled with balloons. Purchase small prizes for kids to win. You might also want to host a few simple games like Find the Lucky stocking, Find Santa, Six Sox or Ring Rudolph’s Nose for children to enjoy. Make the games free so your bazaar is a fun event that families will want to come back to the following year. Give away door prizes to every child as an added touch; for example, hand out bags of Reindeer Food, or a simple white lunch sack filled with oats, glitter and birdseed. Draw a picture of a reindeer with a red nose on the bag and instructions that tell the children to sprinkle the food on the ground outside their home on Christmas Eve for Santa’s reindeer.
Sell tickets for a door prize drawing or raffle to be held near the close of the bazaar. Ask bazaar vendors to donate items for the raffle or ask organization members to donate fun items like golf packages, tickets to local sporting events or gift certificates to encourage participation. Notify shoppers that all raffle ticket proceeds go to support your organization. Decide whether or not people must be present to win and have the prizes on display throughout the bazaar to encourage people to buy tickets.