As you know, yard sales can be a huge money maker if you do it right. Since that’s the case, you often see yard sales that benefit a charity.
With that in mind, some suggestions on setting up a fundraising yard sale:
- Recruit multiple vendors: You shouldn’t be the only vendor at your fundraising sale — you need plenty of sellers. This helps ensure variety for your customers since word will get around about your big event. It also means shoppers will stay longer, and likely spend more too!
- Or … Gather lots of donations: If you’re sure you want to stick to being the only vendor, then cast out a wide net for donations. Send out a mass e-mail to everyone associated with the organization and ask them to pass it along to their friends too, then see what comes in!
- Get space: If your fund-raiser event looks like it’s going to get bigger than your front yard, then you might want to rent out a room or banquet hall. Check with your local schools, churches, fire halls and businesses for the best opportunities. Since it’s a fundraiser, you might actually get space for free.
- Sell space: You certainly can give away space at your fundraising yard sale to a few vendors, but also consider selling spaces as well. Space fees should go to the charity and then allow those vendors to keep their own profits.
- Sell shopping time: An alternative (or addition) to selling spaces is to sell shopping time. Let shoppers know their entrance fee is going to charity, and they will be happy to pay.
- Advertise (Part 1): A month or two before your sale, start recruiting those paying vendors mentioned above, and the best way to do it is to advertise. Be sure to include all the appropriate contact information.
- Advertise (Part 2): Once you get your vendors recruited, let shoppers know about it. Aside from the usual classified advertising, send out a few e-mails to the local media. Invite shoppers with special posters at grocery stores, churches, schools, day-cares and other organizations.
- Advertise (Part 3): Make sure to include info on who’s benefiting and what percentage the charity is getting. Likewise, be prepared to fully explain the charity for those who aren’t exactly sure what it is.
- Get some props: Since you are doing a fundraiser for a charity, consider asking that charity to donate some signs, or even bring a few “props” to your event. Sure, maybe the Red Cross will send out its Bloodmobile, but more likely they’ll give you a couple of shirts for your staff to wear.
- Legal concerns: Be aware that there might be some legal issues concerning fundraisers. Check with your benefiting organization, or even the local United Way, for some guidance in the matter before you get started.
Image by HAM Guy via Flickr.com