Holiday bazaars, usually held during the fall and winter, are a tradition for many churches, schools, charities and other nonprofit organizations. It is the best time of year for a fundraiser like this. People are getting into the holiday spirit and are looking to buy craft items, homemade gifts and baked goods.
It takes a team of volunteers to pull off a successful fund-raising bazaar. It will also take several months of planning. But, after you have held one bazaar you will know how to do it it much better in future years.
Here is a list of the positions you’ll need to fill for a holiday bazaar committee:
Chairperson – In charge of finding the volunteers to be the chair of the various positions, assists the chairpersons and oversees the entire bazaar.
Vendor Coordinator – Sends out the applications and release forms to the vendors, collects the money from the vendors.
Facility Coordinator – In charge of the setting up and taking down of the event, insurance and security for the event. Oversees parking lot and traffic.
Money Coordinator – In charge of all the monetary transactions associated with the bazaar. Works with the treasurer of your organization.
Food Coordinator – In charge of the food for the vendors and volunteers, and food sold at the event.
Publicity Coordinator – In charge of the advertising. Prepares the flyers and promotional pieces.
Prizes and Raffles Coordinator – In charge of getting donations of prizes to be used as door prizes and raffle prizes
How your organization can raise money with a holiday bazaar
Vendor fees – Charge for space rental, table rental, electrical hook-ups. You can also charge a percentage of the sales the vendors make.
VIP Shopping – sell tickets to special “VIP” shopping hours prior to the main event. Sell hors d’ouvres and offer prizes as an incentive to purchase VIP tickets.
Bake sales – Have a bake sale throughout the event. Holidays are a busy time of year and homemade baked goods are good sellers.
Raffles and Auctions – Usually each vendor is asked to donate an item to used as a prize.
Selling donated items – Have your own table selling donated items.
Food Concessions – Food service can be as elaborate as a catered dinner or as simple as coffee and donuts. At the least you should have drinks and snacks such as cookies and chips available for the vendors and shoppers to purchase.
Sell promotional items – If your organization has t-shirts, Cd’s, recipe books, or any other you sell make sure you have them at the bazaar.
Holiday bazaars are usually held indoors because you don’t want to worry about the weather. The most common time to hold a bazaar is on Saturday. Or you can have a two day event and start it on Friday evening.
Allow plenty of time for the vendors and crafters to set up their tables. If you can set up the night before the bazaar as well as the day of the bazaar – all the better. Be sure to provide help and security for the the vendors.
Try to make your holiday bazaar unique. If there is something that your organization or school is noted for, find a way to capitalize on this. For example, I know of a church that sells handmade church mice Christmas ornaments every year at their Christmas bazaar. Every year a different theme for the church mouse is created and members of the church make the ornaments throughout the year.
We all know about the wonderful volunteer who has been in charge of the annual bazaar for the last ten years. What happens when he or she is no longer willing or able to be in charge? Save all your files for a reference. Better yet, compile a guide to planning your bazaar. This will help you greatly when you are looking for a new volunteers to help you.