Does  your Churches Together, or Community Group want to hold an Alternative Christmas Gift market in your area?
If so, here are some tips to help you get started.  You can also visit our website, www.
hinckley-alternativity.org.uk

1.      Organising committee

·         Co-ordinator, people with finance, ICT skills etc. 

·         Plan ahead.  (Up to a year ahead is best, next time will be easier.)

·          Set up a bank account.

2.      Date, venue, timing

·         Think of possible clashes with other church events.

·          A central venue, with easy access, parking etc. will be best.

·          Decide on a name for your event.

3.      Range of charities

·              Mixture of local, national and international. 

·              Must all be properly registered, and known to at least one committee member. 

·              Keep it small for the first year, 14 – 18, you can always increase the number next year.

4.      Contact charities

·              Each charity will need to provide a table display and a representative for the event.

·             Need to provide a small “virtual gift” to be sold at the event, value between £1 and around £25.

·             Medical supplies, small animals, school equipmentetc.

5.      Card to sell with gifts-

·             School competition, Sunday School project, with a small prize for the winner ?

·             Allow plenty of time for printing.

6.      Information on gifts

·             Charities provide this to be printed on a paper insert inside each card. 

·              Producing and cutting these is time consuming. Working party?

7.      Local celebrity to open the event-

·              Mayor and Mayoress? Local editor?

8.      Publicity is vital-

·              Plan a press release, send out to local press, radio stations.

·              Diocesan newsletters, everyone you can think of. 

·              Follow it up, talk to editors, invite them to the event.

·              Arrange for photos on the day. 

·              Design posters to go in churches, supermarkets, libraries etc.  Banners in strategic places?

9.      Design a Website

·              Include website address in all publicity.

10.      Order Forms  -

·            Prepare order forms, to include gift aid facility .(See our website for samples.)

·            Mail order is particularly successful, start before the event, then carry on to deadline.

·            Each church/charity could have a supply to give out. 

11.      Plan for the actual event-

·            Design simple instruction sheet for visitors.

·            Badges for committee members.

·            Catering – tea, coffee, cold drinks, mince pies, sandwiches for stallholders ?

·             Are there enough tables?

·              Plan for easy access, so that people can look at each charity stall.

·              Will a table with activities for children be useful?

·              Consider setting up the evening before, to prevent last minute panics.

12.      Table Planning

·              3 x separate tables, 1x gift aid (computers faster) 1x cards and inserts, 1x taking payment.

·              Each table needs at least 2 x people to avoid queues.

13.      Enjoy the day

·              Start with prayers, ask your celebrity to officially open the event, wait for the public to flock in.

·              Have someone to greet visitors, and explain how it all works.

·               Give out instruction sheet.

14.       After the Event

·              Wait until mail order deadline, bank all monies.

·              Send cheques and forms to each charity.  Stress that names and addresses may not be used or placed on the charity’s database.

15.      Follow- up meeting to review/celebrate.

·              Follow it up, talk to editors, invite them to the event.

·              Arrange for photos on the day. 

·              Design posters to go in churches, supermarkets, libraries etc.  Banners in strategic places?

·         Make it a party!  Have fun! Start planning for next year!

Contact Hinckley AlterNativity admin@hinckley-alternativity.org.uk

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