Does your Churches Together, or Community Group want to hold an Alternative Christmas Gift market in your area?

If so you can download a starter pack including samples of an order form, poster, card, flyer, and the card inserts by clicking here:

Starter Pack

Or you can read the following tips to help you get started. 

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!

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