You know what they say…one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Yard sales (tag sales) are a great way to make money by selling items that are already in your house. You can also ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to donate stuff (old furniture, appliances, kitchenware, clothes, coats, toys, books, etc.). Chances are they will be happy to rid themselves of a few items that are just causing clutter. You can also coordinate a multi-family yard sale, with multiple families on the same street holding yard sales on the same day – either benefiting the same charity or different charities of their choice.
Advertise the yard sale in your local newspaper and using flyers posted in your neighborhood, as a yard sale to benefit “x”. Make sure you have signs at the sale itself reminding people about the cause. You may even want to have information about the cause available to your customers so they know more about your charity. If you are raising money in somebody’s memory or honor, you may want to include a photo or photo collage of that person to add a more personal touch.
Don’t be afraid to price items generously – people tend to try to bargain prices down. Hopefully, since they know the proceeds are going to charity, they will not try to bargain too much, but even inexpensive items will help profit your charity. It is also a good idea to pre-print “thank you” receipts to give to customers after they make their purchase, thanking them for helping your cause and directing them to where they could find more information (web site, phone numbers, etc.). You can also sell baked goods at your yard sale as another way to bring in money for your cause. Put a donation jar out for people who would like to help your cause but are not going to purchase anything. Make it a festive atmosphere with balloons and music (CDs or radio). This is a win/win event – you get rid of your clutter and raise money for your favorite cause. Source: Melissa M, Hartford, CT
Alternative – Super Sale Yard Sale: We are an active congregation of only 23 people. All members donated items that were used, new, antique, hand made, and anything they could find. We also had relatives and friends that donated. What made this yard sale unique? We canvassed local businesses and had gift certificates, prizes, food, plates, napkins, plastic ware, soda, ice cream and anything else we needed donated. We paid nothing out of pocket. At our yard sale we had a Chinese auction for the items donated from local businesses, we had a bake sale, and we had a food sale. You have to keep in mind that if you want to sell what you have and not have to pack it back up, you need to sell it at “yard sale” prices. People do not come to yard sales to pay high prices. Everything was donated which means no matter what you charge it’s all profit, so give the buyer a break. Let people know that items they donate will be priced low to sell. This will give them the option of not donating items they want big bucks for.
Our menu was: Hot dog $1.00, hotdog with chips & an drink $1.50, Hamburger $1.50, with chips and soda $2.00. Cheeseburger $1.75 with chips & soda $2.25. Soda or water alone was 50 cents. All ice cream, no matter what they chose was 50 cents. We also had a “win a prize”. We wrapped common baseball cards in sets of 50 in see through cellophane. We did 100 of these. In the middle of 3 of the packs was a slip of paper that said “You are a winner” and there were three prizes to choose from. These were sold for 50 cents a pkg. The 50 cards alone were worth more than 50 cents. Praise God – We made over $1,000 dollars. Hope this is something you can also use to make money on for your fund raisers. Submitted by Marlene B., Advent Christian Church, Newport Center, VT
We have included a number of do-it-yourself fundraising ideas in this section that offer a break from traditional product sales. They were developed by groups just like yours in an attempt have a little fun with their fundraiser. Some of them are tried and true while others show a lot of creativity … and even wackiness in some cases. All of them are obviously not appropriate for every group, but sometimes, with only a little modification, your might find some fund raising ideas that are perfect for your group. If you have an idea for a do-it-yourself fund raiser you are willing to share with others, please send it to us via email. Include anything and everything you would want to know if you were hearing the idea for the first time.