When Debbie and I registered for our 3-Day Walk, we knew that we had a long road ahead of us … literally, with the 60-mile trek we’ll make in July, and figuratively with the training and fundraising we’ll do before the event.
Since we’re neighbors, we knew we had to get creative with fundraising in our neighborhood. Direct appeals are effective for friends and family, but we didn’t want to hit our neighbors with a double-whammy, with both of us asking for financial support.
Instead, we decided to hold a yard sale, and asked our neighbors if they would like to donate items to sell – we got a great response! The timing was great, with people doing spring cleaning … we had lots of clothes, toys, housewares and decorative items, plus bigger things like those Little Tykes plastic playhouse and kitchen set, a ping pong table, kids’ train table, bikes, strollers, etc.
I’d love to have pictures to post, but didn’t have time to take any! Despite our “9-2, no early birds please” on the signs and ads, people were knocking on my door at 7:45! We were steady from then until about 1 when things finally slowed down (and I ate the bagel that had been in my apron pocket all morning … did I mention that I get cranky when I’m hungry?!?)
Here are highlights and some tips from our sale:
- How we prepared and what worked well:
- We advertised in our local weekly paper, Craigslist, email to friends, and signs around town.
- We had a table of breast cancer awareness items (bracelets, rubber ducks, and corded pens from Oriental Trading) that we offered for $1 each. People were generous in putting their change in the decorated coffee can on the table.
- We priced items fairly, but priced to sell … we weren’t bargaining. When people asked “will you take $2?” for a $3 item, we firmly but politely told them we thought the items were priced fairly and that it was a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer 3-Day (not money simply to line our pockets). In all but a handful of cases the potential bargainer bought the item at the asking price.
- Things we’d change if running a 3-Day yard sale again:
- We feel we could have saved the $30 it cost to place the local ad, most of our traffic was from the other sources.
- A bake sale would have been a nice addition to our trinket table, and would have helped the kids be more involved.
- Even though all the signs and ads indicated it was a fundraiser, it didn’t stick in the minds of people who spend Saturday mornings going from sale to sale. Yard signs, t-shirts, and signs on all the tables would have helped spread the message.
The bottom line: The yard sale was a lot of work, but a success. We netted $640 to split between the two of us. That, plus a $100 check I mailed in this week puts me only 189 cups of coffee away from my fundraising minimum. I think I can, I Think I Can, I KNOW I CAN!
Who else has some fun and creative fundraising ideas to share? I’m willing to step outside my comfort zone for The 3-Day Walk!