How to Win at Your Holiday Market Fundraiser with Maddie Morden


Maddie Morden is a good, good friend and co-owner of Personify Shop, a lovely boutique in Lakemont, GA. She and I first met to swap ideas on marketing and merchandising over coffee. She's been dazzling me with knowledge ever since! I wanted Maddie to share her ideas on hosting a nonprofit holiday market fundraiser. Girl does not disappoint! Enjoy! 

So you’re a non-profit and you’re thinking about hosting a holiday market for buyers who are looking for Christmas presents.

This can be such a great opportunity - you make some money for your cause, makers get an opportunity to sell their goods, AND buyers get ahead on their shopping for the season!

Unfortunately, it can also be not that successful - people are very busy during this time of year. There are many things vying for their attention. Your holiday market might not be number one on their priority list.

I’m here to help you make the most of your holiday party - and suggest a couple of different options.

Holiday Market Option One!

Host your own market and invite local makers to participate. This can be really really fun! - (but can also sometimes turn into a lot of work).

Host it anywhere - at your house, your office, your church, your driveway, your neighbor's house, etc.

Have it on two different weeknights - people’s weekends typically fill up quickly during this time so there is be a better chance they can come on a weeknight, especially if you have it on two different nights.

Invite friends and local artists who are creative and make stuff to come set up and sell their stuff.

Decide on the percentage that will be going to your non-profit and what will be going to the makers. I would suggest a 70-30 split with 70% going back to the makers.

Merchandising (aka the display) is VERY important. People won’t buy stuff if it’s just thrown around willy nilly. Ask the makers to bring their own displays but be prepared to supplement. Build up height, have signage, hang stuff, etc.

Have food and drinks, music, decorate, do a giveaway - make it a party!

Holiday Market Option Two!

Partner with a local shop for an event where part of their proceeds go to your non-profit. I would suggest that this is the better option all the way around. You’ll have someone who is a pro at merchandising and already has the inventory, the space, and a customer base that wants to shop there for the holidays.

Here are some things to consider if you decide to go this route:

Find someone who is passionate about what you do… we’ve had events at Personify Shop where we’ve donated a percentage of our sales to an adoption non-profit because our family is very passionate about that cause.

Just like if you hosted your own market...Have the event multiple times. Give people a couple of different options for times to come and shop to contribute to your cause.

A shop’s profit margin is a lot less than the makers.’ Your split will probably end up being 80-20 or maybe even 90-10, but my guess is your total sales will be a lot more than if you hosted it yourself. Plus there will be so many things you won’t have to worry about - like sales tax - because the shop will take care of it.

Another reason I think this type of partnership works better is because you give people more options of things to buy and they don’t feel obligated to buy something they don’t necessarily want.

Best of luck to you this holiday season! And don’t forget to get the word out about your holiday market!

Be sure to catch up with Maddie on her Instagram @shoppersonify! Let us know if you have ideas or questions in the comments! 

Photo credits: Photo 1 - Texture Photo , Photos 2, 3 and 4 -  Holly Von Lanken