A lot of money can be made from fresh produce, especially as people become more concerned about where their food comes from and how much it costs. Farmer’s markets are a great way of fundraising for your chosen charity.
A farmer’s market is a gathering of people who set up stalls specifically to sell homegrown plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables; homemade pies, cakes, breads, preserves; and even items for around the home and garden, such as planters and furniture.
How to Set Up a Farmer’s Market Fundraiser
You can set up a farmer’s market by either setting up your own stall(s) in an existing venue or by gathering enough of your friends, family and colleagues to create your own market.
If you’re going to set up a stall in an existing venue, you will need to contact the organizer first. Stalls usually have to be booked in advance and can cost a small amount for the lease of the plot, but if you mention that all profits are going to charity then you may be able to get the plot free of charge. You can usually find out about existing farmer’s markets through local newspaper ads, flyers, street signs and on the Internet.
If you are going to put on a full market of your own then you will need a suitable venue. Anywhere with a good amount of space and parking will be suitable. If it is nice weather you could even hold the market on farm land. (You would, however, have to get permission from the land owner!) Otherwise look into holding it in a town hall, a church hall or even in a yard sale-type of setting in your street.
Things You Need for a Farmer’s Market
- Tables: These don’t have to be anything fancy; they can be dining tables from your house, tables in the garage, tables borrowed from friends and neighbours, or even decorating tables… as long as it is big enough and sturdy enough to hold your produce
- Fresh produce: Fruits, vegetables, cakes, bread, pies, flowers, plants and homemade items such as furniture, candles, etc.
- Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to serve customers. You will also need volunteers to help prepare the produce, pack it all up and set up the stalls.
Farmer’s Market Tips
- Advertising: Make sure everyone knows that A) there is going to be a farmer’s market and B) that you are fundraising, and all profits will be going to your chosen charity. Send out flyers, place posters around your town and get the local newspaper to place an advertisement.
- Pricing: Make sure that your prices are fair but reflect the costs of setting up the event. It is unusual to ask an entry fee; however, you could have someone at the entrance of the market asking for donations for your chosen charity.
- Produce: You don’t have to farm the fruits and vegetables or make the cakes and pies yourself. No one can do everything. You can, however, ask your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to help out by making and donating items. Also, go around local farms asking for donations and explaining the charity you are fundraising for — they may want to donate produce for your market.