Holding a bazaar can be an excellent way to interact with your community and raise money for a cause or organization. No matter how many or few stalls you have available, your bazaar fundraiser can be a success with careful planning and lots of creativity.
Food and Drink
Buy marshmallows, assorted fruits and a chocolate fountain. Use craft-store wooden sticks to make a variety of kebabs and sell them. Charge an extra dollar to dip them in the chocolate. Set up a cake stall and sell slices of different kinds of cake. Arrange a couple dozen jars of different kinds of candy. Charge $5 to fill a cup with as much candy as desired. In winter, put up a stall for hot drinks, such as cocoa, hot tea and coffee. In summer, sell punch, lemonade and sweet tea.
Raffles and Quick Contests
Canvas your community businesses and solicit donated merchandise to use as prizes. Sell raffle tickets at the entrance, and have volunteers walking around to sell more. Give away a door prize every 15 minutes so that people stay interested. Give away a "big" prize, such as a flat-screen TV, at the end of the day. You could also hold a five-minute contest every half hour. Play a short song clip and challenge attendees to identify it, or ask a sports trivia question. Turn this into a fund-raiser by requiring attendees to purchase a special ticket to be eligible to enter.
Set up classic games at your bazaar, such as a milk bottle ring toss or balloon darts, and charge participants a dollar per try. Put up a small stage and hold your own version of trivia game shows such as "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" or "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" Charge each entrant five dollars. You could also rent professional card tables and have a poker game. Or, fill a bucket with water and place a quarter at the bottom. Give a prize to whoever successfully lands a dime on top of it.
Other Fund-raising Ideas
Set up a hoop and hold a basketball shoot-out. Charge each entrant a dollar. Solicit donated merchandise from local vendors and hold a silent auction. Create a team treasure hunt with clues all over the grounds of your bazaar. Charge each team an entry fee. Stick large lollipops, some with painted bottoms to indicate they're winners, into a bucket of sand. Charge a dollar for a pull. If a winner is pulled, give away a small prize.
Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.