December is that time of year when it seems like everyone is running as fast as they can, but the list of “things to do” never ends. A holiday shop at your school or church may be the answer to shorten that endless list.

Here is what I have seen as a result of running a holiday shop from various perspectives: Students love it!

For many students it may be the first time they experience the thrill of picking out their own gifts for family and friends. The excitement leading up to the day of the shop is contagious. I truly believe there is nothing that can replace the joy in a child’s eye as he or she selects gifts for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and even pets!

Parents love it! As parents try to complete their own holiday chores what a relief it is for them to know that their child is shopping in a safe, non-commercial setting. A holiday shop is truly a great help during such a hectic time.

I believe most parents would agree that this fundraising event is irreplaceable!

Teachers love it! Many faculty members have used the holiday shop to teach their students about budgeting and spending wisely, but at the same time emphasizing the joy of giving. Our economy has experienced so much turbulence and teaching students the value of money is certainly a necessity.

Fundraising companies may offer the holiday shop to parent groups as either a service to the students or as a fundraiser. In either case, many shop providers offer the gifts on a consignment basis.

However, there are several important questions to have answered before you sign that contract.

1. Who is responsible for the shipping costs?

2. What is the price range of the gifts?

3. Are the items price coded to provide a fast checkout?

4. What is the profitability as a service vs. fundraiser?

5. What additional supplies are provided for free? (gift bags, parent letter, budget envelopes)

Something to consider when exploring school fundraising ideas!

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Posted on 18 January 2012

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