Candlemas Bells get the tills ringing
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Sarah Tomkins from St John’s Church at Hoveton. For 40 years she has played a big part in the snowdrop walk at Hoveton House.
What I liked about this community event is the fact that they have the use of this amazing facility: Hoveton House gardens. This started me thinking, and I wondered if other churches have a similar facility available in the local area? Could you utilise a garden or visitor attraction that would create funds for your church?
During our conversation, I asked Sarah how she went about organising the event. Because the garden and snowdrops etc are provided she says that there is less for her to organise. Over the years she has built up a good relationship with local magazines who allow her to advertise her event for free and she says the secret is to advertise it widely. Although Sarah has not used social media in the past it is definitely the way forward. It is a great way to get your message out to a lot of people for free. If you don’t use it, I am sure that you know someone who is who would promote your event for you.
On the day, Sarah has a band of volunteers, but as with every church it is always the same people who volunteer and who help her provide the refreshments. They have adopted a policy of including refreshments in the ticket price and have developed a straightforward way of providing people with tickets to get their refreshments. The good thing about this is it can increase your spend per head, although Sarah said that they do have people who only want to come for the walk and they let them in at a reduced price.
When organising an event, it can be beneficial to join forces with another charitable organisation; this can sometimes spread the workload and can bring a different group of people to your event. Hoveton have joined forces with the Autism Society.
Gardens tend to be popular venues for community fundraising events, but you may consider events such as farm visits, nursery visits, flower club events, museum visits or even a cinema visit.
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