Soup and puddings
In your home or, if you want a larger event, village hall or similar.
I circulate invites 3 to 4 weeks in advance and also put notice in our local church magazine free of charge.
Brief Description of Event
Serve a selection of homemade soups (I do three different ones), served with bread and a choice of puddings for afters. I also hold raffle, tombola, book sale, bring and buy and something else (quiz etc). We ask for donations for the food but you could make a fixed charge. Always a difficult one, I think it’s swings and roundabouts, some people will pay more than the fixed price would have been, some pay less.
We call our event “Winter Warmer” and hold it just before Christmas. We start serving soup from 12pm onwards followed by puddings. People then stay as long as they like and take part in the various games etc.
Gather as many prizes as you can (around 80 is good), ask friends and family for donations – if you have to buy any to top them up, make them cheap! I sell 5 tickets for £1 (Use cloakroom tickets), put numbers ending 0 and 5 on prizes, fold up counterfoil tickets, put them in box for guests to draw. This means people have one in five chance of winning a prize. You need someone to man the stall.
We have 12-14 prizes – again, ask for donations. Charge £1 per ticket.
Try to get books that are in good condition. Latest books sell the best. I charge 50p for paperbacks and £1 for hardbacks. You could charge more for larger books.
Bring and Buy
Ask friends and family for stuff they no longer need and keep the prices down fairly low or ask people to pay what they think. I leave a container for people to put money in and don’t bother to have it manned.
I have in the past, had a “Guess the Weight of Max” (my cat) competition! Last year I held a Christmas Cupcake competition. The cupcakes were sold after the competition. I also had a quiz one year – just one sheet of questions that people could sit and do – it makes them stay longer and hopefully spend a bit more money!
Try to make the day an enjoyable one which people will want to return to and make sure they get value for money.