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With Red Nose Day (aka Comic Relief) coming up soon, we thought we'd give you some useful info on how to raise money using your own creative talent! From ideas to practical tips and tricks, read on to find out how you can do your bit to help raise money for such a worthwhile cause...

Crafting for Charity

 So, what do you need to think about if you want to get crafty for charity?

Projects

First of all, you need to decide what you're going to make to sell! If you're stuck for ideas, sites like Pinterest and Craftgawker are great for ideas, especially as they both have search functions and categories to help you narrow it down.

When choosing your products/projects to make, don't forget to think about the saleability of your items - although you may enjoy making them, you need to make sure that your 'customers' will want to buy them, so have them in mind when you choose your projects. One good way around this is to make a small range of different items, or the same item in different styles.

Price

This is perhaps the most important thing to consider! You'll need to factor in the cost of your materials, your time (if you don't want to donate it for free), and then how much profit you want to make. 

It's important to consider cost right from the start, when buying your materials and choosing your project. If you choose materials that are too expensive, your end product may not sell so well as you will have to price it higher. It really depends on the project you're making and the quality desired for the end product. The balance between quality and price is sometimes a difficult one to negotiate, but use your intuition - what is the most you would pay for a similar item if you saw it in a shop?

To work out your selling price, you need to do a quick equation using the above factors. It's something most regular sellers have to do all the time, to work out the correct price for their goods, and you should be doing it too, to help maximise your profit on each item! Even if you are willing to donate the materials and time out of your own pocket (so generous!), it is good to work this out so that you are getting a fair price for your work - after all, it just means that you'll raise even more money for charity in the end.

You need to add the cost of your materials and the cost of your time (dependant on what you might expect to be paid for your time - quite often this might be something like £5 an hour) to get your base cost. So if I made a bag that cost me £6 in materials and 1 hour to make, my base cost would be £11. From this, you can decide how much you want to add onto the price to create your profit, but also make it a saleable item that your customers can afford. In this case, I might charge £15 and only make £4 profit, because I think that my customers wouldn't want to pay more than about £15 for a bag. Of course, as long as you are covering your costs, it is up to you how much more or less you charge for your items!

Where to Sell

Once you've got your items made, it's time to get selling - but where? There are a number of options open to you. The easiest would probably be distributing the word amongst friends and family and selling from home - utilise the power of social media to get your items shared and bought online without needing a website.

If you're looking for more sales, you could see if there are any Comic Relief based events going on in your area, for example in local schools or community centres. You may have to pay a small fee to be there, so consider factoring that into your profit.

Alternatively, if you're feeling really ambitious, you could go along to a craft fair or event in your local area and have your own table. Bear in mind, however, that these are likely to be more expensive (from £20) and you may need Public Liability Insurance to be there. On the plus side, they tend to have good footfall of customers that enjoy your product, and if you advertise the fact that your proceeds are going to charity, you may find yourself sold out in one day!

If you're really stuck for ideas, or want to know more about crafting for charity, why not grab yourself a copy of The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon magazine, available in Sainsburys now! 

March 03, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

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