Crafty Make and Sell Ideas for Churches and Religious Organisations

Get baking and making, for an easy way to turn your talents into funds for your church, or religious organisation.

Britain is in the grip of a craft craze, with TV reality shows from Bake Off to The Great British Sewing Bee making us all want to exercise our creative flair. With a congregation covering all the age groups, you’re bound to have every talent imaginable within your religious organisation. So whether it’s gardening, homemade Christmas gifts, or online graphic design, the current fascination with all things handmade is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss when fundraising for your church.

You’ve also got the perfect place to sell, with weekly meetings and regular services. People come to church with generous spirits, and they know you have to raise money for all the extras a religious organisation needs. Mission trips, community support, and buildings maintenance all cost, and your congregation will be happy to support you in buying a handmade birthday or Easter card after a service.

And don’t forget the big fundraising ideas. A Christmas or summer fair will appeal beyond regular visitors to you church, mosque or synagogue, to include the wider community. So make the most of these events with food and drink sales, music, and raffles. Who knows, you may even end up with some new members!

There’s bound to be something that suits your religious organisation in our ultimate list of things to make and sell for charity. And don’t forget to read our must-do’s at the end of this article to guarantee a successful sale.

Religious crafts to make and sell

  • Simple mobiles, photo frames and decorations are a lovely thing to make with the children in your religious organisation, and can be sold after a service, or at fairs and other events. They could even be left at your information point, with an honesty box for visitors to buy. Have a look at Pinterest for some creative ideas.
  • Prayer boxes: every religion can use prayer boxes, as part of a service, or to use at home.
  • Greetings cards: a simple online graphic design tool such as Canva can be used to make cards for year-round use, or for specific occasions – first communion, Easter, Lent, Diwali, Hannukah, etc.
  • Crafts for Lent: simple makes to support sponsorship for giving up a bad habit, or for doing a good deed every day during Lent.
  • Harvest Festival bake sale.
  • Christmas crafts: the list of things to make at Christmas is possibly endless, with tree decorations, wall and hanging items, wreaths and mistletoe bunches topping the bill. You can stretch the giving opportunities out over the whole of December too, with Nativity crafts providing an enjoyable focus for your Sunday School children.
  • Bookmarks or placemats carrying religious quotes, or cross stitch icons.
  • Hannukah crafts: DIY Menorah or Dreidel decorations.
  • Buddhist zen or chakra stones: decorate large, smooth pebbles with keywords like peace, balance and harmony.

More top things to make and sell

  • Customised or printed clothing – t-shirts, hoodies etc.
  • Jewellery
  • Gift hampers – get local businesses to donate items, or ask everyone to put together a box/hamper of their own choosing
  • Candles, bath bombs and soaps
  • Food – a bake sale may sound simple, but there’s a reason you see so many of them – cake sells, every time! Add other items such as homemade jams and chutney, chocolates and sweets, or bread and pastries
  • Framed art and prints – a children’s art sale is an especially good fundraiser
  • Digital products, eg. music, templates for cards and invitations, etc.
  • Badges
  • Wooden crafted goods (you’ll need to be experienced for this one!)
  • Hand-sewn items – tote bags, cushions, clothes, quilting, lavender bags, bunting etc. You’ll find lots more ideas for things to sew at
  • Knitted or crocheted toys, teddies, clothing and blankets are all beautiful things to make and sell
  • Mugs, calendars, mouse mats and photo snow globes make fabulously affordable gifts for children to give to family members, and they have fun creating them too.

Must-do’s for a successful make and sell fundraiser

  • Budget: cost out your project meticulously. If it’s cushions you’re making, what’s the cost of material, filler, thread and zips? Make sure your selling price will cover that, with enough left over for a good donation.
  • Be time-efficient: create items that will sell, and that aren’t too time-consuming or costly to make. Some of the best ideas are the simplest, and remember – less expensive things may sell more volume – and make more profits - than high value items.
  • Make plenty! You’ll need at least enough to fill a stall, and possibly some back ups to restock when you’ve sold out. You’ll never achieve tall targets with just one cushion, so get all hands on sewing machines to make sure you can satisfy demand.
  • Choose a sales pitch with high traffic: you could set up stall at a local market, in the reception or canteen of your workplace, or the bar of your sports club. You could even ask for a pop-up in a local store, or host your own sale at a church or school event.
  • Tell people! Set up a mailing list of your contacts to publicise the sale, and even take email orders. Telling people why you’re doing this, and what a difference it will make to your cause is a powerful way to get them on board and make them want to buy. Make it easy, and compelling for them to make a purchase, and you’re half way there.
  • Remember, if you buy any supplies you need through easyfundraising, you’ll get free donations to boost whatever you raise through sales.
  • Evaluate: it’s tempting to head straight to the celebration after a great event, but always pause to make a note of what worked well, and what you’d change for next time. Was it the right product? Did the kids’ creations sell better than the adults’? Was the location and timing right? Could you make more sales at a Christmas sale, when people are ready to buy?
  • Make sure you’re complying with any legal requirements. See if you need to register with HMRC for tax purposes here, and check if your product needs to comply with any regulations here.

What next? Share this post with everyone you know who’s involved in your religious fundraising; ask them for their ideas too. Ready, steady, make!

Leave us a comment:

What have you made that paid for itself in fundraising profits? Tell us in the comments, or send us some pictures of your make and sell event so we can share with our online community.

More tips you might like:

The Ultimate Fundraising Ideas for Religious Organisations

Seasonal Fundraisers for Religious Organisations

Fundraising Expert

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