Mum’s Shopping Night Fundraiser

Shopping Night Fundraiser

We all know Mums would love to have a night off and relax and go shopping, so why not use it as a way to fundraise for your community group. There are a number of ways to do a Shopping Night Fundraiser – there are some professional organisations that you can pay a fee to and they will bring an array of products to demonstrate with and sell, but if you go the extra mile you can make sure the night is a really profitable event for your community group too. You can keep it simple and low key or fancy and fabulous, just be mindful of what mum’s want to get out of the night – relaxation and fun are top priorities for them, as is raising money for the group for you.

If you’re going to bring in professionals to host the shopping night, make sure you tell people so they can prepare themselves for the demonstrations and sales pitch (and won’t feel bombarded), as they will want to sell their products when they have a captive audience at the start of the event. Whether the professional host will raise money for your community group and how much is something that you need to discuss with them as each organization is different. Definitely consider charging an entry fee to attend the party and confirm numbers in advance as this will give you an idea of what you should expect in profits. 

Sometimes the best way is the DIY way, as you can be in control of everything including funds – more work but more satisfying at the end of the day. Some tips to make it more profitable:

  • See if someone is willing to host the night at their home (for a smaller event) – significantly cheaper than hiring a venue and it will give it a more intimate feel appealing to Mums.
  • Try and use a venue you may already have access to eg kindergarten, school hall, sporting club. This is particularly good for allowing more people to come along.
  • Charge an entrance fee at the door, highlight that it will go directly to the fundraising initiative.
  • Do raffles for pre-booking fundraising tickets – helps with numbers for the suppliers.
  • Do a lucky gift bags for the first arrivals to try and get momentum early
  • Leave a donation tin at the door for any leftover shopping cash (the 5 cent tubes work really well).
  • Don’t let the host do all the work, keep costs down and make it BYO plate of food and alcohol, everyone loves a champagne while shopping! Don’t forget glassware though.
  • Ask a local business if they can provide cheese plates. Lots of local delis are able to do this and are quite willing for local fundraisers. Charging $10 a plate goes a long way to a substantial profit.
  • Ask local businesses to bring new collections of what they have in store for Mums to preview and purchase. Make sure you ask the local business to donate a percentage of their profits made on the night.
  • Ask all Mums you know to do a wardrobe cull prior to the event and donate anything they don’t want to sell on the night and have a second-hand section for sale.
  • Try to plan the event before Christmas shopping starts – that way people will part with their dollars and get all their Christmas shopping done with a glass of wine in hand.
  • Think about your target audience and do a quiet survey about what products people would like to see on the night

Importantly, ask everyone you know and tell them to bring friends, don’t limit yourself to your own friendship circles – advertise! If the night is a success you may recruit someone completely new to host another event or become involved in the fundraising initiative. It’s also a great networking and social event to bring Mums together!

If you are interested in more information on these nights, consider a Twilight Market – these are also fabulous…


Mandy Weidmann is Australia’s ‘Fundraising Whisperer’ – publisher of the Fundraising Directory and author of the Practical Fundraising Handbook for School and Club Volunteers. Mandy believes that parent volunteers shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time and is passionate about providing resources to make fundraising easier (and more fun). Click here to learn more about school and club fundraising ideas in Australia.

Originally published 14 July, 2014

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