We have just launched a brand new fund-raising programme ChurchGiftShops.com
As some of you may know we began to use some of our images to create items for sale on CafePress. Late last year we were successful in helping Christ Episcopal Church in Riverton with their fund-raising by creating sets of ornaments incorporating some images of their stained glass. This coincided with the 150th anniversary of the church.
Impressed by the quality of the ornaments and calendars we decided to develop a programme which we could offer to a large number of churches and this is what we are now launching.
It really is very simple. What we are doing is setting up CafePress shops and accounts for churches which wish to participate. The churches will own the accounts and will be able to control all decisions regarding the items offered for sale, the pricing and the artwork which is used. Any profits generated from sales will be remitted directly to the churches and in addition it will be possible for churches to buy from the shops, in some cases at significant discounts, for their own local sales.
We plan to charge no fees for creating the shops, the way that they are set up enables us to take advantage of CafePress basic accounts which incurr no ongoing fees and there are no purchase commitments which need to be made. It really could not be simpler - it is free to set up, free to run and we have yet to find a downside. If people buy items from these shops then the churches will make money, if no-one buys anything then the only cost is the time we invest in setting up the shops.
The art which can be used to create items can come in many guises. It could be images from our portfolio, it could be pictures or even just scripture provided by the chuerches or perhaps some combination.
The range of items which can be produced is already extensive and is also constantly being added to. The ones which we believe are likely to be most successful and popular choices include ornaments, cards, posters, calendars, tote bags, tiles and tile-boxes but some items of apparel, mugs and bumper stickers may also appeal.
There are 3 distinct possibilities for fund-raising:
1) Online sales to members of participating churches and their friends and families.
2) Online sales to people totally unconnected with the churches who find the shop either via CafePress or our website.
3) Resale of products purchased by the church at church events.
Geography is not necessarily a problem either. Although it is likely that shipping logistics will dictate that it will be primarily of interest to churches in the US it is certainly not out of the question for others in Europe and elsewhere to participate. Even if it is impractical for churches outside the US to purchase their own items it is quite conceivable that they could benefit materially from sales of products incorporating their art which might prove to be highly desirable in the US and elsewhere.
If this is of interest then act quickly because we expect there to be a lot of interest and our resources are limited.