Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Turn Your Hobby into Cash for Charities

Are you fortunate enough to have a hobby that you enjoy? A hobby is a comforting, relaxing or exciting way of passing your time, and there is such a wide range of hobbies to choose from that everyone can have one if they are prepared to dedicate some time to developing it.

You might consider a voluntary position you hold to be more of a hobby than a responsibility – for instance, any Cub Scout leader will tell you that you have to treat that position as a hobby to keep motivated to donate such a considerable amount of free time. Perhaps you play football, hockey or netball with a local team on a regular basis – as well as providing you with exercise and social opportunities, these activities can also be considered 'hobbies'.

Or you might have a more conventionally-recognised hobby such as knitting, baking, reading, painting or craft making. Perhaps you like nothing more than to sit down to a table to get started on some card crafts.

Hobbies are a great way to relax and can be a good way to meet other, like-minded people. They can also be put to good use by raising money for charity. A hobby might be satisfying in its own right but to use it to fundraise for a good cause will make it doubly so.

Take knitting, for instance. You could knit (or crochet) little toys like owls, dogs or cats and sell them for a few pounds each (animal figures would be ideal if you were raising money for an animal charity like the RSPCA). Choose a simple pattern that you can follow easily, that doesn't take too long to complete. Amigurumi figures are perfect and patterns are available to download for free from a wide range of websites. You could choose figures that would appeal to buyers at certain times of the year, such as reindeer at Christmas, rabbits or chicks at Easter, flowers in summer or pumpkins and black cats at Halloween.

You could advertise them for sale at your work, your child's school or via your preferred social network media, or you could sell them at a local event such as a summer fair.

If knitting isn't your thing, you could sell:

* Paintings

* Models made from air-drying clay (perhaps little figures as described above)

* Hand-made greetings cards – offer to make bespoke designs or have a stock of various styles for different occasions for people to choose from

* Jewellery

* Personalised gifts like bookmarks and keyrings

If your hobby is sport-related, could you organise a local tournament with teams paying to play?

These cakes my hubbie made for a school fundraiser, I can tell you they went down very well!

If you are able to put your hobby to good use then set a reasonable price: take into account the amount of money spent on the raw materials and any other costs (such as stall fees at a fair or the cost of using a sports hall) and then add an amount that you think is reasonable for people to pay to donate to your chosen charity. Good luck!

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