The major motion picture Calendar Girls, based on a true story, showed us all that inspiration, creativity and a little style is all it takes to create a great charity calendar.

Whether you have aspirations of supporting your own organisation or group by producing a charity or fundraising calendar, or using a calendar to raise money for a national charity, it’s easy to get started.

Creating A Charity Calendar

If you are creating a charity calendar to benefit a registered charity, you will need to notify them of your plans from the beginning. They will need to grant you permission to use their name and logos on your calendar, and you should also include their registered charity number and contact information.

Choosing A Subject For Your Fundraising Calendar

The first step in creating a charity or fundraising calendar is choosing a subject. Ideally, you would create a calendar that is related in some way to your charity. However, you can also choose more general subjects like landscapes, portraits or art, as these would be suitable for a wide variety of causes.

Keep in mind that logistics will play a role in the calendar you create. Take care to choose a subject that you can actually photograph or reproduce within your budget; the more you spend creating your calendar, the less profit you’ll make for your charitable cause.

Obtaining Calendar Photos Or Artwork

Aside from printing costs, the primary cost associated with creating a charity or fundraising calendar will be procuring and arranging the photos or artwork. Although you can do all of the photography yourself, you can also obtain calendar photos and artwork from a variety of sources:

  • Purchase photographs – There are thousands of sites on the Internet where you can purchase royalty-free photos. For a higher fee, you can purchase exclusive rights to a work so it will only appear in your calendar. 
  • Hold a competition – Include all of your supporters by holding a photographic competition where you can even charge a small entrance fee which can help to offset the initial cost of producing the calendars and help to gain interest and potential sales. 
  • Use local connections – Contact local schools and colleges to ask for photo and art submissions. You may even be able to get a student photographer to help you put the calendar together. 
  • Help from a local photographer – Ask local photographers if they’d be willing to donate an afternoon to help your charity. They might have a studio you can use for posed shots too. 

Selling A Charity Calendar

There are many different ways you can market and sell your calendar once it’s completed.

First, ask if you can display the calendar in local shops. Many businesses sell calendars, including book sellers, greeting card stores and stationery shops. You can negotiate to have them buy wholesale stock from you directly, or give them a portion of the sales of each calendar sold.

You should also consider setting up a website where people can order your calendar online, or offer your calendars to other online sellers at a wholesale rate. This will give you great national exposure for your charitable cause. If a little unsure of setting up your own website, how about using an auction website, such as ebay to set up an online shop.

Finishing Your Fundraising Calendar

Creating a calendar is something you can start on your own, getting help along the way from local businesses, friends and family. It can be a very rewarding experience too, both for your fundraising cause and the customers who will be enjoying your creation every day of the year.

Links that may be of some use:

http://www.guidestar.org.uk
http://www.fundraising.co.uk
http://www.charity-fundraising.org.uk
http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk

Links for images:

http://www.istockphoto.com/
http://en.fotolia.com/
http://www.sxc.hu/

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