Updated: May 13, 2020
Being a non profit art center means we have to get creative for sources of revenue. One of our favorite ways to do this is having a fundraiser. Traditionally, fundraisers at the Charles City Arts Center (CCAC) are themed parties of some sort with music, food, wine and beer and a silent auction.
One of our most loved fundraisers is a little different. This is the Annual Empty Bowls Soup Dinner. Generous local and regional potters donate bowls and our volunteers make yummy soup. We sell the bowls at below market value and attendees get a free bowl of soup in their new bowl. We usually sell out of bowls or run out of soup, or both. It's that popular in our community. The best part is that we split the proceeds with a local food bank, Messiah's Food Pantry who serves the food underprivileged in Floyd and surrounding counties.
Well... this year all our plans for fundraisers were spoiled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The CCAC closed its doors on March 17 and will stay closed until we feel it is safe to allow the public in once again. I miss seeing people!
We already had all the donated bowls, over 100 of them. And we thought it would be worth a try to sell them online. This meant no packed room of people enjoying soup and conversation together, but it also meant that we might still be able to raise much needed funds for the CCAC as well as the Food Pantry.
I spent the next two weeks taking pictures, measuring bowls and uploading them to our online shop, also a recent endeavor. You can see the remains of the sale here: https://charlescityartscenter.square.site/shop/4. There are still a few bowls available, the price is only $15 per bowl, a bargain.
It was relatively easy to do and it was an amazing success! Most of the bowls sold out in the first 3 hours of the sale, and continued to sell for the next two days. I even heard reports that people were unable to complete the purchase due to the shopping cart freezing up (I'm guessing bowls were in multiple carts and being purchased at almost the same time?).
We raised over $1600, which is an amazing amount for us. I was so pleased and proud of our community. Nobody even said a word about the lack of soup this year. Our bookkeeper wrote a check for $820 for the Messiah's Food Pantry and I'm excited to give it to them. The other $820 will go into the CCAC's operating funds. It's amazing what one person and $15 can do. I want to thank everyone who purchased bowls. Your support warms me as much as a bowl of soup on a chilly evening.
Hmmmm... I wonder what else I can sell online? Stay tuned! https://charlescityartscenter.square.site