A church sale is an event in which donated secondhand goods are sold with the profits going to charity. The charity may be geared toward helping others locally or internationally. Typically, used household items and clothing still in good condition are donated by the church congregation as well as the local public. A church sale is usually advertised in local newspapers as a public fundraising event for the community to attend and support.
Church sales may be held in the church's basement or outdoors. These events are very similar to garage or yard sales that people in many neighborhoods have, except rather than keeping the funds for personal use, the church uses them to support its charity efforts. Unlike yard or garage sales held by individuals in neighborhood houses, a church sale may have a theme rather than feature many categories of secondhand goods for sale. Some popular themes for church sales include baking, books, Christmas, clothing and crafts.
Rummage sale is another name for this type of event. Typically, volunteers in the church plan and oversee the sale. They usually start by posting signs in the church lobby asking the congregation for donations of good secondhand household items. Church sale volunteers may also telephone people in the community to ask for donations as well as place ads in local newspapers inviting residents of the area to drop off used household goods. A few weeks before the sale, another ad may be placed in local newspapers, as well as signs posted in the church and other community locations, announcing the date of the event.
For many churches, rummage, yard or garage sales are held to raise funds for mission trips. Since mission trips tend to be to overseas locations, the cost for a group of church members to attend can be high when airfare and other expenses are factored in. Rummage sales held throughout the year can be a good source of continued fundraising. Often, these year round sales are varied to keep community interest, such as a Father's Day brunch and bake sale in June plus a Christmas craft sale in November.
Saturday mornings are a popular time to hold a church sale, but other days and times may also be used. The pricing at church sales varies widely. Some sales have bins or tables in which everything there is the same price, while others use a color coded system such as green stickers for one cost amount and red for another. To increase the fundraising amount, many churches have a picnic lunch or barbecue in which the food items are also for sale.