FAQ For Shoppers

Below are answers to some questions folks may have about the Gift Fair. If you have a question that is not answered here, please let us know through our contact page and we will try to provide an answer.

Please also check back from time to time. The information on this page is subject to change as we navigate the planning process.

The Basics

When is the Fair and where will it be held?
The 2017 Gift Fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017. For a fifth year, the Fair will be held in the Drum Theater on the Cloverdale Campus of Huntingdon College (formerly Cloverdale Junior High School), 1125 East Fairview Avenue in Montgomery. Please see our “Time, Date & Location” page, which includes a map of our location.
What nonprofit groups will be participating in this year's Fair?
Each year, approximately 30 nonprofits from around the River Region participate in the Fair. The groups’ missions are diverse and include feeding the hungry; improving housing; assisting homeless and other persons to achieve stability; supporting families and children in need; teaching literacy, leadership, and life skills to adults and youth; protecting the natural world; and caring for those with health or other therapeutic needs. 


What is an 'alternative' gift? If I want to give one to my family, friends, teachers, clients, etc. what will it look like?
An alternative gift is a contribution that funds a specific need in our community, as opposed to some item that the gift recipient may not want or need. To get a better idea of this, click here for a list of alternative gifts offered at this year’s Fair. For every alternative gift you “buy,” you will receive an attractively designed card (with envelope). The card says “A gift has been given in honor of _______ to the organization _______ to provide _____________ / Given by _______.” Gift prices start at $5 and reach $50 or $100 (varying by group).
How will shoppers buy 'gifts' at the Fair?
Each participating group will offer variously priced “gifts” that fund a specific need of the organization and the people it serves. Upon entering the Fair, shoppers will receive an order form listing the available gifts along with the gift prices. Shoppers will then have the opportunity to speak with group representatives to learn more. After visiting with these representatives, shoppers will decide how many of each gift they’d like to purchase and take their completed form to a central checkout station. Volunteers at the checkout station will total the amounts, collect the money that is due, and provide an appropriate number of cards and envelopes. Shoppers then fill out and deliver the gift card on their own. 

What forms of payment will be accepted?
The Fair will accept cash, checks, and commonly accepted credit or debit cards. For an expedited checkout experience, we recommend paying by check.

May we buy alternative gifts online?
Yes! Click here to visit our online shopping site. Orders placed by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5th will be mailed to shoppers on Thursday, December 7th. Orders placed by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12th will be mailed on Thursday, December 14th. Shipping is an additional $3 per order.

Financial Details

What portion of my contribution will go to the nonprofit my gift is intended to support?
100%. The Church & Society Work Area of First United Methodist Church is underwriting the entire administrative costs of the Gift Fair as a community service and as an expression of faith. We have asked participating groups to use the contributions they receive for the advertised purposes, but we cannot guarantee this.
Are my contributions through the Gift Fair tax deductible?
For tax purposes, you should be able to treat the sum total of your Gift Fair “purchase” as a contribution to First United Methodist Church (even though the Church will be forwarding the funds to the appropriate organizations). Please contact an appropriate tax professional for authoritative tax advice.