Frequently Asked Questions for Participating Groups

Below are answers to some common questions interested groups may have about the Gift Fair. Please note that some refer to important policies of which participating groups should be aware. Also, please contact us if you have any additional questions. All of the information on this page is subject to change.

Selection Process

When is the application deadline?
Applications may be submitted when completed; however, to assure consideration, the deadline for receiving applications is 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020.

What are the selection criteria?
Participating organizations must be a 501(c)3 as designated by the Internal Revenue Service. We would like a diversity of organizations that provide a wide variety of gift-giving options for our “shoppers.” We also hope to provide gifting opportunities that will have a positive impact on our community and the participating organizations. The missions of selected organizations should be consistent with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church

When will we know if we were selected?
We plan to select the groups by Tuesday, September 29 or soon thereafter. Groups will be notified of the Committee’s decision as soon as it is made. 

Are there alternatives for nonprofits to participate this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Gift Hope 2020 will be held both virtually from November 21 – December 13 and at Montgomery’s First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on December 5, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The December 5, in-person event, will be socially distanced for nonprofit representatives, shoppers and volunteer workers (also see next question). In addition to (1) the traditional Gift Hope exhibits with representatives; a few nonprofits may be given the opportunity to have (2) a table at the December 5 event without a representative present. All participating nonprofits will be a part of (3) the online process including a video with an “elevator speech” description of the nonprofit and a link to additional online information about the nonprofit. The Application provides all nonprofits the opportunity to state a preference between (1) and (2).

What steps are being taken to follow COVID-19 safety requirements at the December 5th event?
Masks for all participants will be required. Exhibit tables for nonprofits will be spaced at a minimum of six feet.  The number of persons allowed for each nonprofit will be limited.  Nonprofit exhibit tables with no in-person representatives will also be included among the exhibits.  Entering and exiting of shoppers will be spaced and controlled for safety.  No refreshments will be available during the event.

Event Logistics

What space will we have?
Each group will have its own six-foot table to set up its display.

When may we set up?
The site will be available for set up on Friday, December 4, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.  Groups may also arrive for setup at 8:15 a.m. on the morning of December 5th.  Sign up for the two times will be required. The South Parking Lot is closest to the Fellowship Hall so you may want to try to park there.   If you will need help carting materials/equipment into the building on Friday or Saturday morning, please let us know, and we will have help available.

Will we have access to an electrical outlet?
We cannot guarantee access to electricity based on the number of groups and the layout of our room. However, we will do our best.  Be sure to let us know that you desire electricity.

Will we have access to the internet?
There is no guarantee of wireless internet onsite, although access is likely.

May we sell items at our booth?
No. The aim of this event is to give folks an alternative to the materialism that sometimes takes over our modern-day holidays. We believe selling items is inconsistent with that purpose.

What items may we give to shoppers?
Anything given out at nonprofit tables, must safely conform to the latest COVID-19 information.  Groups may distribute brochures or other informational materials about the organization. Distribution of any other items must be approved by the Gift Hope organizers. No food items will be allowed this year.

What should we bring to the Gift Hope Fair?
We recommend bringing some sort of poster or other sign that will enable shoppers to identify you from a distance. We also recommend bringing pictures of your group’s work, as well as tangible items that are representative of your work. Consider bringing examples of what the shoppers’ contributions will fund (e.g., a 2×4 or a children’s book).  Gift Hope presents a significant opportunity to connect with people who may be unfamiliar with your work so we recommend developing a display or booth that is inviting, educational, and interactive.

Financial Details

Will we receive any money on the date of the Gift Fair?
No. Gift Hope organizers will collect money at a central checkout location. No money should change hands at an organization’s booth. We want the focus of the booths to be on fostering conversations between groups and shoppers about the group’s work!

When will we receive our proceeds from the Gift Fair?
We do not yet know a precise date but we will aim to have a check to you before the end of the year.  We will let you know if it will be in January before we get the checks cut.

Will we receive contact information of those people who donate to us through Gift Hope MGM?
Yes, unless a donor requests for us not to provide that information to you. We encourage each group to acknowledge and thank each donor for the contribution; however, you should not include a tax deduction statement in your correspondence as the donation was made to FUMC on your organization’s behalf.  You can feel free to put these donors on your mailing or e-mail lists.

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