FUNDRAISING – Boosting support

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Visitors Visitors are crucial to a

summer fair – they are, after all, the ones who are spending their money! To attract lots of visitors, you need a strong marketing campaign. The key is to tell people three times in three different ways. Here are a number of advertising ideas and an approximation of when you should implement them. Be sure to pick methods that ensure a slow burn and wide reach over several weeks. ASAP:Once you know the date of your fair, send a ‘save the date’ reminder out to parents through your usual channels. Six weeks before: Start promoting your event. Begin the campaign with social media as it’s a fantastic way to reach lots of people easily, with no printing cost. Continue to promote regularly in the run-up to your fair through digital posters (see p19). Think of different messages you can use to start building excitement, whether that’s highlighting main attractions or letting people know what auction prizes they can win. While social media speaks to  whip up excitement among pupils. One month before: Place posters in the local library, doctors’ surgeries, leisure centres and other public places. See if you can get posters in the windows of local shops or on the noticeboards of businesses. This is where having a main attraction such as zorbing or a circus can really help draw in a wider audience. Two weeks before: 

resources, including speeches and hand- outs to encourage volunteers, visit a-pta/boosting- support.

through social media, and ask your Head to make announcements in assembly, reminding everyone about key stalls

and attractions.

Sponsors Seeking sponsorship is a great way

to start building relationships with local businesses. Not only can  but their support also opens up your fundraiser to the wider community, by encouraging company staff to promote or attend your event. Programmes: ‘We send out emails or letters about our summer fair programme to as many local companies as we can, and a lot of school parents with businesses are happy to pay for an advert. We have around 30 to 40 advertisers paying for quarter, half and full pages. One of our parents designs the

programmes and we pay £500 to get 1,800 copies printed. The 30 pages include the winner of our student artwork competition on the cover, as well as advertising, lists of stalls,  entertainment schedule, and information on the PTA and what we’ve funded. We deliver the programme to the local area after May half-term. It’s a lot of work, 

 

to local residents. Offer them free entry (or a free cuppa) and, if relevant, give them contact details  One week before: Display banners locally (seek permission from your local authority at least a month beforehand). Banners can be a great investment, but choose generic wording, such as ‘summer fair this Saturday’ so they can be used every year – most councils only let you put your sign up for one week anyway. A few days before: 

42 SUMMER 2018

Ruth Presswood, PTA member, Saltford School, Saltford, Bristol (350 pupils) Sponsored stalls: ‘One volunteer is dedicated to arranging sponsorship. The packages we offered last year were £200 for a 2m x 1m banner plus an A5 advert in the programme, or £100 for a 1m x 1m sign plus an A6 advert. We paired sponsors with stalls, i.e. a beauty salon with the face painting, and a pub with the bar. In addition, one business purchased all the meat for the barbecue, so we made them a banner, too.’ Sarah Everson, Secretary, Friends of Halsford Park Primary, East Grinstead, West Sussex (415 pupils)

Estate agent boards: ‘A local estate agent provides boards advertising our summer fair. We aren’t paid per board, but come to an agreement that works for both parties. Last year, they paid for two new banners promoting the fair, and £400 in sponsorship. In return, 20 of our families had boards outside their homes, and the PTA included the estate agent’s logo in advertising. Our estate agent is an independent  which, along with our approach, contributes to the rapport we have.’ Hayley Lake, committee member, Friends of Whiteley Primary, Fareham, Hampshire (630 pupils) Raffl e/auction prizes: Ask local companies for donations outlining what they will receive in return (programme, social media). Having a silent auction opens up your options for companies to approach. So while you’d never use a will- writing session worth £300 as a  £250 for this, and I bet that solicitor isn’t inundated with requests! Match funding:Many companies will pledge a sum of money related to the amount an employee has raised. Some will match fund on a £ for £ basis, others will specify a maximum that they’re prepared to give. Ask parents whether their employers offer match funding, explaining that it’s an easy way to get free money. Match funding applies to the money an individual raises, so place eligible volunteers on the most lucrative stalls!

Say ‘thank you!’

After the event, be sure to thank all of your volunteers and write to businesses and sponsors who supported you. Let them know how much was raised and what you plan on using the money for. The more they feel appreciated, the more likely they are to come back, meaning all the effort you put in this time around could really pay off next year. For a charming, personal touch, how about getting the children to make thank-you cards?

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