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FUNDRAISING – Christmas fair


Raffle: Start securing prizes early (before other local schools start asking!), using a mix of in-person requests, letters to companies and by asking parents to appeal to their network of contacts. If running non-uniform days in exchange for donations, schedule the timings of this and let parents know. Sponsors: While sending out requests for raffle prizes, you may also want to ask companies to sponsor your event (or individual stalls). In return, offer them an advertising sign on stalls and/or an advert in your programme, outlining the number of people expected to attend and, if possible, how profits from the event will be spent to benefit pupils. Charge around £25 for companies to appear in the fair programme and provide an A4 advert, which can be laminated and displayed on the stall. Don’t forget to explore match funding opportunities. There are hundreds of organisations in the UK who will match their employees’ fundraising efforts. If any of your volunteers work for companies offering match funding, be sure to put them on your most lucrative stalls! Products: If planning to sell any personalised items at your event, such as calendars, recipe books or Christmas puddings, you will need to source a supplier now and get the process started. Create a schedule for your project working back from the date of the fair, allowing time to run a design competition with pupils, send letters home inviting parents to pre-order items and collate orders. For a list of suppliers, visit pta.co.uk/suppliers Entertainment: Providing some form of entertainment will draw people in and encourage them to stay longer. Carol singers will add to the festive spirit, and getting the children to perform will highlight the talent at the school as well as giving you free entertainment! Can you ask any local dance/martial arts groups to perform? After all, it is free advertising for them. Do you want any headline


attractions, such as a rodeo reindeer, an ice rink or a pantomime? Book any third-party suppliers early and get people to pre-pay for these events.


Map it out


A Christmas fair is typically held indoors. Depending on the size and shape of your school, this means some sections can be missed, stalls neglected, and attendees can even get lost! Here’s how to ensure


everything is covered: l Print a programme that contains a map


so that everyone knows what’s where l Make signposts to direct people to the key stalls and facilities, including


refreshments and toilets l Run a treasure hunt to encourage people to visit every stall. Hand out sheets for games such as ‘hunt the Brussels sprout’ or ‘find the snowman’ on


each stall! Completed sheets win a prize l If you’re using tucked-away spaces such as classrooms, see if you can play Christmas music to let passers-by know


there’s something happening inside l Don’t have all of your most popular stalls in one place – spread them out so that people have to explore the whole


fair to find their favourites l Consider using a PA system manned by a volunteer who can walk around with a microphone and highlight different areas of the event. If a game is being forgotten or a stall has just reduced its prices, they can draw everyone’s attention to it quickly and easily.


‘We have an agreement with a


dress-up company where they bring along actors dressed as Olaf and Elsa from Frozen. They normally charge £150, but we came to an agreement where we give them breaks and refreshments and invite them to hand out leaflets, so they come for free or charge a nominal fee.’ Deborah May, Chair, Warberry CofE Academy, Torquay, Devon (420 pupils) Pupils: Discuss with the school any ideas you have for tasks the teachers could do in class with their pupils, such as making wrapping paper or tree decorations. Ask the school to appoint one teacher with whom you can liaise. Consider setting up a pupil enterprise fundraiser where children ‘grow a pound’ by planning and running their own stall. Licensing: If serving alcohol you will need a Temporary Event Notice


(TEN). Apply at least ten working days before your event. You will also need a lottery licence if you’re going to be selling raffle tickets prior to the event. If you already have a licence, check the expiry date. Advertising: Aim to start publicising the event about six weeks before, with posters in libraries, doctor’s surgeries, leisure centres and local playgroups. Plan a leaflet drop to local residents inviting them to attend the event. Get professionally designed, editable posters and flyers from PTA Print Shop (ptaprintshop. co.uk). Using street banners to promote your Christmas fair? Seek permission from the local authority. Health and safety: Carry out a simple risk assessment, appoint some qualified first aiders and prepare a kit, or invite St John’s Ambulance or a similar organisation to attend. Have all volunteers wear badges, lanyards or T-shirts so visitors know who to speak to if a problem occurs. Equipment: Prepare a box of useful items such as marker pens, tape, scissors, string, drawing pins, paper and bin bags. Appoint two volunteers to be responsible for giving out the floats, collecting and storing money throughout the event and counting cash afterwards. Debrief: After the event take the time to thank everyone who helped, informing them of the amount raised once known. Hold a post-fair debrief to establish what went well, and what didn’t. Ask volunteers for feedback on individual stalls.


Even more online!


Visit pta.co.uk for: l Christmas fair testimonials


from fellow PTAs l Downloadable Christmas fair


checklist l Downloadable ‘knowledge


capsule’ for post-fair debrief l Face painting tips l Fair theme inspiration l First aid FAQs l Fundraising success stories l How to produce a programme l Printed product fundraiser


inspiration l Sponsorship advice l Volunteer rota template


pta.co.uk AUTUMN 2018 43


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