FUNDRAISING – Summer fair stalls

Bottles Ask parents for donations of bottles – this could be anything from wine and beer to soft drinks or bubble bath. Make sure you have a range of types and sizes to appeal to all ages, and remember that alcoholic prizes can only be given to players over 18 (if an unaccompanied child wins an alcoholic prize then offer to put it aside for a parent to collect later). Sweet treats Ask for donations of chocolates or sweets. Aim for a range of prizes, from single chocolate bars to boxes of truffl es, and make up sweet cones or bags too. Jazzy jars Get children to fi ll a clean jam jar with sweets, pens, stencils, stickers, or small toys. Adopt an animal Ask for donations of good-quality soft toys or source free ones on Gumtree. Stick them through the washing machine, attach a name tag and put all the names in a tombola drum. Children pull out a name and win the corresponding animal.

Refreshment stalls Food and drink are huge profi t-

makers at summer fairs, so make sure there’s plenty to go round. Alcohol Local breweries often

supply barrels of real ale for PTA fairs – they might even offer a donation or a discount. Otherwise, buy in bulk on sale-or-return from a wholesaler such as Booker. Aim to make a profi t of around £1 a pint. Pimm’s is the perfect summer drink to serve at your fair – charge around £2 a glass. For a cheaper alternative, Aldi’s Austin’s has proved popular with many PTAs. BBQ Serve good quality burgers and sausages to avoid deterring visitors from future events, and offer fried onions for a smell no one can resist. Local catering companies or butchers may supply you with meat at a discount. Consider a vegetarian alternative such as halloumi. Cake stall Cupcakes and traybakes are always popular, and if you can get all your offerings donated, this stall will be pure profi t. Position your hot drinks stand nearby, alongside a seating area where parents can relax. It’s a good idea to have some whole cakes to sell, too. Candyfl oss/popcorn Consider investing in your own candyfl oss or popcorn machine (ensure it’s sturdy enough to withstand many hours of use). Source bags, sticks or popcorn boxes cheaply online and charge £1.50-£2 per portion.

External stallholders

Many PTAs offer external stallholders pitches at their events. These are a great way to support local businesses, attract more visitors to your fair, add variety, and take some of the pressure off your volunteers. Here are some things to consider when booking external stallholders, to ensure your profi ts aren’t impacted in the event of a mishap.

● Request payment in advance so stallholders are less likely to drop out. If they do pull out, your worst concern is the loss of an attraction, not funds.

● Take a pitch fee instead of a percentage. This negates the risk of being dishonestly paid and means you have the money in advance of the day, which is useful for any outgoings.

● If taking a deposit, agree to only refund deposits by 50% up to a month before the event if anyone cancels, so you still have some funds, plus time to fi nd another supplier.

● Consider all risks in contracts and agreements – everything from rain causing a low turnout to the event being postponed. It may take time to work out what to do in each of these scenarios, but once you’ve worked out a contract that covers all bases you can use it every time you have a third-party stall.

● Ensure the supplier is correctly insured – if they’re not, can they change their insurance so that it’s in line with requirements?

Alternatively, charge businesses £25 to sponsor a stall. They provide an advert, which you can laminate and display on the chosen stall. When approaching businesses, go for ones that have a link to the stall in question, such as a toy shop for the teddy tombola or pub for the bar. Set a limit of one advert per stall to prevent overcrowding. SUMMER 2019 35

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