Fundraising events for new families
How can you welcome new families - and show off your
brilliant association to prospective new PTA recruits? Here are a
few fundraising ideas for the new term, which shouldn't take too
much forward planning...
Run a treasure hunt around the school grounds, giving new
families the chance to explore. Create a map with clues and set
children tasks to complete along the way. Give prizes to all those
who complete the hunt and have a cake stall, tuck shop and
refreshements available at the end.
Jane Campbell, PTA Chair, Burley and Woodhead C of E
Primary School, West Yorkshire told us: 'Our treasure hunt
was to identify the location of abstract photographs taken from
around the school grounds. Families bought a treasure hunt sheet
for £2, then had to find the locations pictures - this wasn't easy
and only three families correctly identified them all! They had to
write a description of each site and once completed, families
submitted their sheets plus the answer to a tie-breaker question.
Two days before the event, we'd had a parents' evening for new
reception class starters, so I was able to make new families aware
of the event during my 'talk', so a few of them came along, too.
Combined with a BBQ and raffle, we made £818 profit, which, for a
fairly easy-to-organise event with not many volunteers required,
was great! I would highly recommend this idea to other PTAs.'
Johanna Haynes, PTA Secretary, All Saints Primary
School, Suffolk told us: 'We were lucky to be offered the
free use of a beautiful barn, so decided to arrange a barn dance.
We wanted to involve parents as well as the children so decided to
go for an early evening event with a hot meal and bar. Posters were
printed and displayed in local shops and in village community
halls. On the day, volunteers decorated
the barn, prepared food
and set up the bar. 86 adults and 74 children attended, which was a
good number to fill the space and create a great atmosphere. We
charged £15 for adults and £2 for children, which included a jacket
potato filled with chilli con carne, served with salad and a choice
of dessert. We had a paying bar which raised £544.50. We collected
an excellent selection of raffle prizes and our raffle raised £343.
It was an excellent event, raising over £1,500.'
Jayne Wiltowski, PTA Chair, Horncastle Primary School,
Lincolnshire told us: 'Our duck race is a popular annual
event for families. A thousand numbered yellow ducks are released
onto the Horncastle driver and float downstream into a set of nets.
Our planning includes organising the hire, collection, and delivery
of ducks, preparing tickets, and collecting returned tickets and
money. A local printer produces the ticets, and the PTA prints a
set of instructions, which are bundled into envelopes and sent
home. Each child is issued one ticket to return with the stub and
£1, or if they are unable to purchase the ticket, return it to be
sold elsewhere. Ticket stubs and money are then all collated into
number order and pegged in groups ready for the race! Our
volunteers wade into the river at the finish line ready to collect
the first five ducks for the winners' prizes, ranging from £100 for
first place to £10 for fifth place. All the ducks are then
collected, bagged up and returned to their rightful owners. It's
great fun and we raised £680 last year!'
NOTE: A duck race counts as a form of gambling,
so a licence is required. You will also need to seek permission
from the owner of the stretch of water you hope to use. You should
undertake a risk assessment, inspecting the site for potential
hazards. Make sure you have a few volunteers to marshal the course
throughout the race. All ducks should be removed from the water
after the race to avoid the risk of pollution.
Michelle Gubbings, PTA Chair, Harold Wood Primary
School, Essex told us: 'We chose to have an inflatables
day as a way to welcome the new Reception families to the school.
Planning started about five months before the event. The new
children started a week before the rest of the school, so we
decided to advertise the event in their welcome packs. The company
we hired the inflatables from charged us £1,000 and were very good
- they came with two helpers to supervise the use of the
inflatables. Entry wristbands were sold in advance, at £5 per
child. The event was held on the school field, and we also ran a
tuck shop selling crisps, cold drinks and sweets. There were six
inflatables altogether, including a small bouncy castle for under
5s, an assault course for older children, and a large bouncy caste,
double slide and penalty shoot out suitable for all. About 20
parents volunteered to help supervise the inflatables and run the
tuck shop over the two-hour event. It was a fairly easy event to
run and we raised approximately £600!'
Back to school BBQ
A simple back to school BBQ with football and rounders can be
organised fairly quickly, weather permitting! Source food from your
usual suppliers and pin down a handful of volunteers to cook and
serve. Using high-quality meat makes a big difference and will mean
that parents are more likely to buy grub at future events. Having a
few games and activities will keep the kids amused, allowing
parents to mingle.
Family film night
A film event is quick and easy to organise, promises lots of fun
and offers a cost-effective night out for families. There are lots
of films to choose from - will you go for a classic such as Pete's
Dragon or Annie, or bring it bang up to date with new releases? All
you need is some chairs for parents, mats for children and a way of
playing and projecting the film. You will also need an STSL to
cover the copyright, but this is easy to obtain from Filmbank
Jacquie Moate, event organiser, Welwyn St Mary's School,
Hertfordshire told us: 'We were looking for a fundraising
event for families, and a few people had enquired about a magic
show. We contacted a supplier who runs educational magic shows, and
a certain number each year work on a party split basis, meaning
there was no initial outlay - instead, for each £5 ticket sold he
made £3 and the school made £2. He also advised us to sell
refreshments and to run a raffle to maximise our profits. We held
two shows on a Saturday afternoon, one at 2pm and one at 5.30pm. We
sold a total of 156 tickets. Between them the magicians
performed some amazing tricks and illusions. There was a huge
amount of audience participation, which the children loved, and our
parents joined in with great spirit - it made for a wonderful
family show. With refreshments and the raffle, we raised £488. Not
bad for a rainy afternoon!'
Lucy Gammer, PTA Chair, Newminster Middle School,
Morpeth told us: 'Our chair writes the questions -
including some easy ones for the children to answer - and everyone
brings their own drinks and nibbles. Anyone not in a team or people
who are in small groups usually get together on the evening to form
larger teams. The teachers have their own team! We have
approximately six rounds with ten questions each. The quizmaster
asks the questions and then each team passes their answer paper to
another team to be marked. My advice would be to make it fun and
keep it simple, it's an informal evening at the start of term.'
If you want to keep the need for volunteers to a minimum, how
about a family disco where parents bring their own drinks and
nibbles? State that parents are responsible for their own children,
to ensure your disco is a doddle to organise. Just add a decent
sound system, lights, the odd mirror ball and a DJ who's prepared
to mix a bit of 90s Madness in with some Union J for the
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