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Summer fair: Little Harrowden Primary School

Little Harrowden Primary School, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 210 pupils

Gail Roe, Chair
Friday 30 June 2017 3:15-5pm
Around 300 attendees

PLANNING

  • Did you have a theme? We have in the past, but always ended up spending money on decorations that nobody looked at
  • Who made up your organising team? Myself and the treasurer did most of the planning, with 4-5 others dipping in and out doing tasks as the event drew closer
  • Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before? Yes, I have been chair since October 2014
  • Did you run a raffle? Our main pre-event fundraising was raffle ticket selling. Each child went home with five books of five tickets (£5 worth) three weeks before the event
  • Did you have a programme? Visitors bought a 50p numbered lucky programme upon entry. These were all entered into a draw, and at the end of the fair a number was randomly generated to pick a winner. This number won the lucky programme prize, which was a magic set that we had won in a PTA+ magazine competition! The programme contained the dry weather plan (as a map) the wet weather plan (as a list at the side) and the names of those who donated raffle prizes
  • How much did you charge for entry? Each family buys a lucky programme upon entry for 50p
  • What do you do before the fair to ensure things run smoothly? I put together a long checklist in early January which lists every task for every stall. I allocate each task to someone with a deadline date. As I work in the school office, I covered my wall with all tasks in chronological order so that I could see what needed to be completed when. At each meeting, I ran through the checklist and had feedback on every item.


VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORT

  • Did you secure sponsorship? Raffle prizes are donated every year. For our 2018 fair we have secured a sponsor who is giving us £50 in exchange for their logo being on the tickets and an advert in the programme, and we've secured raffle ticket printing sponsorship.
  • Do you have any advice for others seeking sponsorship? Send letters out in Early January as this seems to be the best time to get donations
  • Did you allow outside stallholders? We don't let external stallholders attend. Visitors come with a certain amount of money and I want them to spend it all on benefitting the school! Even if we charged for a table, it wouldn't equate to the amount we could make from running our own stalls
  • How did you get people to volunteer? We are currently really lucky to have approximately 5-10 regulars on our PTA, with a fair few parents who can be relied on to help at events. I talk at the new intake evening in May for those starting in September, as I believe if you don't recruit early on, you lose them as they get higher up the school
  • Did teachers/pupils run any stalls? We have a Year 6 enterprise challenge which runs at our summer fair. Most staff run a stall or help out on the day
  • How did you draw up your roster? We have a signup sheet which is first put up in the staff room and then moved to the main office foyer for parents. We publicise this on ParentMail and our school weekly newsletter
  • How did you thank your volunteers? We publish a blog and thank you on the school website and ParentMail. At the end of each year, I send thank you cards to my main team

 

STALLS

  • What PTA stalls did you run? Most of our stalls are 50p per go. Raffle (20p per ticket, £1 per book), afternoon tea in a box, refreshments, toys and games/bottle/sweets and chocolate tombolas, old fashioned sweet stall, bouncy castle, teacher topple (tin can alley but with teacher's photos on the cans!) 'throw, push, glide' (throwing beanbags/balls into various shapes), lucky dip (20p per go) and a free Punch and Judy show
  • What were your most profitable stalls? Our tombolas raised the most
    • Toys and games: £223
    • Bottle: £211
    • Sweets and chocolate: £152
  • How do you ensure the smooth running of your fair? I made a list of tasks that needed to be completed on the day, meaning I wasn't um-ing and ah-ing when volunteers asked for something to do. All of the main PTA players wore purple team T-shirts so we were easy to spot. I didn't assign myself a stall so I could walk around troubleshooting. I also had a 'toolbelt' containing scissors, prize ticket bundles, sellotape, radio, phone, blue tack, a bottle of water, string, raffle tickets (so I was always ready to sell!) and a couple of plastic bags for any rubbish. It was really useful to have everything to hand.
  • Stalls you wouldn't run again and why? Throw, push, glide - it wasn't a money maker. Sweet stall as there were too many leftovers and expenses were high
  • Do you hire any equipment for your summer fair? We hired a bouncy at £41. For our 2018 fair we have secured two small ones so we can split KS1 and KS2 to make it safer.
  • How do you organise money before and during your event? I keep the money from each stall separate so that we can do an analysis at the end to see what was successful and what wasn't


MARKETING

  • How did you promote your fair? ParentMail, Facebook, local village noticeboards


PROFIT/ WRAP UP

  • What were your outgoings? We spent £80 on raffle tickets and a fair amount of prizes. As our outgoings were high, we decided to offer tickets as prizes which visitors could spend at the prize stall. We had a lot of prizes left, meaning expenditure this year should be lower
  • How much profit did you make? £1500
  • What is the best advice that you can give? Start planning early! I start planning in November of the previous year

OTHER FUNDRAISERS

  • How else do you fundraise throughout the year? Discos, beetle drive, movie nights, book nook, Easter bunny drive

Share the success of your own fair! Download and complete the fair review template and return it to us at editorial@pta.co.uk.


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