Ticket Taylor

Summer fair: St Joseph's School

St Joseph's School, Droitwich, Worcestershire, 210 pupils

Lynsey Pledger, Publicity Officer
Saturday 8 July, 1-3pm
300-400 attendees

PLANNING

  • Did you have a theme? No. We've considered it, but in reality it's quite hard to incorporate a theme into an event which is already difficult to organise
  • Who made up your organising team? Our committee of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Publicity Officer, Treasurer, Staff Rep, some additional members and the Headteacher.
  • Did you run a raffle? Yes. We sent out raffle tickets in the weeks leading up to the event. Each child was given one book of five to sell at £1 a ticket.
  • Did you have a programme? Not at our last fair as it was an additional task which we didn't have the manpower for. As we didn't have too much to tell visitors we decided against it
  • How much did you charge for entry? 50p per adult and children are free. This is more to monitor footfall apart from anything else. In the past they have received a numbered programme upon entry which was entered into a draw at the end of the event


VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORT

  • Did you secure sponsorship? Our raffle was organised in conjunction with our parish church, as we are a church school. They were able to secure some fantastic prizes such as a bike as first prize. In the past we have received beauty vouchers from local salons. We've also previously received a day out with full hospitality at Silverstone, donated by a local company with a former parent of the school
  • Do you have any advice for others seeking sponsorship? Get in there early! A lot of companies have a small budget for charity donations, and once it is exhausted will not donate any more. Think off the wall. The British Legion donated a cheque to us before which we used to buy vouchers as a prize
  • Did you allow outside stallholders? An external supplier brings fairground rides along every year. This is great, as he is offering something that we cannot. He often brings a large inflatable slide, some teacup swings and a hammer attraction where you win a prize every time. As this means there's more on offer for the children, it encourages families to stay longer. Another supplier brings a candyfloss machine and sells bags of sweets
  • How much did you charge stallholders? Both suppliers give us a donation at the end of the day. We're happy to take a donation and don't stipulate amounts as we have a good relationship with both and don't feel like we're being 'ripped off' by the amount donated
  • How did you get people to volunteer? PTA members who are happy to approach people to ask for help are always successful. It's harder to say no to someone in person than it is to throw a flyer into the bin
  • Did teachers/pupils run any stalls? Our Headteacher sells raffle tickets, and all staff members are encouraged to attend our fair to help. Some of the older KS2 children enjoy helping on their class teacher's stall
  • How did you draw up your roster? We had around six committee members who came into school on the morning of the fair and another five parents and PTA supporters. We generally find that at the end of the event we have lots of visitors willing to stay and get everything tidied up
  • How did you thank your volunteers? Our volunteers are publicly thanked via Facebook and the school newsletter

 

STALLS
List of PTA stalls and prices:

Bottle tombola............................................

3 goes for £1

Pint pot tombola.........................................

3 goes for £1

Children's games.......................................

20p-50p

 

  • How do you source resources for your stalls? We ask parents to contribute baking and send their cakes in on the morning of the fair. Never assume that parents know what's going on - one year we forgot to ask parents to donate cakes and although we assumed everyone would still make them, nobody did! Our bottle tombola stock is gathered through a mufti day.
  • Stalls you wouldn't run again and why? The bric-a-brac stall always has lots of donations but and never seems to sell anything! But don't be afraid to try something new. If it doesn't work, then at least you know you've tried it.
  • Do you hire any equipment for your summer fair? No - we've purchased our gazebos with PTA funds and our tables are borrowed from the church. We have previously ran our own popcorn stall using equipment borrowed from a parent, but it was extremely labour intensive. We have a lovely lady who now attends to sell candyfloss and sweets, which from an effort vs. profit point of view is far better!
  • How do you organise money before and during your event? It's collected up at various times during the event and placed in the school safe. We keep floats separate at the end of the event, as it's useful to know how well individual stalls have done and how much they have made.


MARKETING

  • How did you promote your fair? Through the school newsletter, flyers and social media. Social media is so helpful as it means that parents can be kept up-to-date far easier than printing a letter every time you want to get in touch. Try to put in your advertising what you're raising funds for. If parents know where their money is going they'll be more inclined to donate.


PROFIT/ WRAP UP

  • What was your target? We don't have a target as there are so many variables, but we do compare to the previous year once the event has happened. It's still important to consider the impact weather, sporting events and even other children having birthday parties can have on attendance and success.
  • What were your outgoings? I don't know exact numbers, however I know our outgoings are lowering each year, which means we're becoming more efficient
  • What would you do differently? Try to encourage more volunteers to ease the pressure on committee members
  • What is the best advice that you can give? Build up a good relationship with outside suppliers. We know that if it rains and we have to go inside, our fairground ride supplier won't charge us. With that in mind, always have a contingency plan if you have to move indoors!

OTHER FUNDRAISERS

  • How else do you fundraise throughout the year? Christmas Fayre, East egg raffle, seasonal craft workshops at Christmas, Easter, Father's Day and Mother's Day. We have also previously held quizzes, sponsored walks and pamper evenings

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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