Approach local businesses and supporters to see if they would like to sponsor a specific stall or attraction at your fair, in exchange for some publicity. Ideas include getting the price of grotto presents covered, a piece of equipment paid for (i.e. popcorn machine), or having an estate agent pay a price per board to promote your fair.
'We had sponsored stalls for the first time last Christmas. We charged £25 and had a great response. Each company provided their own advert, which we laminated to display on the stall. We listed and thanked the companies by name within the fair programme and on the school website. We also had the A4-sized adverts on a display board at the entrance to the fair. We had great feedback and we will definitely do it again. We set a limit of one advert per stall. We have a range of parents who run their own businesses and some who work for local companies. If you keep charges at a reasonable rate it helps the school and local businesses.'
Jeanette Marsden, PTA member, Thomas A Becket Middle School, Worthing
- 10 top tips for approaching local businesses
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- Boosting support: sponsors
Estate agents boards
'This fundraising scheme is basically money for old rope. We approach a local estate agency and negotiate a deal where members of the local community put boards up outside their property, advertising our event and the agency. We're paid £20 for every board parents agree to have up for four weeks - three before the event and one after. We send a letter out in book bags asking parents to have a board; we also knock on doors up and down the local roads asking neighbours to support the school. I always send a thank you note to those neighbours who are not parents at the school - that makes them more willing to do it again and again! We had 95 boards up for our summer fair last year, so we'd raised £1,900 before we'd even held the event! The average price of a four bedroom house in the area is £700,000, with the agency charging the seller 1 per cent, so even if they only get one instruction from the advertising, it is more than worth their while. It's a simple idea that should work for any PTA. How much they get will depend on the house prices in the area, but it's all relative.'
Leah Gwynne, co-chair, Swaffield Primary School, London
Covering the cost of PTA kit
'We ran a circus fair last year and wanted to do something out of the norm! We managed to get local businesses to support an array of things, such as costumes, sponsoring the circus, Punch and Judy, and the magic show. We had a team of just four organising it and invited the community and 17 other schools. We printed flyers for the other schools, which helped bring in numbers to the event. I dressed as a clown and went into our local chip shop and threatened to squirt them with my water pistol if they didn't sponsor us! This was a unique and fun way of doing things and many businesses who would usually say no, ended up contributing! We raised over £2,000, with most of the prizes donated. A local business bought us a candy floss machine and made a giant spin-the-wheel - all of which can be used at future events. I'd recommend getting other community groups in on the event, and helping them at theirs. They appreciate the issues that we fundraisers face!'
Leigh Yates, PTA vice chair, Porthleven Community Primary School, Cornwall
The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.