Spotlight on Christmas fundraising

Don't let your fair hog all the glory - choose from a range of profitable Christmas fundraisers for your school

Christmas fundraising ideas

What are they?

If we’ve learned anything over the past couple of years, it’s that planned events can be thrown into chaos at a moment’s notice. Complement your events calendar and maximise your fundraising potential by adding some other tried and tested money-spinners into the mix.

Spirit of giving

We’ve seen it on the news and in our own wallets – we’re in the middle of a cost of living crisis. The weekly shop costs more than it used to and fuel bills have shot up. If you’re worried this is going to hit your PTA takings, don’t despair – people are still keen to donate to a good cause. In the run-up to Christmas last year, a survey showed that 73% of those surveyed planned to donate over the festive season, up 5% on the previous year, even though 43% said their financial situation makes this more difficult (Donor Pulse survey of 2,000 people by Enthuse). If you can offer something parents want to buy that makes the perfect Christmas present for doting grandparents and loving aunties and uncles, there’s no reason to think your festive fundraising won’t be a big success.

Tried and tested winners

Children’s drawings – these can be put on all manner of fundraising products.

Christmas tree sale – work with a local supplier to sell trees at a rate that means the PTA makes a profit. Ask parents to order in advance, and set a day for after-school pick-up.

Family photo day – book a local photographer to take portraits of families and negotiate a price to include a certain number of prints.

Gift shop – ask for donations of small gifts in advance, group them by recipient (eg gifts for siblings) and get one class at a time to pick presents.

Quiz – compile a list of questions about your school or area, add some festive brainteasers and sell for a pound or two. Set a closing date and award a prize to the winner.

Quick and easy ideas

  • Hot chocolate cones – combine a handful of ingredients in a cone-shaped bag and decorate with googly eyes and a red nose on the end to make a great gift.
  • Bauble decorating – sell plain baubles and encourage children to go crazy with the craft box. Turn it into a competition for the best in each class, or just hang them on the tree at home.
  • Reindeer food ­– keep it natural by mixing some rolled oats with wild bird seed and dried fruit. Divide into small bags or envelopes for an eco-friendly way to keep Rudolph’s energy up.
  • Letter to Santa – print one of the many PDF templates available online and sell with a Christmas pencil and an envelope.

Be prepared

  • Keep an eye on deadlines. If you’re doing something that needs to be sent away (for example, children’s drawings) or otherwise personalised with your school’s details, many of these have early deadlines – make sure you allow plenty of time.
  • If there’s any kind of artwork involved, ask if it can be done during school time. You’ll meet deadlines more easily and avoid precious creations being lost on the school run or crumpled in book bags.
  • Make sure your fundraising ideas are age-appropriate. For example, a tea towel decorated with children’s self-portraits is a lovely idea for Key Stages 1 and 2, while hand prints may be easier for children in Reception.
  • To make sales as inclusive as possible, ensure things are reasonably priced but will still turn a profit.
  • Where money is especially tight, make sure parents know there are other ways they can contribute – whether it’s by nominating the PTA as their AmazonSmile charity, or through cashback at Sainsbury’s and Argos through My School Fund.

Resource list

CHRISTMAS CARDS: They’re a perennial favourite for a reason and there are countless companies offering their services – Cauliflower CardsClass Fundraising, IQ Cards and Xmas4Schools are among the sites turning children’s artwork into Christmas cards.

CALENDARS: Take a look at what the year ahead has in store and raise money at the same time with a fundraising calendar. Check out Calendars For Schools and School Bears.

TASTY TREATS: Freshfield Bakery has been helping charities raise funds for more than 30 years with its mouth-watering range of puddings, with a label which can be personalised with a photo, drawing or logo. Choose from Christmas pudding, sticky toffee or their highly popular ultimate plum pudding. IQ Cards prints children’s designs on chocolate bar labels, with the child’s name printed on the back.

AROUND THE KITCHEN: Mugs are a popular choice, and companies including Cauliflower Cards and Hand-print (Kernow) offer personalised designs. Prevent coffee rings with a fundraising coaster – check out Class Fundraising. Tea towels are another winner – visit Stuart Morris and Hand-print (Kernow). Aprons are similarly light on the postage, check out Class Fundraising. Or collect favourite recipes in a fundraising cookery book from IQ Cards.

ACCESSORIES: Fancy showing off your child’s drawing on a trip to the shops? A tote bag is handy, and wins bonus points for being an easy gift to fold up and post! Visit Hand-print (Kernow), Stuart Morris or School Bears.