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Fundraising projects for primary school? Teatowels etc

(22 Posts)
cabbageandbeans Fri 03-Feb-12 19:44:21

I am particularly interested in companies which make products using childrens artwork eg. teatowels or christmas cards. Have just been looking at a few online and seems like a bit of a minefield! Some charge delivery, some don't and I can't work out if you have to order 100's of the product in advance of knowing what the parents want (problem being that there may be unsold stock = a loss). Also really interested in other fundraising activities through the term and how these are organised at your school?

SingingSands Fri 03-Feb-12 20:00:32

We do a spring fair and a Christmas fayre, these are our biggest events in terms of profit, but also organising - takes months of pre-planning and organising and then trying to get volunteers to man the stalls etc is quite frankly a nightmare, but worth the effort as we usually make about £1,500.

Discos are a good idea and fairly easy to organise - book a DJ and charge £3 entry per child, to include a drink and a hotdog. Better in the winter months because then the hall is dark and the disco lights have better effect!

We also hire a local ice rink for 2 hours on a Sunday about twice a year - easy to organise, charge a discounted rate to parents and kids compared to rink prices and easy to run - just turn up and take ticket money at the door.

Bun sales take place throughout the year and these are also easy to organise - we send out letters a week in advance asking parents to bake and bring produce to school on the morning of the sale. We set up tables in the hall for the kids coming out at 3pm and provide paper bags - the general rule is 20p a bun, 5 for a £1. It's literally a bunfight with the kids swarming the tables and we usually sell everything in about 15 minutes flat! Everything we make is profit.

We do class calendars in December, these are a big seller - each child in each class draws a portrait which is then scanned onto a calendar showing the entire class, which has all the school holidays and training days printed on it for the coming year. It's a nice keepsake, seeing your child's self portrait change from wobbly reception drawing to young artist! I'm not sure which company we use though, I imagine there's quite a few available if you Google.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head!

cabbageandbeans Fri 03-Feb-12 22:32:59

Wow! Thankyou Singing! you have some great ideas. I think the bun sale will work really well for our school. Sounds fantastic. We don't have an ice rink anywhere near but I am guessing the same idea could work with a swimming pool or maybe even a soft play, although it is possibly a little ambitious for us at the moment, but something to think about in the future. I would be really interested in the company you use for the calenders as this is the prime type of company I am interested in looking at. There do seem to be a mixture of companies. So far I have looked at 3. Is it possible the name of the company is on the back of your current calendar? I really want to find a company on recommendation.

Greenshadow Sat 04-Feb-12 17:37:35

I would be careful about the calendar/tea towel/Christmas card route.
It is quite difficult to actually make profit with these unless you have quite a large school and/or very pushy salesmen in your PTA.

I've been involved a 3 different PTAs and there are always tea towels left over at the end of the year which we then have to sell at a reduced price which wipes out any profit.

Bonsoir Sat 04-Feb-12 17:44:40

With tea towels you need to get parents to order and pay for an exact number before you place the order - that way, you won't have any left overs!

Our parents association makes lots of money from tea towels.

2gorgeousboys Sat 04-Feb-12 17:54:06

We do Christmas cards - each child draws an A4 picture at school which is then sent home with an order form. You decide if you want Christmas cards of your child's design and if so order the number of packs and pay for them on order.

The PTA collects the artwork, orders and payments and sends them off to be printed.

The cards are really good quality and it's been lovely looking back at the way they have changed from starting reception to Yr6. Each card has 'designed by xxx of xx primary school' on the back.

Our school is a small village school (about 90 children) and we make a nice sum of money from the cards as everyone likes there children's artwork and as orders are placed and paid for in advance you do not have left overs to try and sell.

I can get one of last years cards out to see the company if you are interested.

deardear Sat 04-Feb-12 18:01:36

We did a sponsored bounce at school a few years ago. Bounce on or with anything eg those little kiddies tramps with handles, balls etc. very easy and caters for all ages.

Tea towels are lovely. I still have DdS from reception and her last year at primary and she is now nearly 15! More a Christmas time thing though I think as families more inclined to buy more as little pressies for relatives

fuzzpig Sat 04-Feb-12 18:08:34

My DD's school is doing a gallery. Every child from nursery to yr2 has had a drawing/painting/collage chosen and framed, and they are holding a 'gallery' evening at school! It looks really nice and posh so the children will feel like artists, and obviously the idea is you buy your child's picture (£7).

No idea how profitable it is, I've heard a few mutterings about the £7 but I think it's really sweet as DD will be proud of herself.

cabbageandbeans Sun 05-Feb-12 12:10:34

Some wonderful ideas here. Greenshadow - this is exactley my concern but then as bonsoir says we could get orders prior to the tea towels being ordered to overcome that problem. My school just cannot afford to make a loss and it is impossible to predict how many would be bought as we are in a low socio economic area in what has previously been a failing school (now an academy with no PTA) with low morale all round.

SO I am guessing that the order will be placed prior to anyone actually seeing the finished product or do these companies provide a sample prior to order? I was really stuck on the ordering prior to the order. Which Bonsoir seems to have resolved for me! Such common sense - it is difficult to think out side of the box sometimes! Fingers crossed the school goes for the idea as it is jubilee year and I think it would be nice to have something for the kids and parents to remember it by. Out of curiosity - how far in advance does all the drawing, collecting of art and taking orders need to be done?!!!

I have seen the christmas cards (from a neighbouring school) a company call class fundraising which seems to do to do everything. The christmas cards look great and I am hoping the school will pick up on that this year.

Love the bouncing and art gallery ideas and these will be ideas that I stockpile for the future!

As we do not have a PTA I have no idea how PTA's work but there is a small group of parents who organised the christmas fair with the teachers so I am guessing it's kind of the same but less formal. The only negative I can see so far is that we are not an official body and therefore, less autonomous.

ragged Sun 05-Feb-12 12:21:16

The other negative of informal PTA is that you need to keep clear accounts or the Charity Commission can come down hard on your ass if you can't account for every penny (sorry to sound so officious). It's not like you have to involve a qualified accountant, but keep very clear records of money taken and how it was spent, so that if anyone ever complains you can clearly document (papertrail) it was all spent properly.

And please dont' do Christmas cards every year, I am swimming in a great excess of them that I have no one to send to, so much more expensive than regular cards too. But I am soft & don't like saying "No" to DC about them, sigh.

Bonsoir Sun 05-Feb-12 15:03:20

The company you order the tea towels from will give you the time line from receipt of completed drawings and order to delivery; you will need to work out with the teachers how long they need to get the drawings done. Add in a few days for safety! And manage your project closely!

cabbageandbeans Sun 05-Feb-12 17:34:43

I am a wreck! manage your project closely sends shivers down my spine! But thankyou! Interesting about the accounts ragged BECAUSE at the xmas fair the teacher ran around and took all the money. so I have no idea where it went or what will be done with it - a big source of frustration for the parents that did help. Does a PTA hold their own purse strings? Because that is something I can see is not being encouraged for our group. I too would be against doing too much of anything - however - if cards did work well I can see us just being on auto pilot and doing again! I did think that next year we could do a calendar instead so maybe thats the way to play it....we'll have to see. The picture that is painted is that we wont ever sell a lot of anything. A difficult concept to grasp I am sure, as I am a parent who likes to buy things to support school/my kids but there are parents out there who don't have the money to do that.

ashamednamechanger Sun 05-Feb-12 22:09:11

Can I just ask how those of you who have managed to make a profit do it?
I am drowning in fundraising ideas atm for our preschool. However, actually getting the parents to buy the calendars, tea towels etc will be hard work with our parents....they are just not interested at all in anything we try.
Am looking into holding a childrens fashion show, but am terrified that we will not sell any tickets due to lack of parental interest.

propatria Mon 06-Feb-12 15:02:08

Of course you need to keep good records etc but its perfectly possible that the Charity Commissioners will not be dealing with you,unless you have a turnover of £5000+ you dont have to register as a Charity,if you have a smaller tunover the Charity Commisioners have no remit over your activities,book keepping etc.

cabbageandbeans Thu 24-May-12 20:36:18

Just to update this post.

Ashamed We have been doing cake sales straight after school (we also sell wrapped sweets that parents donate) and have made a magnificent profit (£200) with these considering we are done and dusted in 1 hour! So we plan to keep up with those at least once a term. It is worth noting that my school has a high number of families (above average) on benefits and generally that is a lack of community spirit due to apathy, so it can be done just stay positive and do not give up on your good ideas.

We have just had the proofs through for our jubilee tea-towels and it has been a huge experience! I feel it was a lot of work and feel that the organising of it takes about 4 people to be involved and care about it. The hardest thing for me was getting the teachers to co-operate and make sure that ALL the students had contributed a portrait. Deadlines just didn't seem to work and if I did it again I would ask to be able to go to each class to give direct instructions to the children themselves. Now we just have to get through the actual process of ordering them but I am following the advice on here and getting parents to order and pay in advance so there is only profit!

Exhausting stuff! Who knew how important parents are to school fundraising! I had no idea!

BeingFluffy Fri 25-May-12 06:40:47

Just a comment - my DDs primary school did the teatowel and calendar thing every year (assume it was a success as it was ongoing). They would get each child to do a same self portrait (normally head/shoulders) during class time and a child would also draw the teacher, so it was compulsory. The calendar had I think, a page for each class and the tea towel had a picture of everyone. From memory they did discounts if you bought multiple ones for grandparents etc.

lionheart Fri 25-May-12 11:26:27

Our school did a recipe book with the children submitting their favourite recipes. Some of these were incorporated into cookery classes (photos taken etc). The booklet was laminated and divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.

Went down very well.

peoplefundit Wed 11-Jul-12 13:55:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NikkiSq Thu 01-Nov-12 11:36:13

Last year we raised over £300 with a school art exhibition. It is was really easy. They made the kid's art look really cool. The company MyDidThat required no financial outlay from us and the company did everything, even producing a really nice invite for parents. Their website explains everything.

I would definitely recommend them
Nik ;-)

teacherwith2kids Thu 01-Nov-12 11:59:27

We use Cauliflower Cards.

We spend 1 afternoon in class making the cards

The picture created by the child is sent home with the order form, then orders are returned with the artwork. That part is a bit of a hassle for the PTA BUT the fact that it's no order, no money, no cards means that there are no left-overs and no worries about having cards that have to be sold on at a loss.

Nice quality product, too.

cabbageandbeans Wed 14-Nov-12 18:03:37

Yes teacher, Cards are great, a group of parents have organised this for this christmas and they are such a great fundraising idea. We also had a disco for the infants and juniors that raised around £500 so again, a really good money spinner. After only a year, I am starting to feel tired of it all though and may withdraw my services. I think the head is quite rude and disrespectful towards those that give immense amounts of their own time. So I might just leave them to it.

twinsplus1sfb Wed 15-Apr-15 12:12:16

Feel compelled to write on here, even though this is an old thread, and I dont post much. But we have just used and they were brilliant!!
They were really organised, and they put on a really professional exhibition, all kids and parents were really impressed, but the beauty of it was, that I didn't have to do anything once I had labelled all the artwork. Lucy from Minimasterworks did everything, she was really organised, and kept me up-to-date on everything that was going on. I'm going to recommend them to everyone. We have 230 kids in our school, and we raised over £300

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