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PTA Fundraising - Race Night Ideas

(9 Posts)
Flossydrop Thu 10-Jul-08 16:27:58

Hi all,

I am new to Mums net so please be gentle if I am not posting in the correct place etc ....

I have recently become involved with the PTA at my Son's school. They have arranged race nights which I have attended previously. I seem to have found myself in charge of organising this event for a few months time ! We are happy with the guy that comes do do the actual race night but I would love to hear any suggestions of how we can make the evening extra special and raise as much money as possible.

In the last two years the numbers have dwindled and I would love to get the numbers back up.

Previously we charged £7 and that included a (manky and small !) portion of fish and chips. There is a very reasonable bar (warm drink !). So I will takle the issue of bad food and warm wine and beer first.

Please do let me know of any successful race nights you have had and what made them so good.

I look forward to hearing from you.


idlingabout Thu 10-Jul-08 17:14:08

Just had the second of 2 Race Nights run for our school by 2 new parents. They did an incredible job , backed up by our fund-raising committee on the day. We made just under £3000 profit last year and probably £2500+ this year (only happened last weekend). Tickets were £15each to include a hog roast and glass of pimms on arrival(this latter might not have been good idea as no-one then bought Pimms and moved on to other drinks).The hog roast was accompanied with salads etc made by the commitee and we put strawberries and a plate of bite-size pieces of cake on each table as a 'pudding'. We covered the cost of hiring the 'compere' etc by getting the event sponsored by local businesses. A local pub sponsored the bar.
I assume you already go the route of 'selling' horses and jockeys and do you auction the horses for the last race?
Our school has a very mixed catchment in a semi-rural area. We only have about 100 families at school and it was 'the usual suspects' who bought tickets - ie pta and regular helpers.
Hope this helps...

FluffyMummy123 Thu 10-Jul-08 17:15:48

Message withdrawn

frogs Thu 10-Jul-08 17:24:42

Get company sponsorship, that way you can improve the food, and maybe offer a certain amount of free booze. That really pulls the punters in, or at least it does in Catholic schools... grin

William Hill or Ladbrokes etc might give you some dosh in return for you promoting them, or might give you promotional materials (think we had pens from them). Local printer might do the race cards, etc. If you're really lucky a local restaurant/takeaway/pub might donate the food or sponsor the bar.

You need to blag freebies hard, both by writing begging letters and nagging encouraging parents to exploit all their contacts.

The more sponsorship you get in, the more you can offer for the ticket price. You also need to try and make the venue look nice, which can be a challenge -- blag loads of fairy lights and tealights from ikea.

FluffyMummy123 Thu 10-Jul-08 17:32:48

Message withdrawn

Flossydrop Thu 10-Jul-08 17:59:32

This is brilliant thank you, I had thought of going to town on the sponsorship, I do the 'begging' letters to local companies for the Christmas and Summer fayres and we are generally well supported.

We are a catholic school so no doubt a free alcoholic beverage would go down well !!

I think as with most schools it is the same old faces attended these functions and the same people organising them too. We have around 400 pupils, hopefully I will be able to pull in some new attendees !

Thank you all for your speedy replies, your time is really appreciated.


FluffyMummy123 Thu 10-Jul-08 19:09:26

Message withdrawn

frogs Fri 11-Jul-08 08:51:20

Well IME it's the combination of booze and gambling that proves really irresistable to Catholics. grin But you will need non-alcoholic drinks for drivers.

Since we're talking Catholic schools, and if you're in an urban area you might want to try approaching the large number of Polish-owned businesses that are springing up. We had a ton of food donated by a Polish deli for our last barbeque. Be aware that people with kids coming up to school age may be particularly inclined to generosity in the (mistaken) hope that this will help with their kid's school application. We had some very generous donations of this type in response to general notices in the parish newsletter asking for support. They tend not to be repeated the following year when their child has been turned down for a Reception place, but there we go...

Specifically for the race even, you can get people to buy horses in advance, they then get to choose its name, and get some kind of prize if their horse wins. If they actually attend they will usually bet on their own horse as well.

Flossydrop Fri 11-Jul-08 13:17:27

Thanks Frogs, all interesting. We dont seem to have any Polish businesses around here at the moment. We do have some new local restaurants that I will approch for sponsorship in return for advertisement.

Its a good idea for us to approach those who have applied for a place with the school, I imagine a letter could be sent directly to their home letting them know about it. Good for the children to see the school before they start, in a fun way.

We do give people the opportunity to buy and name a horse though I am not too sure how well that goes down. I have always bought one for each of us but never even noticed them running in a race ! Something for me to question at the meeting.

Thanks again for your time,

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