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Your best school fundraising ideas?

(17 Posts)
midnightexpress Thu 15-Sep-11 17:10:21

We've got our first fundraising meeting of the new term coming up and I was wondering what people's best fundraising ideas are? What have been your school's biggest successes? Anything out of the ordinary you can suggest? We do the usual Xmas fairs, school discos etc, but just wonder if anyone does anything a bit more original?

Sorry if I don't come straight back on - I'm just off to make the dinner.

maggie6 Thu 15-Sep-11 21:00:54

Hi
At our primary school we asked each child to submit their favourite recipe and we made a book which we sold to parents and family/friends. Each recipe had the child's name on the page (submitted by ......) It was a lot of work as we did the formatting and typing up and printing /binding ourselves, but it was well worth it and they sold like hot cakes !

posey Thu 15-Sep-11 21:15:39

We do a calendar each year. One time there was a group photo of every child born in that month, another year each child did a self portrait and then it got put onto the month of their birthday. Got them properly printed and lots of people bought them for Christmas presents for tricky relatives!

Quiz night
Barn dance
Recipe book - we have a very multicultural school and asked parents and children to submit favourite recipes and tell us a bit about them eg what country from, an old family favourite, if it was the "apple pie" equivalent of their country etc. It's a really interesting book!

shineypenny Thu 15-Sep-11 21:30:26

Pamper Evening - we did this close to Mothers' Day, so that the children could buy a ticket for their mum to attend. We didn't charge a lot, around £10 for a ticket, I think. For this, each mum got three mini treatments and refreshments. Contact local hairdressers, manicurists, masseurs etc. You will be surprised how many are happy to buy a pitch for £10 or £15 and give free mini treatments to the mums. They know that some of them will rebook, and that is how they make their real money, through finding new customers. We served refreshments with a pampering theme - nice chocolates, fruit and nuts etc and included a comlimentary glass of wine in the ticket price (beware that you need a licence if you actually sell any alcohol).

Others that are easier to organise:
Pampered Chef Evening - combine with a Can't Cook, Won't Cook style competition between the teachers!
Bags2school
Cinema Evening, straight after school for the kids. We use the school whiteboards to screen different films in different classrooms. You just need some squash and crisps/popcorn to serve as refreshments.

pleasenap Thu 15-Sep-11 21:30:33

Apart from the usual....

Fabric recycling - Phil the bag or bag it up websites. Company provides bags for old unwanted clothes/shoes/fabric for parents and on the specified collection day they come and weigh all the bags and give you some cash. Simple as that. I heard about it at a fundraising ideas event and seemed schools were raising £300+ for fairly minimal effort and no cash outlay from parents (great in cash strapped times).

Sporting events tickets - If you have a local footy team or rugby team they sometimes do a schools community initiative where they offer discounted tickets to the parents and children and a part of the ticket costs goes to the PTA/school.

Matched funding - parents who work for bigger companies may have access to matched funding opportunities (Barclays, IBM and lots of others do them as part of their corporate responsibility schemes) - so if you can get a parent involved to some extent in an event (and pick the events that are big earners) they can claim a matched amount of money to double the amount raised. That has been very lucrative - again for minimal effort and without having to tap cash strapped parents for money.

midnightexpress Thu 15-Sep-11 22:30:57

Oh thanks so much everyone, lots of good ideas here! We did a hugely successful pamper night too last year so that's on our list again. And I think the school does the bags to school thing as well iirc. But loads of other great ideas here! The links with local businesses are largely dealt with by another group but I'm not sure if they are aware of the matched funding, so I'll definitely pass that on and see if we can link it up with one of our bigger events.

Any other ideas, please do share!

tinytalker Thu 15-Sep-11 23:40:40

We had a successful 'Magic Evening'. A local magician put on a show and we sold the tickets and refreshments. It was a great family night out.
We have hosted a circus (without animals) on our playing field. All we did was sold the tickets and refreshments a few stalls for the interval. The circus group did all the rest! We used Happy's Circus.
We've had a saturday family crafting day. Families buy a ticket to take part in making crafts to take home. We also sold refreshments/lunch.
We are thinking of running a Bollywood night with music, food and dance displays.
Our local football club ran a 'speedkick' day. Each class participated during the school day. The children got sponsors for how fast they would kick a football. There was a special machine to record this. There were prizes for the most money raised (a full team football kit in the team of the child's choosing), the fastest kick in each class, the fastest overall, a football for all children who raised over £30. These incentives really did help and we raised over £700!!

midnightexpress Fri 16-Sep-11 07:35:02

Oh those are great tinytalker! We live quite near a big stadium and I'm pretty sure they have one of those machines, as my DC went on a summer club trip there. Will definitely pass that one on as a possibility.

Lonnie Fri 16-Sep-11 14:35:27

In the first infants school our children attended we started a fireworks night. this was done on the Sunday closest to November 5th (so this year would be the 6th) starts at 5 pm and the PTA sold hot drinks (coffee tea mulled wine) and hotdogs/burgers plus juice and bags of popcorn small chocolates for the kids. We also bought a load of those light strings and they went like hotcakes. We charged for entry (I think it was £2 pr adult and£1 pr child over 3 and £5 for a family ticket - 2 adults 2 children)

We had to push it through as a fundraisor but it is now one of the schools largest fund raisers and many neighbours attend. It is intense work on the day but very little prep as you get someone to come in to do the fireworks and simply screan off that area so none of the kids can get in. Food stuff has to be bought in but really it means switching on an urn about 1 hour prior and doing the popcorns the night before a quick trip to the shops to buy chocolate/light strings and people to sell it all.

Great for community spirit. I woudl suggest it for the school my kids are in now b ut we have a MASSIVE local fireworks display so I dont think it would work in the same way

midnightexpress Fri 16-Sep-11 14:51:37

I love that idea too, but we may have issues as the school is right next to a railway line and the playground isn't enormous. Our DN's primary school also did one and it was a lovely event - as you say, really great for community spirit.

Mandy21 Fri 16-Sep-11 15:07:15

The biggest fund raiser by far is the annual ball that we have - a black tie event, 3 course dinner, band etc. Usually has a charity auction / raffle etc. Quite an expensive evening (I think tickets are usually about £40/45 per person and then raffle tickets are £5 a strip etc) but there are usually some great prizes (dinners at local restaurants / signed football shirts / night in a hotel etc).

We've also had a Race Night which has gone down very well (another adult only event) but they broadened it out to an old fashioned beetle drive that went down very well as the children could come. We also have a Treasure Hunt each year which is a good family afternoon and this year we also organised a camp-over in July that was really successful and a great hit with the children.

midnightexpress Fri 16-Sep-11 17:08:11

Mandy, do you know how they make a profit on the ball? I mean, how much do the meals cost to supply? And what sort of venue do you use? And have you found that any particular time of year is best for holding that sort of event? We aren't in a particularly affluent area - middling, I'd say so not sure how much we could get away with charging for that sort of event, but it's certainly worth thinking about, as I'm guessing that it would be relatively straightforward to organise?

KTk9 Fri 16-Sep-11 23:34:21

Bags to school is a good one, we raise well over £300. Combine it with a jumble sale/car boot and go around everyone asking for any clothes they don't want to take home, which you can put into the bags.

Ladies Night - a comedian (slightly 'saucy'!), with a buffet supper, the comic also does DJing after, ours has gone down in history and tickets sell out within days!

Printer/phone recyling. Companies like Reclaim it, will provide you with a box in the entrance, for cartridges, large and small - the school will also be using up these and if you can get a local company to have a box for you too. All it needs is someone to check the cartridges are all claimable and ring the company who come and take them away and send you a cheque.

Great Weather Lottery, or local Football Club lottery, this is continual income with no input, once someone has subscribed.

Sponsored Walk, raises a lot, with a prize for the person who raises the most, have hotdogs/coffee at the start/end to make more money on!

I search other school websites for ideas all the time.

3duracellbunnies Sun 18-Sep-11 11:48:24

Might not be easy next to train line, but every summer we have a big camp out, where we pay to pitch tents on the field, there is bouncy castle, midnight walks, bbq, breakfast etc. Bit pricey but lots of fun.

also once a month each class takes it in turn to bake cakes which are sold fri pm for 20p each, raises up to #100 pcm, could charge more and increase income, also ours is just one form entry. Each parent does need to bring 20-30 cakes as otherwise they sell out too soon.

I like the pamper night, might suggest it.

midnightexpress Sun 18-Sep-11 14:27:12

Yes, railway line and sleepout might not work - our outdoor area is mostly tarmac too, so not the most comfortable! But it sounds like great fun.

Our pamper night was a massive success. We had various treatments (massage, reiki, Indian head massage, nails etc) and a few stalls (jewellery, 2nd hand handbags, 'girlie' craft stuff etc) and free refreshments with the ticket - a local company gave us some fabulous cupcakes. I think we charged the businesses £20 up front and then 10% of any takings over £200, which seemed to work for everyone. We raised over £500 and it was a really good night out.

midnightexpress Sun 18-Sep-11 14:28:05

I like the cake bake idea - that could work really well.

3duracellbunnies Sun 18-Sep-11 14:58:06

With the cake stalls You can also introduce a little competition by having a league table of classes. It also means that parents who maybe don't get so involed at least bake/buy cakes once a year.

We also have a sponsored bounce, usually at easter, with children coming in classes and being counted to see how many bounces they can do in a minute. You need a bouncy castle and some volunteers one to count each child (obviously only some bouncing at a time and the rest of the class cheering on). Needless to say the children love it.

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