fundraising ideas a-e..........

Auction – If you have the support of some local businesses, especially ones with children at the school, get them to pledge a gift in return for some free advertising in the school newsletter or fete program.  Find yourself an auctioneer (head teacher or staff room loudmouth!) and auction off the goods or services halfway through your fete or when the fete is at its busiest.  An idea would be to do it just after an arena display – i.e. country dancing, when you have everyone’s attention.

Badge stall – Hire a badge making machine, get the kids to colour or design their own badges and then turn their designs into badges with the simple to use machine.  You could also use the machine to produce other badges for the school whilst you have the use of it: anti bulling, ones with the school name on, 5 a day etc.

Ball in bucket – A traditional game that looks easier than it actually is.  The basic idea of the game is to throw a ball into the bucket an hope it stays in there!  Get some cheap prizes (lollypops/sweets) as prizes.

Barbeque – I cannot stress enough how important this one is, it is an essential of any fete or funday.  This is a mega money maker, I personally cant resist the smell of onions frying.  Arrange with your local butcher to supply some good quality burgers and sausages – you may even be able to negotiate a sale or return deal or a generous discount in exchange for the butcher being able to advertise his business beside the BBQ.  I have found you really don’t need to offer anything else apart from burgers and sausages in a roll with the usual sauces and onions.  The only other consideration may be to offer some vegetarian alternatives – remember to cook them on a separate BBQ though.

Beat the keeper – Got a set of goalposts? Got a football? Get a goalie and off you go! Three or more goals out of five to win a prize.

beat the keeper

Bog Roll Basketball! – this picture explains all!
Maybe a local plumbing supplies store could supply a couple of new toilet pans in exchange for an advert / advertising on the day.

Bottle Tombola – Get the usual donators to send in a bottle or two of alcohol even bottles of beer will do.  Then attach a raffle ticket to each one and have them on display possibly topping up the display with some champagne or decent spirits.  Fold all the other half of the tickets up and put them in a tombola or a bucket charge £1 for five tickets, this can be a really big money spinner – especially when other fete goers see winners with their prizes.

Bouncy CastleAnother essential at any fair or fete, this forms part of what I call the major attraction part of the fair it can be a big money earner as well. It will attract the kids and keep them occupied whilst the parents spend money at the BBQ and drinks tent.  As you all know there are various types of inflatables available now, assault course, gladiator duel, pole joust, ball pond(for the toddlers), giant slides.  You may be tempted to let a local leisure company come it with their equipment and give you a percentage at the end of the day but more money can be made from hiring a package of inflatables and manning it yourself.

Car boot sale – This is an opportunity missed by schools, if you have a large enough field there is no excuse not to run one.  All it requires is some additional text to your fete poster, possibly an advert in the local papers (surely schools can demand a discount rate!)  The going rate is about £8 for cars and £15 for vans – imagine if you can fit 100 cars on the field?  The added bonus is you will also have 100’s of diehard carbooters as extra vistors on the day. Do not allow any catering vans on site as they are only going to take funds away from your BBQ.

Cake stall – get children to help with the baking – here are a few recipes. Another great tip to ensure lots of stock for your stall is to send each pupil home with a paper plate with a sticker on it requesting it is returned to school with some cakes a day before the fete is on.

cotton candy cakes and car boot sale

Candyfloss stall – Hire a machine, have a few practice spins, and then off you go!  People are mesmerised watching the floss being made and at over 90% profit you will be mesmerised at how much you have taken in a day!  All candy sugar and sticks are provided on a sale or return basis.  It is also quite important to make up several bags of floss before the event as well.  Once one person is seen with the big pink floss everyone, and I mean everyone will want one.

Car Washing – Have hand carwash run by kids from the school on the day, some buckets, car shampoo a chamois and some elbow grease

Central arena – Surely a must have for any school fete, what a great place to showcase the kids dancing, gymnastics, keepy uppy football skills or a even get them to put on magical illusion, David Copperfields in the making!  This will also act as a focus point for the crowd when the raffle is called and is usually where the PA system is located.  You may also consider booking a professional arena act like birds of prey or go medieval and have a knights re-enactment. If the show is big enough it will have appeal far beyond just the parents of your school.

Coconut Shy – Hire a traditional coconut shy and watch them queue up!  Kids and adults alike will keep coming back for more. Here is a nice example of a coconut shy

Corn on the Cob – Hire a bain marie, or a gas burner with pots of water on top and cook some fresh cobs.  You will also need skewers so they can be held by the customer.  These are a great, healthy, snack. Good for schools promoting healthy eating although people usually cant resist a good helping of butter salt and pepper as well!

Cream Teas – Get some large Devonshire sugared scones, good strawberry jam, a little butter and plenty of clotted cream,  All served with a pot of tea this is a firm favourite with the older generation you may want to do this along side your drinks stall.

pantomime horse race

Donkey Derby (pantomime) – Hire four – six pantomime horse costumes and run your own donkey derby!  Invite shops, local businesses and maybe even pubs to sponsor a horse and the races and you run a tote on the day.  You could have an inter house race or inter club race maybe, with the runners being supplied by the teams? This article has just come to our attention and puts a different twist on this idea - hobby horse racing

Entry fee – Is 50p per adult to much to ask?  A great way to get the ball rolling with children admitted free.  Don’t forget to offer every person raffle tickets as they enter.  You will need several helpers to man the gate at the beginning if you have advertised properly there will be a healthy queue forming up to 20mins before the opening.