School fetes and fairs have become a significant part of our British culture in not only providing for the needs of school or college students, but as a way for parents to become more involved in their children’s extra-curricular activities. With school funding drying up, there is an ever-pressing urgency to acquire resources externally. Parents are fully aware of the struggle schools encounter when trying to provide the things their children need and the annual fair is an ideal opportunity for all parties to unitedly pool their assets, raise funds and have fun in the process.
But are the children the only ones to benefit?
Parents and Teachers help School fund raising
We all remember with fondness those care free days in the sun flinging sponges at the head teacher restrained in stocks; our time for payback! The school fundraising events of yesterday were far simpler and less formalistic or business like than those of today. Recent years have seen the emergence of PTAs, (Parent-Teacher Associations), made up of parents, teachers and staff who work together to formulate a fundraising schedule for the year to achieve financial objectives. Increasingly, PTA’s are reaching out to the local business community to draw on their expertise and commercial experience to draw in the crowds. It becomes quite competitive in some cases, especially in more affluent areas where, for example, some raffle prizes are not to be missed- one school offered champagne and a break staying at a parents’ holiday home to encourage visitors to delve deeply into their pockets!
Despite the effort and time involved, the results have been impressive. Annette Wiles of PTA UK, a charitable body that supports PTAs comments;
“PTAs have really upped their game in the last 5 years or so and some of them are now incredibly successful and are running as small social enterprises.”
These associations have cashed in on mutually beneficial relationships by linking with businesses, drawing upon their expertise, as well as targeting ‘valuable’ parents with specific skills to come up with more and more creative ideas for these events. Increased attendance and maximisation of funds received has been achieved through employing various methods, some of which are listed below:
- 1)Choosing a theme for the event, such as ‘Caribbean’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’
- 2)Enrolling an advertising manager to run the ‘campaign’
- 3)Inviting existing business contacts of parents
- 4)Contacting local estate agents, shops and small business to sponsor the event, provide funds or donate prizes for a mention in the programme or advertising around the site
- 5)Making use of social media to announce
the event details and build a following.
School Fund raising helps the community
There is a whole plethora of activities cropping up on school playgrounds and playing fields on big fundraising days for families to have fun and to entice locals to support their own educational establishments. Schoolfetes.co.uk is a website wholly devoted to assisting parents and teachers with the organisation of these events, providing ideas for activities and important links with other sites and companies. It’s true that original concepts for activities tend to promote public interest but these should be balanced with the ‘old faithfuls’ that are known to work and that everyone loves. Some novel ideas to consider for your forthcoming school fete may include ‘Bog Roll Basketball’, ‘kids car washing’, a Donkey Derby with pantomime horses, a ‘human fruit machine’ or even a ‘little tykes car rally.’ Food and drink always go down well generating the mainstay of funds collected with Barbecues, cream tea cafés, popcorn stands, Pimms tents and ‘ice-cream parlours’ at the top of the list. Tried and tested family favourites like tombolas and auctions, stocks for teachers, hook a duck, lucky dips and face painting are also great cash generators, not to be missed.
For many in the local area, these events are an opportunity to get out into peaceful surroundings, to mix with others and to strengthen community bonds, whilst raising funds for a good cause. What could be more therapeutic and cathartic?
Sponsorship helps businesses
School Fetes offer great marketing opportunities for small businesses wanting to offer sponsorship to their local schools as part of their corporate social responsibility schemes. If this is something your business would like to participate in, the very first step is to identify your target market or to understand the nature of school fete attendees. Generally, visitors are made up of school children’s direct or extended family members and residents living nearby. There may be some traffic from local towns or cities as many enjoy ‘the country fair experience.’ The group is likely to be made up of all social demographic factors so there will be a good mix of genders, ages and backgrounds to engage with on a one to one basis. Whilst advertising works well, being able to communicate directly with your potential customers is invaluable.
Secondly, have your objective clear in mind. Do you want to focus on a specific customer group or just to create awareness for local people.? Or, if you are already well known in the area, do you want to keep your business name at the forefront of people’s minds?
It’s important to be aware that sponsoring these events is not just a sales exercise but more of a promotional one, with the intention of forging quality customer relationships. Visitors may not choose to buy on the day but are more likely to make the decision to purchase after the event based on their interaction with you.
Roller Banners help advertise sponsors
Sponsors have the option of providing a monetary or prize donation in exchange for some publicity at the event. This could take the form of a social media campaign with regular posts on the lead up to the event or as low-cost print or outdoor PVC banners around the site. Suggestions for the use of outdoor displays to advertise your brand include:
*Outdoor roller banners with your logo and business contacts located at the entrance to the site for queuing visitors.
*Outdoor PVC Banners can be hung on fences or the sides or buildings or attached to railings using the eyelets.
*Portable Event Flags printed with your company name on both sides can be seen from all directions.
* A-board pavement signs direct the public to your stall.
Printed Gazebo tents are a great way to offer hospitality or to demonstrate your products
All these products and more are printed and supplied by Roller Banners UK one of the leading specialists in affordable exhibition and event displays. The full range of outdoor banners and flags offer advertising opportunities and promotional solutions to suit even limited budgets. Call our team of experts on (0238)0 700111 for advice on what to include in your next school fund raising event.