Festivals make great school fundraisers because they’re fun and effective. However, they also require extensive planning and commitment to pull them off. Here are some tips for making your next fete a smashing success.
Choose the right date, venue, and people
These basics of planning are the most important details to get right – without this foundation, any event will struggle. Consider how long it will realistically take to organise your fete, and set your date based on this. Make sure your date doesn’t coincide with other important local events such as holidays or major sports events. For a school fete, your school campus is probably the logical choice of venue, but make sure it can accommodate a rainy day with a large indoor hall or auditorium. Finally, the people involved will make all the difference, so choose a planning committee you can rely on to orchestrate all the different aspects of the overall event.
Include some old favourites – but stand out, too
Several things make a fete a tried-and-true way to attract guests and make money, so embrace the old favourites such as bounce castles, face painting, petting zoos, and dunking tanks. You may also want to consider auctioning off donated cakes or other goods or having the school band perform. A raffle is an excellent way to get people in the door, as well. However, in addition to these elements, also look for a way to make your event stand out. You may consider a celebrity appearance or a “balloon pop” (fill a room with balloons that contain prizes and sell needles for a chance to find one). A haircutting stall will also be favourite (recruit a local stylist to donate haircuts for the day and ask event-goers only for donations; all proceeds go towards your cause).
Promotion is everything
Promote your fete at every opportunity. Use your school newsletter, your email list, the school’s website, and
your social media to make sure everyone who might be interested knows about your event. Flyers in local stores and community centres are another great way to get the word out. You may also be able to find a newspaper or radio station in the area that will advertise a not-for-profit event for free.
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