Celebrating anniversaries and milestones is a constant in our everyday lives. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations, housewarmings, house leavings? (I’m sure there is such a thing! 😉 )

It’s no different for schools and clubs. There are many important occasions that shouldn’t be overlooked without recognition. The opening of a new school, new building or other addition to your school or club, or reaching a certain number of years since your school or club first opened. The great news for your committee is that you can turn any of these into a fundraising event.

These celebrations are often the reason behind numerous social and fundraising events throughout the year with probably the most popular event being the fete and in some cases, the cause of the celebration can provide the theme for the event.

Theming your event

Theming your fete or other events in line with your celebratory number is a fun way to engage your community and can draw a crowd. For example, if you’re celebrating 21 years you could theme in the style of a 21st birthday party complete with ‘baby’ photos and embarrassing or proud moment stories which can be told by the principal or club president.

Celebrating a particular decade is a great option too. 20 years = 90’s theme, 30 years = 80’s theme, 40 years = 70’s theme, 50 years = 60’s them and so on. Entice people to get into the spirit by awarding prizes for best dressed.

But we’re just not big enough to put a fete on, what now?

Not every club or school has the capacity to pull a fete together, but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the celebrations. Pick an existing event and incorporate your theme or even just a special recognition into it. Here are some ideas that you can mix and match to suit your group:

  • A special school assembly – each class or grade could put together a historical presentation
  • Awards night – have a former student/player or principal/club president talk about the history of the school or club
  • Trivia night – theme the night or have a round of questions based on events from the relevant time period
  • School disco – themed
  • Themed dress day – students come dressed in theme
  • Summer social or garden party – upscaled version of a picnic with stalls, food, raffles, games, student entertainment.
  • School tour for past students and the local community culminating in a social afternoon tea or sausage sizzle – theme classrooms for each decade that the school has been open. Charge a nominal fee for the tour and/or afternoon tea.
  • Burying or digging up of a time capsule
  • Historical display from the opening year – what were the big news stories, most popular song or album, clothing trends, popular foods/meals etc, what did the school, street and suburb look like. Celebrity sports people and which teams won what eg, footy, Melbourne Cup etc.
  • Poetry or story writing competition in line with your anniversary theme
  • Tree planting ceremony – get local member involved or maybe a former principal?
  • Have a former student visit an assembly to talk about what the school was like ‘back in the day’. Great if you have a former ‘celebrity’ or successful student.
  • Whole school photo (if possible!)
  • Fashion parade of uniforms over the decades (get students to ‘model’ the uniforms)
  • Photo wall (across the decades)

Product fundraisers

To help your group celebrate in style, there are many fundraising product options to choose from that can create commemorative gifts and merchandise that you can sell at events or on order forms.

  • Engraved bricks and pavers for an upcoming school project or to add to an existing project.
  • Commemorative wall – mosaic wall, tile wall, graffiti wall, plaque, laser tag wall, handprint wall, mural. This could be designed or created by past and present students.
  • Cookbook with contributions from past and present families
  • Tea towels
  • Aprons
  • T-shirts
  • Rulers or other stationery
  • Canvas bags
  • Glassware or mugs
  • Calendars

If you head to the Fundraising Suppliers page to find a great range of suppliers that can help you with your commemorative gifts and merchandise. Enjoy your celebrations!

Regina Underwood
Fundraising Whisperer Freelance Writer
Regina is a mother of three and a P&C President. She knows first hand the ups and downs of volunteering.


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