Family Fun Day
Name: Lisa Baillie
Event Date: Sunday 29 March 2015
Approximately how many people attended your festival? 500
Did you have theme?
How did you set a date?
I started the 4074 Community and Beyond Facebook group on 13 April 2013. We looked for a date around that time keeping Easter in mind as a lot of people go away on holidays. We wanted to incorporate Easter into the day as well so decided to have the Family Fun Day on the weekend prior to the Easter holidays.
How did you come up with the idea of the festival?
Initially it was to celebrate reaching 1000 members on the Facebook page. I posted a question around October last year on the page to see how people would like to celebrate it and members came back and suggested a BBQ at the park and everyone was to bring their own food.
The President of the Rotary Club of Brisbane Rocks Riverside, Lucinda Coalter, then contacted me and said that they are a new club in Brisbane and would like to help out and then it snowballed from there. By the time the Family Fun Day came around we had over 2000 members. We now have 2580 members and it is growing every day.
How many organising committee roles were there and what were they?
Six people (including five friends) plus the local Councillor’s office staff were involved in organising it.
The local Councillor and his office staff were very supportive and offered amazing help. They organised the power on the day, waived the fees to book the site and were the drop off point for the donations. If you have the local councilor on board it is a god send.
One person organised sponsorships and donations.
One person contacted the local dance studio to ask dance troops to perform.
One person picked up donations which was great.
One person sang on the guitar most of the day and entertained the guests.
We all stuffed the gift bags.
It was great having the Rotary Club on board as they provided the bank account for the depositing of funds. They applied for the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund grant which paid for the BBQ and jumping castle. They also organised marquees for the BBQ and another one for Miraa House (one of the charities benefiting from funds raised on the day).
We had meetings to talk about how we wanted to do things and come up with ideas.
My friends offered advice and support and we used it as an excuse to get together and have wine. You can’t do it by yourself so having a strong group behind you makes it successful.
Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before?
I helped get donations for a school fete for three years.
What unique attraction/activity do you have that sets you apart from other events in your area?
The Family Fun Day was unique in itself. Apart from school fetes there isn’t anything else like a community fair around here. There is the Centenary Rocks! Festival in July but that is huge and I wanted something a lot smaller, something very community focused.
How much money did you raise from sponsorship?
$1200 Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund.
$525 animal farm paid for by a local business woman.
$190 donated directly to one of the charities – Project Love and Care.
$230 cash donation which we put towards Easter chocolates and the face painters on the day.
All the rest of the prizes were vouchers and items.
How did you go about it?
It all started with a post on the group Facebook page.
I put a post up on the 4074 Facebook page at the beginning of the year asking members who they would like the money to go to that was raised from the Family Fun Day. People then commented saying that they wanted to donate prizes. I also dropped off sponsorship and donation letters and sent emails to local businesses.
11am the day before someone even asked if they could donate a prize but all the prizes had been sorted and I couldn’t accept it as it was all finalised. I felt really bad about the fact that I had to turn them down.
I have already had businesses who were involved wanting to do it again next year. Then other local businesses who weren’t involved want to donate prizes for next year too.
We had one jumping castle and it was free.
Do you allow outside stall holders?
Not this year. Once we turned one person away early on it meant that we had to say no to everyone.
What is the best way that you have found to get people to volunteer their time?
I know in schools and other organisations it is always the same people who volunteer for everything. People who won’t volunteer their time just don’t do it.
If volunteering isn’t something that they want to do then they want something back in return which is really sad. Unfortunately that is the way a lot of people in society think.
In saying that, this was different as I had members on the Facebook page who volunteered to help on the day and I hadn’t even met them before. I didn’t need their help in the end as I had enough people but I was so grateful for them asking.
Do you have a thank you dinner/party for your helpers?
Yes we are having one soon. My friends surprised me and sent flowers to me at work that included an invitation to attend a dinner at a local restaurant to thank me.
Describe any success you had with your publicity
The only publicity I did was the 4074 Community and Beyond Facebook group wall. People then shared the posts on their page, other local pages, local neighbourhood watch page, local councillor page etc….
Someone put it on the Brisbane Kids website on their event page.
I created an event to gauge how many people were coming.
Centenary News did a story.
The Satellite did a couple of stories and are still going to do a follow up story this week. They also had the articles on their website and put them on their Facebook page too.
The ad went into a school newsletter – I didn’t ask them but other people put the ad in their school’s community news section.
Because of all that publicity I didn’t need to create a flyer.
How did you promote your fundraiser?
Social Media including Facebook, in the local newspaper: (page 5), “To Community and Beyond” and “A Connected Community”.
Did you co-ordinate bulk supplies centrally? Eg. napkins, plates, cutlery, etc…
Only had a BBQ organised by Rotary Club of Rocks Riverside.
What was your fundraising goal?
No, we didn’t have a goal. I had absolutely no idea what we would raise. I was a bit worried that because it was only a short period of time (10am – 1pm) to sell raffle tickets that we wouldn’t make a lot of money. I had good intentions of selling raffle tickets before the event but we ran out of time and we didn’t have the prizes worked out anyway. We have a goal now to make more profit next year!
How much money did you raise?
$3,254.56! This money will be shared with these three wonderful local charities:
– Enhanced Care $1,021.52
– Miraa House $1,021.52
– Project: Love & Care $1,211.52 (an extra $190 was donated specifically to this charity)
What would you do differently next year?
I would like to see it as a local market fair. To have local people selling jams, local photographers, local produce and local arts. Still keep it as a community fair type feeling.
I would have it in May next year so it isn’t so hot as a lot of people commented on the humidity and heat. Having a 15 year old I don’t need to worry about getting little ones home for a sleep so I didn’t think about that either.
I would do the raffle differently. Perhaps a cent auction and people wouldn’t have to be there to claim the prize. We just handed out raffle tickets when people bought them and people had to be there when the raffle was drawn. The only thing with doing it this way is that we were able to get rid of the prizes on the day. I would also draw it a bit later as everyone left straight away.
I would have the animal farm again and a jumping castle. I would like to have another amusement ride, perhaps one for the older kids too.
The Police would come back again, they really enjoyed the event. I would also get a few more services to come like the Fire Brigade, ambulance etc…
The face painter would need to be there for the whole time, we only had two people for two hours.
The Facebook event was a closed event as I created it on the 4074 Community and Beyond page. I would make another Family Fun Day page next time around and create an event on that so that everyone could share it.
I would probably only have two charities at the most, three was a bit hard. My initial thought was to donate the money to a local family in need but this didn’t eventuate and people suggested charities that we could support instead.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you started?
How time consuming it all is. I had no idea how it would take over my life (laughs). I would like to think smarter and have one major sponsor who pays for everything.
A lot of it was flying by the seat of my pants. I had no idea how big it was going to become.
It will be a lot easier the second time around.
To be more organised as some things were left to the last minute and now that I know what to expect I can start planning things a lot earlier.
What is the best advice that you can give a fete convenor/festival organiser?
Have a good support team, you need it!
Don’t be scared to ask for help. A lot of things I did myself because I didn’t want to burden people, I should have reached out a lot more. Also don’t be scared about asking for donations, they can only say no and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will be surprised with some of the things you will receive.
Definitely keep a spreadsheet and keep your files up to date. Even with the coffee meetings I had with the girls, I took my diary and wrote down who came and what we spoke about so I could go back to it if necessary.
I had a spreadsheet which contained who we contacted, who donated, when did they donate and had I promoted them on Facebook.
Two things I did which were really helpful:
- I created a secret Facebook group for the organisers and;
- Used Whatsapp which was great when I needed to get an answer quickly about something.