School Fete Ideas with Grose View Public School
Name: Jessica Wagner
School: Grose View Public School
Event Date: Sunday, 12 October 2014
How many students attend your school? Approx 270
Approximately how many people attended your fete? We think it was at least 1200.
- Did you have a theme? We live in a rural area so we went for a rural Australian theme.
- How did you set a date? It all depended on the rides and when we could book them. As we only do it every two years we have to see when the rides are free. We only start planning the year of the fete.
- How many organising committee roles were there and what were they? We didn’t have a President of the fete committee. We had a Stalls Coordinator, Entertainment Coordinator, Site Coordinator, Treasurer and I was the overall Fete Secretary who was the Project Coordinator (also known as the “Nagger”). We also had a Sponsorship team which consisted of six people working together.
- Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before? I ran the craft stall two years ago. I work for a Project Manager so I had a few techniques that I didn’t even know that I had. He must have trained me well as I didn’t know that I was doing half the things that I was doing, I was just doing it automatically without realising how much of an impact it was making on the organisation of the fair.
- What unique attraction/activity did you have that set you apart from other fetes in your area? We were able to have Logie award winning actor Aaron Jeffrey (from McLeod’s Daughters, Wentworth Prison, Underbelly, X-Men Origins Wolverine and Water Rats) attend our fair. When we were planning the fair we sat around and wondered how we could make it different to the fetes around us. St Monica’s fair was three weeks before ours and another school close to us had a fete one week after ours. We heard that he lived around our area and had been spotted at the gym a few times. Our principal goes to the same gym and asked Aaron and he was happy to be a part of it! We also had a local jumping castle company donate a jumping castle for the day. We made it a toddler zone and it was $8 all day.
- How much money did you raise from sponsorship?
- Just under $6,000.
- Platinum $1000 x 1 only.
- A family also donated $1000 prize – air conditioning voucher
- Gold $500 x 4
- Silver $250 x 2
- Bronze $100 x 4
- Prize donations x 75. Not just from the local area businesses. The school down the road has their fete in the opposite year and their P&C President is one of our teachers and they were willing to share their donation list with us and we will do the same for them this year.
- How did you go about it? I did up a marketing plan which included social media. Our platinum sponsors got an ad every week on Facebook, gold sponsors got an ad on Facebook once before the fair. We have lots of tradies in the area and just by chatting to them we were able to convince one sponsor (also a parent at the school) who was looking at gold to go platinum instead. He also came along to all the meetings and were able to get him involved in the fair on the day. We walked in, called, sent emails and letters to local businesses and other businesses on the list.
- How does this compare to previous years? The previous years we only got around $900.
- Do you have a sponsors’ tent? Our platinum sponsor convened the information/first aid stand and also promoted his business at the same time. He wasn’t allowed to sell anything but his business. Gold sponsors were able to have a tent as well.
- Do you have any advice for others seeking sponsorship? Don’t be afraid to ask. I always thought of it like my wedding gift registry. We put big items on the list thinking that groups would buy it together but instead one person came along and bought it. This is the same as fete sponsorship, someone came along and took the major sponsorship. Be sure to put that expensive sponsorship on there.
- How many rides did you have? Five, which was the minimum package. Feedback from the last fair was that the rides were terrible so we decided to change them. We had zorb balls, dodgems (big draw card), two jumping castles, space train (for little kids). We engaged the scouts this year. We changed the format which was so much better than how it was set out previously. We have a big hall and massive oval and our school is on the hill. We would normally have to walk up and down the hill the whole time. This year we organised a trackless train with the ride company to bring people down from the top. Every backlash question that we thought people would have we had an answer for. We had a contingency plan for everything!!!
- Did you buy your rides outright or have a split percentage? Split percentage and no deposit was necessary.
- What was the price of your individual rides? $5 a ride
- What was the price of your arm bands?$25 presold and $30 on the day
- Did you allow outside stall holders?No. we had a lot of calls from people who wanted to have an outside stall that we turned away. We were dedicated to our sponsors and they had stalls but weren’t allowed to sell anything. This is only because we are such a small school. In the past it hasn’t worked so we try and keep all the profits for the school.
- List of side show alley stalls and prices: We didn’t have any this year. Normally classes do the stalls. The teachers find it very hard to get parents involved. This year we did pre fair fundraising. The products were advertised to the whole school but promoted as the class organising it. Some classes did printed bricks, picture plates, tea towels, pot plants, Trash n Treasure, and school band ran the fete potato stall. Bush fire brigade ran the BBQ – % donation back to the brigade. Year 4 teacher played the ukulele and busked all day. Kidprenure stall – Year 5/6 – kids made all the products.
- Most profitable stalls: Chocolate wheel – heaps of prizes!!! I decided that it had to be bigger and better no matter what! Raffle. Slushies was a big seller but it did cost a lot. Fruit salad/salads and wraps – being a hot day the convenor made over a $1000 and she donated all the stock. Plants. Art Expo – local artists donated the artwork and some even had frames.
- Stalls you wouldn’t run again: Face painting due to lack of volunteers. We just need more helpers next time. Hair spray – because it was a hot day (37 degrees) everyone was wearing hats so they couldn’t get sprayed or it would come off on their hats. Second hand clothing – the last convenor 2 years ago washed, ironed and folded all the clothes which was a lot of work. No one missed it this time around.
- What is the best way that you have found to get people to volunteer their time? Being voluntold. It is just a funky word someone came up with that says just get in there and give us a handWe had a working bee earlier in the year and asked people there if they would like to help at the fair. Three/four people asked us if they could help, all the rest were suggested by others. We did bring a friend to a meeting which was very successful. One of our sponsors was the ex-servicemans club and we had our meetings there and had dinner there which was a much more relaxed atmosphere than being in the staffroom. I put the meetings on Facebook inviting people. One of the mums said that was her night out! We asked families to volunteer their time for 2 hours (over 4 weeks) to sell raffle tickets at the local shops. We also sold raffle tickets at the Rotary markets on one Saturday and some people sold raffle tickets over Facebook to friends and families which is a very good way to sell tickets as it is getting people to support your fete who are outside of the local area.
- Did you use an online roster? No. I had a look at them but it just didn’t work for us. Every stall holder just used their own paper based roster. We are looking at it for the canteen. We used Facebook saying that people need help and then people responded.
- Do you have a thank you dinner/party for your convenors? Yes. We had one in December and put on a party and had a spit. Anyone who worked on the fair was invited. We wanted them to remember that they are part of a team and to come back and be involved next time. Someone had pigs on their farm so donated the spit and we all bought food to share. It poured rain but the kids had a blast jumping on the trampoline. We sat out under the tents as it was at one of the parents’ houses. We all live on acreage so there is plenty of room for a party.
- How did you thank your volunteers?At the follow up P&C meeting I went and bought the plastic trophies for $1 and mentioned people one by one for things that they did even if they were behind the scenes. Gate person and money counters etc…I thanked people in the school newsletter, on Facebook, and sent emails out. We tried to do group emails and not name individual people in case we forget someone.
- Describe any success you had with your publicity. The major thing is that the winner from the major raffle was from Mudgee which is 3 hours away. Another winner came from Sutherland which is over the other side of Sydney. Both tickets were bought from the local shops. He gave feedback about the child who sold him the ticket and how excited they were. It was amazing the little things that people knew about the fair when I said that I was working on it.
- How did you promote your fundraiser? Social Media including Facebook and Instagram – hash tagging #gvspringfair (only about 1 month out as I realised that the older kids at school were liking it). Some of the planning was put on Instagram. Try and include the kids more in the ways that they enjoy. Show us your best photo on the day – last minute, the week before the fete so it didn’t work as well as I hoped as it was a bit late notice. Letter box drop – Platinum sponsor was a real estate agent. One side of the flyer was the house listing and then the other side was all about the fair. He did it twice and delivered 15,000 copies. He had the idea and asked me if it was ok. Of course it was! Flyers / Posters. Local newspaper. Sponsored a $200 ad – ¼ page donated In their what’s on leading up to the fair. Your own organisation’s newsletter/ email. Press release to radio. Outside broadcast booked in as soon as we knew the date and they were there on the day and promoted it in the lead up to the fair.
- Did you co-ordinate bulk supplies centrally? Eg. napkins, plates, cutlery, etc… Yes, our stalls coordinator did that and she is a catering supplier. She did a lot of research about unit pricing so she had it all sorted out.
PROFIT/ WRAP UP
- What was your fundraising goal? $30,000
- How much money did you raise? $30, 048.76
- What would you do differently in two years’ time? We bought in a lot more this time so next time we would try and minimise the cost of it.
- Is there anything you wish you had known before you started? That the weather was going to be so hot. The hidden costs, we raised over $45,000 but because of costs such as insurances, which we had to increase to get more indemnity it all adds up. The little things that you don’t think of. Class fundraisers cost a lot – one bought in $1400 but cost $900. We tried to make it easier but we asked ourselves if we could we have raised the money by doing something ourselves instead of using a company’s fundraising products.
- What is the best advice that you can give a fete convenor?
- Just jump in and have a go, it is not scary. It is for your kids!
- What other fundraisers do you have during the year? In the past we have done the fair and then on the off year we do a disco. Mother’s Day stall Father’s Day stall. Both of these stalls are more of a service than a fundraiser. We bought in a bush dance at the beginning of the year as a welcome night. It will always be at the beginning of the year now as a fundraiser. All the stall fundraisers took the fundraising up this year.
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Originally published 18 February, 2015
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