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    Top Tips for a PTA Summer Fair

    Top Tips for a PTA Summer Fair

    We are a dynamic duo who picked up the reins of our PTFA (Parent, Teacher, Family Association, also known as a PTA) in early 2019. Apart from the bank account and a store full of random items we weren’t given any records of anything, so pretty much started from the beginning. We made the bold move of moving the summer fair from a Friday after school to a Saturday and opening it up to the wider community. The head teacher at the time was still trying to tell us two days before the fair that this was the wrong move, but quickly changed her tune when it was a success.

    After an absence due to Covid, we set our sights on July 2022 and came back bigger and better. We raised £4k in glorious sunshine. We then set our sights higher yet, but the weather wasn’t on our side in July 2023. Still, just about managing to avoid thunderstorms to raise £4k and have the support of the community meant that we will still count it as a success. It has been a bumpy road, but we have learnt so much along the way.


    • You can never have too many gazebos. Come rain or shine, you need stalls to be under cover. No one likes to win chocolate on the tombola to discover that it has melted.
    • Keep records of everything! We have an extensive spreadsheet as there is no chance to remember after 10 months how many bottles of water or Prosecco that you purchased for the last fair.
    • Remember the licences required, for example TENs and small lottery. The first year we spent ages sweating over the TENs rules, but now we fire an application off in 10 minutes flat. Parentkind membership for insurance is also very important as is public liability for any companies involved. Just beware that councils sometimes decide to change the goal post from year to year without telling you...
    • Everyone loves a raffle and a tombola! We have a non-uniform day the week before the fair and different year groups get the tasks of donating bottles, sweets or teddies. These are really popular and are pure profit. Just ensure that if you put your own child’s teddies on the stall that they are onboard with it and doesn’t spend 15 minutes hanging around your neck while you’re trying to get the fair set up! Click HERE for Top Tips for running a Raffle
    • Bottle tombola without tickets is so easy to run! Save 9 milk bottle tops and write numbers 1-9 inside them. Put signs with the same numbers on a table. Randomly put bottles on about half of them. It’s great if donations range from shampoo, to ketchup to alcohol. Then people draw the bottle top numbers out of a bag and see what they have won. Keep replenishing the bottles and you can reduce or increase the numbers of bottles to suit. It’s so easy and very popular. Remember to have a rule about under 18s having to have an adult to pick up bottles containing alcohol.
    • Winning ratio for tombolas. Please let us know what the magic formula is. We have had one year with too many winners and we had to put more non-winning tickets in. The next year we went a bit mad and put too many non-winning tickets in and had to start taking them out!
    • We try to provide plenty of free activities as well. Local sports clubs provide try it out sessions, the fire service and police are there and we pay for a children’s entertainer.
    • Make it easy for volunteers just to help with set up, for an hour of the event or with the take down. This year the volunteers app made it so easy to get people to sign up and keep track of who was doing what. We could easily send out information to the volunteers in advance as well.
    • Social media and posters. Keep sending posts out on social media to get people to turn up on the day. In addition, traditional posters still work well to get the word out.
    • We take cash and card. We have two Sum up machines that we use on the refreshment stalls. This time we also did QR codes for most stalls, which are really quick and easy to use. They are all named, so that we can work out which income is for which stall and no commission is taken.
    • Keep costs down. See what you can request from companies in terms of donations and sponsorship. We’ve been lucky that our local supermarket let us do the drinks order on sale and return, so we can order a large amount and then take back any surplus.
    • Raffles as so popular and can boost the income from people who can’t make it on the day. Get requests in with companies early and have a good range of prizes. We do a £150 cash prize as the first prize. Send raffle books out with pupils a few weeks in advance and then collect slips and money during the week of the fair. Then sell further tickets during the fair and do the draw at the end. Have someone make a list of the prizes, number them all and put them in order for a smooth draw. To find out more abour Raffle Prizes click HERE
    • By keeping costs down, gaining sponsorship and pre-selling raffle tickets, we’re often in the nice position of having covered the costs before the event, so that we know that any money taken on the day is profit! To learn more about getting sponsorship for your PTA summer fair click HERE
    • Have a trustworthy person dealing with floats, collecting cash and counting it afterwards. Ensure that it is someone who doesn’t mind being stuck putting coins into piles long after you have started on the post-event Prosecco and takeaway and doesn’t get flustered by repeated whatsapp messages asking if the total amount can be announced yet!
    • Make sure that you are good team that work well together, because you are going to need to keep each other sane! As we said, we’re a dynamic duo who complements each other.
    • You can never have too many gazebos!


    Monica Zetterqvist Sheppard.
    Beverley Minster Primary School PTFA 
    Beverley Minster Primary School PTFA  is an affiliate in The PTA Rewards Scheme! Have you heard about The Stamptastic PTA Rewards Scheme) If you would like to find out more please click here If you would like to write a blog post for us in return for a £30 fundraising voucher for your PTA please join our Stamptastic PTA and Schools Facebook Group to find out more!)
    Every PTA that signs up with us gets a free £24 fundraising voucher! Get your PTA voucher here 
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