You probably remember school fairs from your youth, or maybe you attend one held at your local school every year – either way, these are a fun, lively activities that people of all ages can attend and help out with
For the uninitiated, a school fair is a fundraising event where parents, teachers and members of the community can set up stalls to play games, sell cakes, toys and bric-a-brac or take part in competitions.
The best part of a summer fair is how interactive it is, which makes raising some extra funds for the school fun and engaging.
Read some of our best tips, tricks and advice that will help you to host a unique, exciting and profitable charity summer school fair.
How to raise money with a summer school fair
There are many ways to raise money at a school fair! A few options are running stalls with games to play or things to buy, collecting donations, charging for entry or even an ice cream van! For more ideas, check out our 25 fundraising ideas for kids.
Price entry to the summer school fair at £2 per person so that even if they don’t spend any money at the fair, they’ve still contributed some money.
Your main source of income will be the variety of stalls you set up. Take a look at some of our stall ideas that are sure to be a hit and help raise some cash.
A sure-fire winner, your fair will be packed with many children, parents and other members of the community who would love to buy a slice of cake!
Ask fellow parents to bake something for the cake stall and choose a few people to be responsible for the stall by selling cakes and sweet treats throughout the day. You could ask local bakeries or supermarkets for donations too!
Hold a BBQ
Summer is a perfect time to enjoy a BBQ! Sausages and burgers are inexpensive ingredients and are easy to cook on an outdoor grill. The smell of a BBQ will definitely draw people into your event too!
Wet sponge throw
Get the kids excited by giving them an opportunity to get their own back and throw wet sponges at their teachers! A wet sponge throw stall is a hilarious way to add an extra bit of fun to any school fair.
You’ll need to ask teachers at the school to volunteer themselves to get wet but as it’s for charity, they’ll love getting involved and providing great laughs for everyone!
You will need to ask around amongst the parents of the school if anyone is a dab hand at face painting and ask them to put their skills to the test with a face painting stall.
Failing that, you can hire a professional face painter for the day but make sure that you account for paying them out of the money that you raise for charity.
Bring & buy sales
Ask parents or children in advance to bring in things from home to sell at stalls, with all the proceeds going to charity. Local businesses might have some items they can sell, with the stall serving as an advertisement for their shop or crafts.
A lucky dip stall is a firm favourite amongst school fairs and is relatively cheap to set up.
You will need to find a few small prizes such as sweets, lollipops and small stuffed toys to hide inside containers stuffed with tissue paper or jelly to make it a fun and interactive game for kids to get involved in! Charge 50p a go and offer an incentive of ‘prize every time’.
Hiring a bouncy castle can be expensive so you should only do this if you know someone who can rent out a bouncy castle for an affordable cost or know you will have enough people to make the investment worth it.
If you do obtain one, charge £2 for 5 minutes so that you can make your money back and also still raise money for charity.
An ice-cream van is a sure-fire way to raise money for charity at a summer school fair.
Many local village ice cream vans will be happy to help out at school fairs and will usually split the profits 50/50 between themselves and then donate the rest to charity.
You can set up a raffle and sell tickets all day, you can have the available prizes on display to draw a crowd.
Why not try contacting local businesses to see if they will donate prizes? Restaurants, shops and even craft businesses will appreciate the advertising that their involvement will give.
Top tips for organising a summer school fair
You can’t run a fair alone, so here’s some handy tips to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day!
You will need volunteers at the entrance of the school gates to collect people’s donations for ticket entry.
Ask volunteers to monitor the fair throughout the day and keep an eye on any unusual behaviour, like stealing or trying to cheat stalls, and prohibit people from coming into the fair if they seem suspicious.
Set up the stalls and tables
Setting up the stalls and tables at a summer school fair will be a lot of hard work so you will also need volunteers to help you with this.
You can ask the school if you can use their tables and chairs and set them up in the school playing field in order to host the fair.
Date and time of the fair
While you won’t be able to predict the weather on the day you plan to host the fair, you should look at the weather forecast as far in advance as possible to determine a date in summer when the weather looks nice and dry.
How to promote the summer school fair
You will need to promote the school fair to parents and children who attend the school as well as local citizens in the village.
School bulletin board
One way to promote the event is to put flyers around the school where the fair will be held. You can ask teachers to put them in the staff room, in classrooms and on the school bulletin boards throughout the school so that children are aware of the fair.
You could also ask teachers to hand out flyers to children to take home with them so that their parents find out about the school fair.
If your fair is open to all people from the community, why not make an event on Facebook and share it on local pages and communities?
Email/text message parents
Another effective way to promote the charity school fair is to send out an email or text message blast to parents of the students of the school where the fair will be held.
This is to ensure that parents are made aware of it and you’re not relying on the children to tell their parents!
Other things to consider
- Choose responsible volunteers who will be in charge of looking after donations and the money collected from each stall at the school fair.
- Draw a map of the school grounds/playing fields and place them around the field so that people know where each stall is and what it entails.
- Thank everyone who helped out at the event afterwards by sending out an email/text message to parents and include a summary of the success of the fair in the school’s monthly newsletter.
- Have a dedicated first aid corner at the fair with a first aid trained professional in case of accidents.
- Place signs around the field as well as a map so that people know where the toilets, exits and the first aid corner are.