Fundraisers for schools can be frustrating and stressful at the best of times! At the worst of times they are just downright miserable. Fundraising doesn’t have to be this way, however, and can actually benefit the moral and environment of your school. Why not turn fundraising into another opportunity to engage students, teachers, parents and community in a way that builds relationships and increases the investment that all parties have in the running of your school? One of the best ways to accomplish all these tasks is through a carnival fundraiser. Any time you can involve the community, have a fun family activity, build relationships between teachers, parents and students, and raise money is a great plan. It does take a lot of planning and time, but it is well worth the investment. Here are 3 helpful hints to planning a successful (and less stressful) carnival fundraiser at your school:
- Have a committee: rather than delegating to the PTO or assigning people to planning/organizing, have a separate voluntary committee focused only on this project. This can be comprised of teachers, parents, administrators and even students. You may be surprised as to who volunteers. Some people have an easier time volunteering for a single committee that focuses on one event vs. a committee that requires an entire years’ worth of commitment. Also, some people get very excited about this type of event, and those are the people you want to find to help with the planning.
- Get the community involved: local businesses are usually willing to donate or lend items to be used for an event like this. Check on things like dunk-tanks, jump houses, and even small rides, or pony rides. Also check with local farmers to see about the possibility of having a small petting zoo. Often, much of what is needed can be brought in by local community members who will also assist in the running of their equipment. Some businesses may also be willing to donate food, drinks, prizes or money towards these items.
- Have class-run booths. Have teachers sign up their class to design and run a specific booth (food, game or other). That teacher would be in charge of rotating out students to run the booth, finding donations or buying items for the booth. This splits up the work, and gets more people invested in the running of the carnival. It also allows teachers to focus on just one aspect of the Carnival rather than getting overwhelmed by the whole. The more people that are invested, the more people that will show up simply because of word of mouth.