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Successful PTA events fundraising | UK Fundraising

Successful PTA events fundraising | UK Fundraising

wanted to do something that was different to target those people who don’t normally come to the event. We’ve all been to events where it’s the same people turning up every time putting their hands in pockets so we wanted to target an event that brought in people from the school who don’t normally turn up at events and also people from outside the school. So we put up an event called Festival on the field from 2012 which is being repeated this year and that’s what this presentation is about. So we’re from Manland HSA which is the PTA for Manland School in Harpenden. We raise about £12,000 a year. for the school. It’s a single form entry primary school of about 100 families. I’m Tim Davey, I’m the barman for the PTA. I’ve been on the committee now for six years and my colleague Mark Hill is the chairperson for the HSA. He has been on the committee for 10 years. Now the HSA is only about 12 people strong so out of 100 families not very big, we have a wide circle of people who come along and help which is something you will recognise and we also have a class
rep in each class. So that kind of swells our numbers a bit but it is small and we are a three gold star PTA award winning HSA . We’ve got one national award which we won last year and we also got the district one and we’ve also been given one for cute governors, which was a bit of a surprise. And just to tie us back into the PTA-UK we went to their national awards last year and we saw an idea called family camping which one of the other PTAs did. We adopted it and it went very well. Ran it in the summer, went very well so if you get a chance to put your names down for that event. xxxxxx award and get it. Go and do it. It’s a brilliant event. The kids come away with really good goody bags and you meet lots of people who’ve got some really good ideas. And the final thing really, for PTA-UK is that we use their insurance. And everything that we did on this was all insured using the PTA-UK insurance. OK? So this is our headline act which was Queen. He looks just like Freddie Mercury and he sounded like Freddie Mercury as well. It was brilliant. So it’s what we’re going to cover, what was successful on the field, the field itself, key success criteria, success before the event, what we actually did on the day, successes on the day and then our kind of key learning. So I guess really the bit you’re going to be most interested in is probably that last slide. Another picture. This is crowds gathered in front of the stage and then we’re on to what was on the cricket field. Hello, Can everyone hear me? What was Festival on the Field? Festival on the Field was a family music festival. We wanted to replicate Glastonbury, Reading, something like that
for families to come along to with their kids, enjoy it, have a fantastic time and feel safe. And we wanted to broaden our appeal to lots of families who don’t normally attend PTA events. We featured four tribute acts. Our headliner was xxxxxxxx Queen, along with Katy Perry and a couple of others, I can’t remember, and that ran from 12, 1pm in the afternoon right through till 10pm at night. We also included another area to our event which was a family area with local market traders, stalls, fairground rides, xxxx rides, trampolines, all that sort of stuff, but we had to incorporate the school next door to us, the senior school. We had the ideas, we had the infrastructure but they had the land, and we needed their land. This is a picture of our xxxx stage and we had 2,000 people at that event and raised over £22,000 for the schools. As you can see from what was on, we have our bands we used the school bands in the afternoon from the senior school, we used the orchestras, we used the choirs and both schools came together. That had a double effect it gave the kids something really fantastic to do they dragged along aunts, uncles, parents, everyone associated with their kid who wanted to see that kid on the stage. So it really brought a lot of people together Then they’re our headline acts, Katy Perry, we dragged up Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and xxxxxxx xxxxx. Our entertainment then on our food and drink we sold concession pitches for our caterers, we had 2,000 people so we sold our concession pitches at £600 each. We’re very lucky that one of the dads owns a brewery so all our ale we get for nothing. We also had ice creams and the other bits and pieces that go with it, and then our festival market where we sold all the concession pitches for people to come along. This is just an idea of one of the attractions we had, mini zorbs. And then we had adult zorbs as well so the kids climb inside and just run around and clatter in to each other. This is a schematic of our event, it’s split into two sections. We had our music arena with our stage and then to the side of that we had our family zone. Our school at the bottom of that map, the primary school, we had the land to the bottom of the map but you can see the senior school, Sir John Moores, next to us, has a much larger area that we incorporated for our event. So we needed them as much as they needed us. We used this map in our programme. We developed a programme for the event. We gave the programme away for free but we got local companies to advertise in that programme and I think that generated about £4,000 of sponsorship to our event by selling the pages within the programme. That we could then give out to every parent to everyone attending the event. So that paid for itself, over and again. We encouraged foot traffic. We wanted people to attend on foot, we didn’t really want loads of cars, and I think we sold about 60-70 car park places, so most people came by foot. What does good look like? Whenever you put on a large event like this it’s lot of hard work, there’s a lot of pain. It can be quite depressing at certain points, if you’ve done anything similar, and it’s very easy to get lost in what it is you’re actually trying to achieve. and when you actually get to the end, have you been successful or not? So what we did was we were very clear at the start as to what success looked like. Now we had three outcomes of success factors, for us what was important was that the event was fun and value for money so that people came away feeling that they hadn’t been ripped off, they’d had a really good time for very little money. It had to be profitable for the schools because 50% went to each PTA and therefore you’re halving the amount of money you’re going to get. It had to be repeatable, if you’re going to go through the pain of setting one of these things up and all the learning that goes with it, it needs to be repeatable so you can do it again and build on it in the future. And the final thing for us is with the PTA you have to remain friends. Because when you’re doing something big it’s very easy for people to fall out. We put that as one of our points success criteria was that we didn’t fall out while doing this. However, working with another organisation is problematic. because especially when money’s involved, who’s getting what money and, you know, who’s doing what bit or who then has to get a supplier, is it somebody’s friend all those little bits. So what we did is we had clear delegated representative accountable organisation of decision making structures. I know that sounds like a big mouthful but actually it’s really quite simple. We had the joint PTA team set up with approximately 12 people between the two PTAs. Most of those people came from our PTA because the senior school representatives were small, quite weak. We had three accountable governors, to both of the two PTAs, of the people working on it and to the school heads. Because obviously, if something goes wrong in a school like this it’s going to reflect badly on the schools. The workload was split between two main committees which was the event entertainment committee and the pre-event which was sales and marketing and we also had a separate financial management part to that. And everything was audited at the end so there could be no discrepancies there. And there was representation on all of these committees from both PTAs so nothing was done without the other side seeing what was going on. The other principle that we followed was that we were cash positive throughout, although we were given seed funding for the two PTAs, I think £2,000 for each one, we never needed to touch it, and another principle we had was sell the tickets cheap and make money on the concessions. So there’s the wild crowd in front of the stage. Suggestions before the event. Finance. we were cash positive throughout which I’ve already said. We covered all of our costs and were in profit before anybody stepped onto the field. Obviously we made money on whatever happened on the field thereafter. From sponsorship we made over £5,000 from sponsors and we made about £4,000 from the programme advertisers which Mark touched on. xxxxxx and we gave that away for free. It was full colour and we gave that away free because it was all covered. We got a lot of sponsorship that was not financial. We were given £3,000 worth of ice cream from Walls along with an ice cream freezer which we are still using which is brilliant. We got given free beer, free spirits the stage and bar were provided by xxxxx who’s their sponsorship. Power and generators from xxxxxxxx.xxxxx They’re xxxxxx is very common. And on the ticketing side we had our own microsite boards with our own url and all the tickets were sold out before the event. This is the Katy Perry act, which basically the men enjoyed. The way we split this up we had five phases. Phase one which was the pre-marketing and pre-sales bit went on from October through to June which is trying to market the event and sell the tickets when you get close to it, the Thursday and Friday beforehand we had the infrastructure go in, the staging, the toilets, the bars and so on. Phase Three which is the day itself, which is the most painful part is the event and then the following day, because we finished at 10pm, the clear-up was the following day on the Sunday. And then the close-out, the close-out was six months long. If you do something like this, getting all the money in closing it out, closing everything out, all that sort of stuff, it takes a long time to do this. This is a bit of a tear-jerking moment on this because this is our children’s choir, they’re on the stage and singing to 2,000 people and certainly my daughter was in there, was your daughter in there? Yes, she was as well. Successes during the event. The layout of the field which you see on the slide that we showed you. That was very successful. We were able to delineate the kind of musical arena by selling gazebo pitches. So we had these pitches where you kind of pitch a gazebo. That lines the edge of the arena because it’s a very large field and spread it into a music area and then everything else and obviously we were able to sell these pitches at £40 a time so that was quite a big income. I think we sold about 50 of them, so there’s £2,000 straight away. The atmosphere was great, very family friendly, xxxxxx xxxxxxx All the feedback we had was that everybody loved it, particularly because it was a family day. The kids ran around, everything was gated you could see everything from everywhere so there was no kind of trouble there in that sense and the bands were great so it was a good event. I mean, it had to be a good event, but really we were more interested in the money to be honest. Key learning. Key learning. First thing is think big. which comes back to what the previous speaker just said, which is be brave but the man on my right was dumb enough to think big and we followed him like fools and play to your strengths, fancy this one? Yes, just leading on from that. Point to your strengths, you never know what your parents in the school do and it’s ask, we found so many different people who were prepared to help us but they’d never been asked and it all sorts of stuff. The guy who gave us the stage happened to be a parent from the school and we didn’t know what he did he said I am the stage lighting and sound equipment and he said we can have it for free. So that was a xxxxxx and that was purely an off-the-cuff question at an event. Like Tim said, make it repeatable. It’s got to work again. Learn from our mistakes. We also had a massive debrief exercise after the event so that we could map out all the good points but also all the bad points. However weak they were, we listed them all down so that two years’ time, we don’t make the same mistakes which leads me on to this year, July 5th Festival on the Field 2. We’ve upped our capacity to 4,000 ticket sales which we’re on target to make. We’re looking to gross profit £40k and we’re now talking to our local council to make the event 2016 20,000 people with a gross of over £400k so we are starting to think slightly bigger and outside the box. Thank you very much.

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