Saturday, 3 May 2014

Fundraising for pre-school and toddler groups - 10 ideas.

I'm no fundraising expert.  Far from it in fact - and the groups I have been involved with are always looking for more ideas, so if you have any I'd love to hear from you.  Here are ten ideas for fundraising for groups of small children - sponsored silence is out of the question, non-uniform and dress-up days are... every day?  Some need bigger numbers to make them work, which has been the problem for the groups I've been part of.  In our rural corner, all these groups are tiny, only just scraping together enough kiddies to make them viable.  This makes fundraising crucial, but also much more difficult.

  1. Easy - Your organisation or group signs up, and you encourage parents, friends, granny and grandad etc. to sign up on-line and select your group to "support".  They get a little icon on the toolbar, and whenever they visit a website which is linked to easyfundraising, they get an alert asking them if they want to activate a donation.  Whatever they buy in that transaction, a percentage is paid to your group.  Tesco direct, Amazon, John Lewis, Argos, National Express and many many more are all linked in, so any time you shop at any of these websites, your group gets cash!
  2. Catalogues - there are a few catalogue companies that are set up for fundraising.  Two examples are Webb Ivory ( and Yellow Moon (  Webb Ivory is very Christmas oriented, with tons of Christmas cards, decorations and wrapping paper, though they do have other seasonal catalogues, while Yellow Moon is much more about children's crafts.  For Webb Ivory, you order the catalogues and distribute them to the parents / families /supporters of your group.  They order through you.  25% of the order total comes to your organisation.  For Yellow Moon, you order the catalogues and get a unique code.  When your parents/supporters order from the catalogue or website they enter the code.  20% of the order total comes to your organisation.
  3. Sales - For a bigger group you could hold your own toy sales, table-top sale, nearly new sale, bake sale, coffee morning etc.  For smaller groups, you might take a table at one of these sales, or simply put a table out to sell to your own parents.  For baby groups, you might take a stall at an NCT sale, which are very well attended, and in Scotland we have Jack and Jill sales, which are for any children items.  Our pre-school parent committee collected unwanted children's items from amongst the parents and amassed a ton of stuff, so now we are booking a table at the next few Jack and Jill sales in the area to try to make a bit of money.
  4. Sponsored walk - It doesn't have to be far for little ones.  This may be the first time you've troubled your neighbours, uncles, aunties etc. to sponsor little Billy for something, but be assured, it won't be the last!
  5. Quiz - Depending on the size of your group, you might hold your own quiz night in the village hall or whatever, though that does then require all the parents in the group to get a babysitter in!  A better option, which we tried out this Easter, is to simply print out a quiz and distribute it amongst friends, family, neighbours and door-to-door in the local community.  People answer the quiz and return it with £1 taped to it, to be entered into a prize draw (ours was for a nice Easter Egg, donated by one of the parents).  Every quiz returned is money for the group, with very little effort and outlay apart from printing and distributing the quiz.
  6. Jam Jar - One of the parents made a batch of jam, which was loaded into plastic jars.  Everybody had to buy a jar of jam for £1, and then return the jar a couple of months later filled with coins.  The jars were sitting on kitchen counters and mantlepieces just collecting loose change, and soon filled up ready to be returned.
  7. Rag-bag - Again this is something that happens in Scotland, but there may be something similar where you live.  You basically collect up unwanted clothing, shoes, linen and towels from your supporters and arrange a collection by the company.  They pay £400 per tonne.
  8. Personalised Items - this tends to be a popular option at Christmas time.  You can either do it yourself, or it's easy to use one of the many companies out there.  Get the children to create a design of some sort, maybe a self portrait, or a Christmas picture, some art work, photographs of the children or whatever.  Parents can then order different items with the design on - calendars, coasters, mouse-mats, tea-towels, t-shirts, mugs, key-rings etc.  At Christmas time they will order away, knowing that Grandma and Great Auntie Doreen will be thrilled to have a mug, keyring and tea-towel with Little Suzie's art-work on it, and ticking off their tricky-to-buy Christmas presents at the same time. A large percentage of what they pay goes to your group.
  9. Duck Race - this is the reason I'm writing this post today!  This morning we went to our neighbouring village of Dollar, for the annual "Dollar Under-5s Duck Race".  This group manages the local baby group, toddler group and playgroup, so they have quite a lot of supporters.  Their annual duck-race is a real keystone in the local calendar.  Ducks are sold by parents and committee members, but are also available to buy in the deli, the butchers and the paper shop, and people from the village and surrounding areas do buy the ducks, as almost everybody has been through or knows somebody who has been through the under-5s group.  On the day they also hold a craft sale, BBQ, ice-cream stall, children's games etc in a local hall.  Hundreds turn out to watch the ducks swimming down the burn, and the children all wade in to "rescue" the ducks when they get stuck on rocks or reeds.  Afterwards everybody heads to the hall for cake and BBQ and to hear the winners announced.  A FABULOUS fundraiser!
  10. Ceilidh - this is another one that has really worked for us.  It's been held for the last two years between Christmas and New Year raising money for our pre-school and the local primary school.  It's a CHILDREN's ceilidh, which means that it's early afternoon rather than late in the evening.  At this time of year everybody is eager for a get-together and this is an opportunity to get Granny and Uncle Phil and all the kids out from the Christmas TV and doing something different.  Our local ceilidh band has donated their time for free, but you're unlikely to be so lucky!  Get a band, get a good patient caller who can teach the dances, sell drinks and snacks and include a raffle and you've got yourself a winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment