1. Football scratch cards
‘Charity football scratch cards do well in larger workplaces, plus it can be a quick turnaround if you need to raise funds in a hurry. I buy a set of cards (10-20 as we are a small rural school), and ask parents, grandparents and teachers if they can take one and get it filled in. The amount you charge and earn is so flexible, you can suit this to any budget. We’ve found that most people don’t mind handing over a pound. When all the money is collected, you scratch off the winning team on the card – the winner gets half the money, the other half goes into the fundraising pot. The cards only cost a couple of pounds for a whole set (try eBay). We send out ten cards and usually get back £300 within two weeks, with a school of only 21 pupils!’ Fiona Phillips, Chair of Luss Primary Parent Council, Scotland
2. Breakfast in a bag
‘We used the ‘breakfast in a bag’ idea for Father’s Day, as we always find it very difficult to come up with gift ideas that dads would appreciate. We worked out the costs beforehand and were able to sell each bag for £2. These comprised of individually-wrapped pains au chocolat and croissants, a small carton of fresh orange juice, individual portions of butter and jam, a banana, a tea bag and an individual coffee sachet. We supplied all items in a brown paper bag, with a poem and a gift tag for the children to write. By doing this, the children needed very little help to take their dads breakfast in bed. We sent letters out with an order form for the child to bring back to school. Although we didn’t make a massive profit (£58), everyone who ordered one was extremely pleased.’ Laura Cowper, PTA Chair, St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, Birmingham
3. Handmade gifts
‘We always make handmade gifts with pupils for Father’s Day. During school time, the PTA sets up the Father’s Day present-making stall. A few years ago, we created photo coasters and Shrinkles key rings along with traditional greetings cards. One helper collects the children (a class at a time), and a few others help the children colour, decorate and design their gifts. We then use a gift bag with a handmade sticker to put the presents in, ready to give out the week before Father’s Day. We charge £2 a child, which doesn’t make the most profitable event, but it’s a good thing to do!’ Laura Lloyd, PTA Chair, Forestdale Primary School, Croydon
4. Joke competition
All dads think they’re hilarious, right? So why not try running a joke competition? Send a letter home with a reply slip asking for jokes to be submitted (with an entry fee of £1) to the school office the week before Father’s Day. Ask your teachers to select three winners to be read out in assembly as near to Father’s Day as possible (stipulate that they need to be suitable for children’s delicate ears). Or better still, hold a special Father’s Day assembly and ask the winners to take to the stage. Use the competition as an opportunity to get more parents signed up to your PTA Facebook page or group by letting other parents judge the entries there – the joke with the most ‘likes’ is the winner!
5. Doughnuts for Dads
‘The Friends at our school hold ‘Doughnuts for Dads’ mornings four times a year. The initiative was set up to encourage dads, uncles, grandfathers, older brothers, family friends – in fact, any male role model (and where there is no male, mums can attend instead) – to enjoy doughnuts and downtime with their kids before they go off to work and school. We worked through several different ideas before settling on a breakfast event. Doughnut events have been so popular with our families from the start, and it’s tremendous to see so many men from so many different families attend each time. The staff and I are very supportive of these events and feel they are a significant enhancement to our engagement with fathers. Several years on, ‘Doughnuts for Dads’ is still going strong, attracting bigger crowds each time.’ Raymond Prentice, Headteacher, St Saviour’s CE Infant and Nursery School, Ealing
NOTE: Concerned about upsetting children who don’t have fathers in their lives? Encourage them to use the occasion to thank anyone special – it isn’t restricted to just fathers. Take advice from your headteacher if you are in any doubt.