An old favourite where the PTA buys tubes of Smarties and hands them out to children at the end of term – they eat the sweets and fill the empty tube with cash earned by doing chores and odd jobs. It’s fine to let parents know that a tube full of 20p pieces will make around £12, but families facing financial hardship or with multiple children may struggle, so accept any coinage and allow online payments too. PTAs sometimes award a prize for the class that raised the most, but if this will cause upset, offer something for the most creative fundraising ideas or leave it out altogether.
Organise a sponsored read or a book-a-week challenge and incentivise children with prizes for those who log the most minutes or read the most titles. Make it more exciting by creating a bingo card with categories such as ‘read a book with a blue cover’ or ‘read a book outside’ and get pupils to tick the ones they’ve achieved. Award simple prizes for everyone who participates, such as bookmarks or badges.
Grow a pound
Challenge pupils to make £1 into more money in any way your young entrepreneur can think of. For example, a child spends £1 on small sweets, puts them in a jar and charges others to guess how many there are, with the closest guess winning the whole jar. Or they might use the money to buy ingredients or craft materials and make cupcakes or items to sell. Children who need more funds to initiate their project can work with friends and pool resources. Offer prizes for the pupil who raises the most, the most creative idea or the best teamwork.
Arts and craft packs
Put together some packs for arts and crafts projects during the holidays and sell them to enthusiastic, creative children (or their parents). Take it further by holding an anonymous art competition, where people vote for the best artwork and the PTA awards prizes.
Sponsored fitness challenge
Set a weekly challenge to raise funds and get families outside more. Increase everyone’s fitness by making it harder each week – for example, by asking everyone to run around a local park once in the first week, twice the next and so on. Or walk a different path from where you live each time and keep a record. Even better, climb some local hills – if you have the topography. The Friends of Ysgol Porth y Felin in Conwy ran a fundraiser they called Holiday Hills. ‘We set up a fundraising page on JustGiving and encouraged families to walk up six different hills over the six weeks,’ says chair Siobhan Watson. ‘With so many hills in north Wales, we were spoilt for choice. The participants decided which hills and how high according to their family’s ability. Many shared weekly updates and their fundraising totals on social media.’