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I need help with a bit of a brainstorm on easy ways to raise funds for our nursery. We're part of an infant school, but I really want this to be our little thing (so we can use all the money).


The possible problems are as follows:


1. Deprived catchment, so not loads of spare cash from parents;

2. A caretaker who is set in his ways and locks the gates to the nursery (I access through the main school building) not long after 4. And I'm a little scared of him;

3. A potential lack of willing volunteers in my staff.


This is what I've either thought of or been told about so far:


Raffle/Tombola/Jumble (a fete isn't really an option - see above);

Cake sale;

Bedtime story (children and siblings pay to come to nursery during autumn evening, have biscuit, hot choc and story);

Sponsored torchlit procession;

Teddy bears picnic.


Any help would be welcomed, but please bear in mind I could be operating as a one-woman-band.

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Hi Chocolate girl,

We have done some simple sponsored events with great success and we're in a low income area too. We did a sponsored read for a day where small groups of parents, helpers from the high school were invited in so that books were being read all day. the children were spnsored by their families to share books for 15 minutes with a group. We raised 400 pounds and it involved hardly any organisation. We raised the money to boost our sorry book corner and the parents were really supportive.


We also needed some new bikes so did a sponsored bike ride where we had different children riding circuits of the Infant playground all afternoon. we raised 300 pounds that time.


I think the key is to be really specific what you want the money for so the parents see something to show for it and not to ask too often !


We also introduced a birthday book scheme to encourage the parents to donate a story to the Nursery rather than send in sweets on their birthday. The money we might have spent on books then could be spent on something else ... obviously we'd rather not ask the parents for anything , and for books it is dreadful we do not have the money in our budget... but we don't ! For the birthday book scheme we stick a bookplate inside the book to mark the donation of the book and have a stock / suggested list of books so we don't end up with Disney story books ... yuk ! (Always rubbishly written !)


Galleon :D

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We did a book at bed time around Christmas time last year and it went very well. We charged £5 for a two hour slot from 5:30 - 7:30 on a thursday so our parents could go late night Christmas shopping.


We have regular dressing up days - one per term and charge a £1 for them to wear their dressing up clothes to nursery - we do not allow this at any other time.


Sponsor bounce hire a bouncy castle for the day children can ask friends and families to sponsor them for a max 100 bounces, we always have a specific project in mind, ie new bikes or water tray.


Don't be afraid of your caretaker I expect it is part of his job to make the building secure, you should take extra care when working alone in a separate part of the building make him a cup of tea and get to know him if you need to get out through the gate to get to your car tell him, he may even help you, you never know.

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We are in a mixed area, so fundraising can be a pain. Ideas we have used.


1) cake stall - kids make cakes and sell them at the end of a session

2) smartie tubes - give children full smartie tube - let kids eat them and parents refill with money

3) Tree - draw a tree on a big piece of card and put big leaves - ask parents to stick money on leaves.

4) Show a picture of what you are raising money, a begging note underneath and a big pot.

5) Yellow moon catalogue- www.yellowmoon.co.uk - very good, nice commission

6) The very unhealthy - if you are promoting healthy eating this one not always approved of but very effective. Go cash and carry- buy boxes of sweets. Bag up mixed sweets and at end of session put on display and ask for a donation for bag of sweets. We did this and made £50.

7) Summer fayres/boot sales - Also very good for advertising. Ask for parents junk and sell it. We do this 2/3 times a yr and make approx £150-£200

8) Ebay - Again parents junk and sell it. Peolple on ebay will buy anything. We were donated a bag of childs clothing for the pre school but had loads. Asked parent if they minded us selling. Put them in bundles and put on ebay. We made £148.00


All the above do take up alot of time, but we now make about £1000+ per yr fundraising.

We are only a small pre school with 32 kids on roll. We are committe run but only have 2/3 parents who help with anthing. All the staff and I do fundraising. At the time its a pain but when you see what you have raised and what you can then buy - FAB, totally worth it.


Hope some of the ideas help


Net x


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Buy a bag of boxed smarties to hand out and ask they come back filled with 20 ps.. also make up a sheet with pictures and do a sponsor form with collecting all items on the sheet. :D

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we do an annual sponsored find, as hali has said.

we always do this over easter, when children and parents have time to do it and often see relatives. 20 items on a sheet, things like a coin, a leaf, a cornflake, a bus ticket etc. children are then sponsored for the items. we find asking parents to give time in pre-school and they seldom turn up but send something home and it has always worked. Last year we made 800 and this year 600 when the children return them we usually give a certificate to say well done. we also did a find to see how many different items can be put in a film pot. we ask in the local photo developers (Our Boots is excellent ) for the pots to send home. Only thing is counting them all. One child had 70 items in the pot all different!


we also have low income families and they find that the sponsored find is not a problem, they can give as little as they like and we often ahve some who are unable to donate but really enjoy the search.


we too do yellow moon easy and no effort involved.



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Thanks everybody! :)

That's plenty to be going on with. Initially I think I'll start by registering with Yellow Moon - I'd forgotten about fundraising catalogues. Hopefully I can catch the new intake parents while they're still keen in September, when people begin looking for Christmas prezzies. :o

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In the past we have done a sponsored brick build, how many items can you get in a matchbox - parents sponsor the number - can be as little or as much as you like, possibly a quiz or race night is out of the question - the first two take little or no time - no other suggestions I am afraid and it is difficult asking for money when there is little to give. We did a cake bake for the tsunami - children baked cakes, decorated them and sold them to the parents - parents made a donation of whatever they liked and the children took the money in their play tills and in their pockets! Could do this with biscuits or something that doesn't need to be cooked if you don't have the facilities. I think people actually like to get something out of it too especially if they don't have much money. What about asking local companies "farms, museums, leisure centres, local attractions to donate a day out - then hold either an auction or raffle the "days out" for say £1.00 each. Cannot think of any more at the moment.


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We are also small, low income area with a committee but only a few who actually want to help!


We recently did a sponsored bag of sounds...

Each child was given a carrier bag (no cost, we just all saved them up) written on it was child's name and a letter (as in 'b' not 'dear Fred...'!). Inside was a sponsor form and explanation letter. They had to collect as many items beginning with that sound as they could. It could be a picture of hte item too so lots of cut up catalogues came back! They could be sponsored per item or 'the lot' Some came back with as few 2 items and some were almost full! They all loved it tho and we made over £200.


We also recently did name the monkey. Bought a toy monkey and typed a list of 100 names. People pay for a name and then when the list is full, put all names in a hat and choose one that wins the toy.


We are planning a dressing up day in a couple of weeks so glad to hear positive reports of that and I also love the birthday book idea.

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I spoke to my Head today, who basically said he wasn't keen on using parents and relatives for fund-raising, due to the lower income local population. xD


However, I mentioned the Yellow Moon catalogue and he seemed fine with that as 'the children would be benefiting' (presumably by hopefully receiving Christmas presents from it). I have spoken to our secretary, who is happy to deal with the financial side of things. :)


I had hoped (after reading Mimi's post) to do a dressing-up day, but now feel slightly deflated after my 'chat' and aren't sure whether to or not - especially given that it will be my current children who will all be leaving shortly, and thus won't see the efforts of the fund-raise.


However, in an attempt to stay positive :o I shall perhaps follow Net's advice and bag up some good old sweets to sell, as then, at least they get something (obvious) for their money.

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