School Fall Festival

Updated on September 30, 2014
M.M. asks from San Pablo, CA
5 answers

Myself and other moms are planning our brand new school first big event, Fall Festival.
I have some games in mind and somewhat of an idea on how to get started.
I know there are some stores and libraries that will donate items (books,food, water, toys,etc.) to schools. Im new at this and Im just unsure on how to get it started, how to ask? Where can I findmore information about this?

Thanks moms

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answers from Chicago on

when our school had things like these the pta/pto parents made efforts to hit up every business they could thing of for donations. start asking around the local businesses. and don't just concentrate on the ones who do food /fun stuff. ask at other places they may give cash donations. places like car dealerships, insurance offices, doctors offices etc. you will need an official letter stating what your asking donations for, what the money earned goes for and that it will be tax deductible. and don't forget to send thank you notes afterwards.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Our school's fall festival is pretty fun. You buy tickets for most of the kid activities. Some things include a cake walk, face painting, fishing in a kiddie pool, pony rides, a silent auction, a bounce house, a bake sale table, cupcake decorating, helium filled balloons, pumpkin decorating (those tiny pumpkins...painting them), a nail polish table, a cotton candy machine, a popcorn machine, a scavenger hunt, and little carnival games (throwing hoops over pegs, knocking off pins with bean bags, throwing bean bags into holes, etc). I am missing a quite a few things because I am always the face painter and am busy while my husband takes the kids around. Committees are formed one person does not handle all this. The jobs are spread out among many moms.



answers from Sacramento on

Fall Festival is a huge fundraiser at our school. Most classes participate with a booth, where parent volunteers set up and then handle the games during the event. Parents also donate decorations for the booth and goodies to sell. Local businesses sell food there, too, like pizza (our Round Table gets involved) and drinks.

The raffle is a big deal. Local businesses and some of the parents, too, donate items for that. Easy way to start off is by emailing parents asking any business owners for donations that can be raffled off (ours is a mix of things for parents and things for kids). The big deal each year is shaving the school custodian's hair off. He grows it long each year and the kids go crazy buying raffle tickets for a chance to use the electric razor for a bit to style his hair. Poor guy has gone around with a mohawk afterward! I have no doubt his raffle raises the most money because the kids adore him. So, think creatively ... there may be fun activities kids can do with school staff that can raise money.

Sherry has given some good info. about the how-to component. My dad used to go to local businesses for this kind of thing when I was a kid and he'd just show up and ask to talk to a manager. He always had an official letter with him. Today, you may find it's easier to reach a manager via email.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

This is a big undertaking. I have planned and participated in many school carnivals over the years. Hopefully, someone has some experience doing this. There is a lot of information on line that might help
First you need to have someone to head this up and then reliable volunteers to fill the major roles (games, food, publicity, safety/security, silent auctions/volunteer recruiter, etc, etc. If you are asking specifically about getting donations - first, you may need a letter on school or PTA letterhead (ask the principal what the district requires) requesting donations for your event. Include your 501c3 number or the tax id number for the school. Most Businesses will want an official letter for donations. Send out a letter or email to all parents for donations - perhaps they have a company or know of a company that may make a donation. Then make a list of all of the restaurants and stores and services (banks, insurance agents, etc) that your parents shop at in the area. Contact them - in some areas, letters will work; in other areas, personal contact is required and would get you better results. Some companies are allowed to make decisions locally, some require a letter to corporate or filling out an online form to request a donation. Ask! Go on line and see if there is a form required. Don't forget about parents who sell Mary Kay, or Avon, or Advocare - they may be able to make you a gift basket to put in your auction. Other ideas are: Clear this with the principal - ask each teacher or grade level to make up a theme basket. Perhaps the room mothers might help out --(books, arts & crafts, school spirit items, stickers, toy trucks - if half the class brings an item to donate on a theme you will get some attractive baskets). I have seen class artwork projects are very successful at raising funds for schools - parents will often try to outbid each other. Those are just a few ideas. Who will donate? Chick Fil A will often give coupons for free food items (if you are in their area), WalMart stores used to have some local discretion for gift cards for local schools (not positive about current policy because they also have a website to request donations) I don't want to discourage you because I know that new schools have tremendous needs, but it is now Fall. If a lot of planning has not already been done for this event, I would consider holding it in the spring or postponing to year #2. Good luck --if takes a lot of people to make this work, but it can be a fun event for your school community and raise a lot of money.


answers from San Francisco on

Oh my this was a HUGE event at our school. Planning started in the spring, and there were several committees, budget, registration/ticket sales, food, games, raffle/prizes, decorations, setup/tear down, volunteers, etc.
Community donations were secured well in advance. I'm not sure how much time you have, what your budget is, or exactly how much you are looking for in terms of donations, but I would designate at least a few people to focus soley on that for now. Businesses get hit up all the time, so don't be surprised if you don't get as many freebies as you would like.
We had parents prepare and sell individual baked goods, and hired a BBQ catering company to sell burgers, dogs and salads (we sold prepaid tickets at a slight discount to make sure we could cover the cost.)
We also had a few bounce houses, water dunking games and a petting zoo (had to pay for those) and the Boy Scouts did a lemonade stand and the Girl Scouts did a face painting booth.
I'm not sure WHERE you would begin if starting from scratch, but I would for sure reach out to the local Girl/Boy Scouts, 4H, high school service/leadership clubs, basically any youth groups in your community that focus on volunteering and serving the public.
Good Luck!!!

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