14 Christmas fundraisers for socially distanced PTAs

If you're worried about holding in-person events, try an activity that doesn't need face-to-face contact

1 Christmas Eve boxes

Bulk buy recyclable paper bags and decorate with Christmassy patterns. Fill them with items such as books, a craft kit, hot chocolate, a letter from Santa, and eco-friendly reindeer food. Charge a small amount that still makes a profit. Supporters can pick up from a pre-arranged place observing guidelines or you could deliver.

2 Twelve days of Christmas raffle

Secure 12 festive prizes such as a Christmas pudding, poinsettia, books, a mini-Christmas tree and a hamper. Sell tickets throughout November and start the draw on either December 1st or 12 days before school breaks up. Each day, the winning raffle ticket gets the corresponding prize.

3 Storytime with Santa

Allocate a time slot for each bubble so they can visit Santa in the school hall. He can read them a story at a distance amongst festive decorations. Storytime can also be recreated virtually, either over Zoom or with a recording of Santa tailored to each class. When the story finishes, Santa announces he’s left a sack of presents outside the classroom.

4 Advent calendar raffle

Join in with the trend for unusual advent calendars. Either purchase the advent calendars or seek donations. Alcoholic offerings such as gin and prosecco might work for parents, whilst LEGO will be popular with the kids. Sell tickets for 50p-£2 each depending on the value of the calendar, ensuring the draw date allows time to deliver the calendar ready for 1st December.

5 Treasure hunt

Get in touch with local shops and ask if you can display a Christmassy clue in their window. Each one should link to a festive word, song or carol. Families pay for a map and instructions to enable them to hunt down the answer. Once they have it, they can email the PTA and be entered into a prize draw. Hold the event over one or two weeks to ensure it doesn’t get too busy. It’s a great way to encourage people into town for some Christmas shopping if they feel safe doing so.

6 Pantomime

Numerous theatre companies are offering panto recordings this year, which can be viewed an unlimited number of times over a set period, making it ideal for showing to multiple classes. This works out a lot cheaper than licensing a film night. Companies include Eva Long Productions and Hobgoblin Theatre Company.

7 Balloon race

Celebrate the start of December with an eco-friendly balloon race. Ecoracing runs virtual balloon races using real weather data and geographical positions. Supporters can even decorate and alter their balloon before launch.

8 Festive afternoon tea

Deliver a festive tea to get everyone in a Christmas mood. This could include Christmas cake, mince pies, hot chocolate and even mulled wine. Parents order their food online in advance, and it’s delivered fresh to their home on the allocated day. If there’s a baker in your community, get them involved.

9 Workshops

Draw on the talents of your local community to get everyone learning a new skill. Would parents and carers enjoy watching a florist teach a wreath-making event or a crafter sharing their card making expertise? If attendees need certain materials to take part, provide them with a shopping list, or include materials in the ticket price and deliver to their home.

10 Disco

Make a playlist of Christmas tunes to play over a Zoom call. Ask everyone to wear festive colours and add some classic party games for variety. Include a surprise cameo from Santa to enhance the festive spirit.

11 Shopping affiliate

This one is crucial for any PTA in the run-up to Christmas! Each time a parent makes an online purchase through an affiliate website such as The Giving Machine and Give as you Live your PTA earns commission at no cost to the parent or PTA. Set it up for free and shout it from the rooftops (or your social media and newsletters) to make sure you cash in on everyone’s present purchases.

12 Christmas puddings

Selling personalised Christmas and sponge puddings is an easy and delicious way to raise funds. Puddings can be labelled with a design of your choice, which could be the PTA logo or a pupil’s drawing. Find out more at Freshfield Bakery.

13 Christmas jumper sale

Arrange a collection of everyone’s outgrown Christmas jumpers from last year. Wash, photograph and list them online, with payments made via your PTAs usual online system.

14 Bauble competition

Invite pupils to enter the competition for £1 per bauble. Once you know numbers, purchase shatterproof baubles from a wholesaler and distribute to participants, giving them two weeks to get creative. Get one small tree for each bubble to decorate their trees, and post photos online so everyone can enjoy them. Ask the headteacher to award a range of prizes.

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