Everything You Need to Know About After School Group Fundraising
For working parents, after school groups are a lifesaver. The expenses of childcare can mount up, but most schools provide a safe place for young people to go, allowing parents to build a career while saving money on babysitters or childminders.
According to the Modern Families Index, 48% of couples with children work full time while 57% of single parents work full time. These numbers show that it’s no longer the norm for one adult to stay at home.
In this post, we’ll look at how after school groups benefit parents and look at some fantastic fundraising ideas so that group organisers can offer an enriching experience to children.
What Are After School Groups?
After school groups enable parents to work full time by providing a safe place for children until the evening. Most groups run until 6 pm, and many incorporate breakfast clubs that begin at 8 am.
Despite offering more affordable prices, after school groups are also Ofstead regulated, which means parents have peace of mind that their children are well looked after.
After school groups are vital resources for working parents, and organisers receive a government subsidiary to keep the club in operation.
Most groups encourage children to complete their homework and offer support for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents that work full-time take priority because there is usually a waiting list.
Children can socialise with their friends, watch DVD’s, play games and focus on their studies in a safe, protected environment. While after school groups offer a solution for working parents, many worry that their children don’t get enough intellectual stimulation.
Why Should After School Groups Fundraise?
There are many benefits of after school groups, including:
- They’re a more affordable option for parents. The clubs can cost as little as £5 per child each day, but childminders charge per hour, with £4.95 being the lowest price.
- Most groups take place in the school environment, so parents don’t have to worry about their children wandering off.
- There are usually structured activities, such as homework support. Parents can spend quality time with their children at home instead of arguing with them about homework.
- After school groups must be Ofstead regulated, meaning only qualified people can act as supervisors.
- Children with no siblings can interact with their peers and gain social skills. Most after school groups can build a child’s confidence and teach young people how to be more independent.
With so many advantages, it’s clear that after school groups are a cost-effective solution for the working parent. But some distinct disadvantages should make after school group fundraising a priority for organisers.
Prices are Rising
Most groups used to offer discounts depending on the number of children from each family attending, but this is no longer the case. Parents find they’re spending more money each year, and concessions are usually reserved for single-parent families.
Some after school clubs only operate during term time, which means parents have to budget throughout the year to send their children to expensive groups during the holidays.
The Activities Are Often Restrictive
To remain in operation, after school clubs have to be careful with their budget. Parents naturally want their children to take part in enriching activities and aren’t happy when their children watch DVD’s and play on games consoles after school.
The idea of after school clubs is to offer a safe place for the children of working parents. Still, many want more educational activities and become frustrated that they’re effectively paying for their children to socialise with school mates.
Children Can Get Bored
Let’s face it, few children enjoy going to school, and it’s a chore for most parents to get them into a daily routine. For many, the idea of attending an after school group is an unwelcome one because they feel like their day is extended by two or three hours.
When the school day starts at 8:00 am for the breakfast club and finishes at 5:30 pm, it can get very draining for children.
Offering Children a More Enriching Experience
If after school groups want to offer children a more enriching experience, they need more funding. Most groups receive a government subsidiary but find it insufficient to provide an enriching experience for young people.
Fundraising opens doors for more activities and opportunities, with organisers being able to buy sports equipment, games and even arrange for after school trips.
The best thing about fundraising is you can involve the children and make it an after school activity to raise money for the group.
Let’s look at some brilliant ideas that will increase your group funds and make children more enthusiastic about attending an after school club.
The Shoe & Clothing Drive
Everyone has shoes and clothes they don’t want – especially households with young children. It’s getting more expensive for parents to clothe their kids, with 33% (Nimblefins) admitting they save up to a year in advance to pay for school uniforms, shoes and PE kits.
There are two ways you can make money off a shoe and clothes drive:
Partner with a company that pays you for the items you collect
We like this idea because you can be confident that your hard work will pay off. Most charitable organisations will allow you to donate the money acquired from your shoe donations, so you can ask for the money to fund the after school group.
There are plenty of shoe recycling initiatives in the UK, including The United Shoe Recycling Company.
Hold a Shoe and Clothing Sale
If you want to raise a lot of money for your after school group, it’s a good idea to let people know they’ll get something in return for their donations. Children grow out of clothes and shoes quickly, which means parents often have to spend a lot of money.
By asking them to donate old shoes and clothing, you can acquire a lot of items and set up a shop to sell them at lower prices. It’s a great way to get more people involved, and parents can avoid the expensive high street prices.
Peer to Peer Fundraising
Peer to Peer fundraising is one of the best ways to raise money because it gets multiple people involved in the process, which gives you access to a vast network of donors. Each student can have their fundraising page and set it up with their choice of text, images and videos.
By sharing the page on social media and getting parents involved, your after school group can reach more people. Donors can give money through the page, but it will automatically go to the group, meaning you can plan more activities.
The downside of peer to peer fundraising is it’s only successful if people put in the effort to gather donations. To motivate students, you should give them donation goals and reward the top fundraisers for their efforts.
Students can do sponsored silences, swims, and a range of activities they enjoy to raise money. Make sure you let people know how the money will be spent and explain why fundraising is vital to create a more enriching environment for children.
Schools discos are eternally popular, and students look forward to them every year. The best thing about holding a disco now is you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on hiring a DJ. You can also use the school hall or assembly room which cuts down on location costs.
After deciding on a theme for your disco, you should make sure it takes place on a Friday evening. Most parents will be more willing to let their children attend if it doesn’t take place on a school night.
Popular themes include Halloween discos, fancy dress or just formal wear. If you want a DJ, then ask around because you might find a parent or teacher willing to lend their time for a reduced fee.
Make sure you don’t set the entry fee too high, so everyone can attend and ask adults to chaperone.
Auctions & Raffles
Another fundraising favourite, the traditional raffle, is an excellent way to make money for your school group. All you need to do is promote the event and sell tickets to parents and teachers.
Contacting local businesses can often result in acquiring some great prizes, which will encourage more people to take part in the raffle.
While raffles are easy to run and have many benefits, auctions often attract more attention because they provide a more interactive experience. It’s easier to run an auction in-house, but you can hold the event remotely with a bit of planning.
Ask your students to promote the auction and get parents and faculty members to donate items they no longer want. You could also speak to local businesses and ask them to offer a product or service.
For new businesses, donating to your auction could be free publicity and result in more customers. When you approach local companies, explain why your cause is essential and how offering their products/services could benefit them in the long-term.
Try to offer items for auction that people would want to bid on. For example, beauty treatments, car services, family meals at a popular restaurant and day trips are all popular with people and encourage higher bids.
Punish the Teacher
It’s every student’s dream but every teacher’s nightmare, so you know this fundraising idea will be successful. The secret to success with punishing the teacher events is finding some willing faculty members that don’t mind potentially embarrassing themselves.
Each student can bid on a series of punishments for their teacher, and the highest bid wins. Essentially, it’s an auction with preset punishments, including a pie to the face, the winning student taking over teaching duties for the day, and choosing a wacky hair colour for the unlucky teacher.
Both students and teachers will have fun and – most importantly – you can raise a lot of money for your group. Just make sure the health and safety of all participants come first.
Sell Custom Apparel
You’re probably familiar with US movies and TV shows that depict students wearing tees and sweatshirts showing their school name. While it’s not as popular as in the US, people in the UK are more likely to support their school if there’s a sense of unity.
The best thing about this idea is you don’t have to stick to clothing. Other branding opportunities include baseball caps, backpacks, notebooks and pencil cases.
Joining a platform like Bonfire means you can design apparel and wait for students, faculty members and parents to purchase it on the website. Once you reach a set amount of orders, Bonfire will only charge for manufacturing and shipping costs, with the funds going straight to your after school club.
Try to price your items fairly, but don’t go too low because you won’t make a profit. The best way to succeed is by finding a happy medium so that people will buy your apparel, but your group still has the opportunity to make some money.
As we continue to move towards a cashless society, organisations need to make the donation process more convenient for people. If you add collection tins to your school’s reception area, then you’ll probably miss out on donations.
The fact is, people, don’t carry cash anymore. There’s little need to worry about always having coins and notes available with contactless technology and mobile payment integrations.
According to This Is Money, only 23% of transactions in 2019 were made with cash, showing us that even before Covid, the UK was heading towards becoming a cashless society. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get people to donate – you just need to offer them more convenient options.
While many large organisations use mobile platforms to accept donations, it can be an expensive option for a small after school group. An affordable alternative is implementing QR codes, where people can make donations through their phone.
Cashless QR codes enable people to scan the code and set a donation amount, which goes straight to your account. You can add QR codes to the school reception area and on your website.
The first QR cashless payment facilitator is Evershare.io. With minimal transaction fees and a custom code for any organisation, anyone can fundraise conveniently.
Talent shows are ideal for getting parents to donate and students to actively participate in fundraising activities. Young people get to show off their dance or singing skills, parents can look on proudly, and you can raise money for your group.
If you want to attract more students to participate, it’s a good idea to base your show around a popular TV programme. Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor attract large audiences, so you could even incorporate heats and a final that people can pay to attend.
Fun Food Day
While some people might be enthusiastic about this idea, a treat once in a while doesn’t hurt anyone. The move towards healthier school meals has been embraced by many, but it also allows you to provide students with a treat and collect money for your group.
Rent a popcorn, and candyfloss machine, then set up a booth for lunchtime and after school. Students and parents can purchase sweet treats, which contribute to your fundraising. Pick and mix stalls are also a good idea, and you could ask the school if you can hold a special USA food-themed day.
Serve American hotdogs for lunch, and make sure you cater to vegetarians to include everyone in the event. Students could also pay extra to wear casual clothes for the day, or you could specify American themed outfits.
Students v Teachers
Sport brings people together, and every school has the facilities to encourage children to enjoy friendly competition and physical activity. Why not encourage the teachers to take part in a fundraiser football match?
Depending on the students’ ages, you can set the match, so it’s students against teachers or mixed teams of both. Hockey and volleyball are also excellent alternatives, and a game of rounders could be an excellent idea for primary schools.
Charge a match fee and promote the event through the school website and newsletter. You could also make it teachers versus parents and let students act as referees.
The School Sleepover
Sleepovers are always a favourite among children because they’re the perfect excuse to have fun with friends, eat junk food and watch movies. You can be sure that most students will want to take part in a school sleepover, and using the school hall or assembly room means you can easily accommodate them.
Chaperones will need to be present, and it’s a good idea for people to take sleeping shifts to ensure younger students’ safety. Set a cost per person and include snacks, movies, games and breakfast in the price. Anything leftover can go towards your after school group.
Parents will want to know that their children will be safe, so make sure you detail how you plan on running the event. Once they have peace of mind, they’ll be thrilled to give you their children for a night!
After school clubs can become much more than a place for parents to leave their children every day. With some creative problem solving and a bit of fundraising, you can turn your group into a fun-filled place that encourages students to develop through enriching activities.
Remember to make the donation process easier for people by implementing new technologies and encourage your school, students, and parents to get involved.
If you’d like to know more about cashless payment systems and why they’re essential for fundraising, check out our complete guide to QR codes here.