Here are tips on how to organise four types of school fundraising events: art sale, school fair, charity abseil and school cook book. If you need more inpiration or help have a look at our School Fundraising Page or contact Emilie on

Art sale

There are various options for organising a fundraising art event:

  • You can ask the pupils to enter a piece of art work for a competition with an entrance fee of @ £10.00. Then you can ask for donations for prizes from local businesses. All the entered art works could then be shown at an exhibition for parents and friends and a small entrance fee could be charged. You could ask a “special guest” to be the judge and award the prizes on the night. The artwork could also be sold on the night to parents and friends. To raise extra funds you could print a catalogue of works to sell on the night of the event.
  • You could either/also ask local art schools or artists to display/donate their art work which could be sold/auctioned and a percentage of the sale donated to Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope. You could charge an entrance fee to the event, hold a raffle and print a catalogue.
  • If you want to hold a larger event perhaps consider asking other local schools to enter the competition.
  • To raise extra funds you can also sell food and drink at the event. Perhaps even hold a raffle.
  • Another way to improve your fundraising result is to find a sponsor for your event.

To start with, you will need a large enough space to show the artworks and hold an event. Perhaps your school has a large hall or gym. Maybe your church has a hall which would be suitable and ideally at no cost.

How are you going to display your works of art? Can you hang/bluetack them to the walls, will you need folding boards?  Smaller works of art/ sculpture will need tables for them to be displayed on. What is the lighting like in your chosen room? You will need good lighting to view the pictures etc. especially if you have asked artists from outside the school to exhibit and sell their works. If the items are large, will all items have to be collected on the night or can they be collected another night or even delivered at a small cost? If they are being collected another day then you will need somewhere safe to store the items. You will need sufficient prizes to cover the different categories that are being judged. This could be done by age, medium, 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc. Don’t forget to think about background music. This can be through a sound system or perhaps from the schools musical community.

When deciding upon a date and time for your show consider what else is going on, such as matches or local events that decrease the number of people attending your fundraising event. Perhaps try for an evening at the end of the working week or a weekend – and remember to give people lots of notice.

You will need to have enough people to run the event on the night. People to take the entrance fees (make sure you have sufficient change), people to man a cloakroom (should you be having one you could charge per coat that is being left), people to sell the food/drink (make sure you have a large float and people to bring stock when needed), catalogue sellers, people to sell the artwork and a person in charge of collecting money from the various points (entrance and food/drink) during the night.

To spread the word about your event make sure every child at school goes home with a flyer. Print and put up posters/fliers around the school and the community such as in libraries, gyms, nurseries, church halls, community centres. Remember to include Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope in the flyer with a brief outline of what we do. Don’t forget the location, timings, parking and guest judge’s name if it is likely to draw a crowd.

Also, consider putting up all relevant information on a website and asking the local newspapers’ and radio stations to advertise the event.

On the day, people will need to know what the competition rules are and get a form to enter. Find suggested templates here.

To download the guide click here.

School Fair/Fete

A school fair is a great way of raising money for charity as there are so many elements that can be included to raise money.

  • Charging to park the car
  • Car washing service whilst at the fair
  • Food and drink stalls
  • Game stalls – splat the rat, hook a duck, tombola, guess the number of sweets in a jar, ring a bottle etc.
  • Competitions – welly throwing, egg and spoon race, sack races, running races, tossing the caber etc.
  • Inflatables – slides, bouncy castle, helter skelter, bungee run, gladiator duel
  • Aqua zorbs
  • Face painting
  • Gift stalls – you can make and sell your own jewellery, bags, pots, artwork etc. There are many ideas of what to make online.
  • You could ask local businesses to hire a stall and donate a percentage of their sales.

Whatever you decide to include you should set up a committee. Then divide it into sub committees which can run the various stalls (car washes etc.) they are assigned to organise.

You will also need a very large float (change) for all the various stalls together with people running between the stalls checking to see if they are OK for change or needing anything or even a stand in for a loo break!

You will also need to have people in charge of the money. You will not want tons of money piling up and being kept at the stalls so anything over £50 should be collected in by one of the official money collectors and given to one main person. Don’t forget to remember what you had as a float to subtract from the total raised.

Have a lost and found tent for any children who have lost their parent. Consider having a sound system for background music and broadcasts such as lost children or competitions starting. Perhaps you could ask the local radio station to get involved and cover the event.

Items can be raised for the ring a bottle and tombola by asking all pupils to bring in a bottle of wine, tube of Pringles, can or bottle of drink or gift for the tombola.

Make sure to advertise it to both the school and local community well in advance to ensure the best turn out. Perhaps ask the local paper and radio station to advertise it. Post flyers around the school and local community.

Decide if the school loos are to be used or if you are going to bring in portaloos.

Consider where the event is to be held if the weather is bad, which is always a possibility.

To download the guide click here.

Charity Abseil

Have you every wanted to abseil – well how about organising it for a fundraiser?

You can either use your own school building if you think it is tall enough or you could perhaps ask you local church if you could use it for charity.  Does one of your parents work in a very tall building that perhaps might let you abseil it for charity and even get involved in the fundraising or sponsoring?  Is there a local landmark that might let you abseil down it for charity and help raise awareness of both the building and the charity? Consider a local bridge or viaduct if they are tall enough to provide the “dare factor”.

It is a great event that potentially can be expanded to include the school, their families, friends and people from the local community.

There are several companies that can help you.  Please see list below.

You obviously want your fundraiser to be fun but totally safe. The better companies are very experienced and can offer all sorts of advice prior to your event as well as running it on the day and providing all the equipment and insurance etc.

The cost of arranging an event is not cheap but you need to do things properly. The main cost is in the set up; after which the more people you can get involved the more the price per person drops.

The costs of the event will obviously come from your sponsorship money so do your sums.

The company you choose will almost certainly be able to offer you advice on likely costs and fundraising potential. Many companies also offer flyers, posters and sponsorship forms etc.

Make sure you make the most of the publicity surrounding your event and remember to take pictures and get some video footage possible.

Think of the ways you can raise more money on the day such as stalls selling food and drink.  Perhaps hold a raffle and sell raffle tickets.

The idea also works well around the online charity donation websites such as BT MyDonate, which Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope is registered with.

Lastly, make sure everyone knows why they are participating and contributing towards the fundraiser. Give out flyers about Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope and perhaps have a short speech before the abseil starts. If people know more about the cause they tend to want to do more to support the fundraiser. You can find out more about Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope’s work on our website and it is also possible to request a speaker from the charity. More information can be found on our school fundraising page.

A few suggestions of charity abseil companies:

To download the guide click here.

Colour Run

What is a colour run? 

It is a 5km un-timed event where sponsored colour runners are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre.  5km is 3.1 miles and is a great distance for all runners/walkers of nearly all ages and fitness levels.

There are two rules:  1) Wear white at the starting line   2) Finish plastered in colour!

Essential to every well-run 5K event is a cache of reliable volunteers.  You will need to put together a list of jobs that volunteers can sign up for.  You could use  to create and share a job sheet for people to sign up to.

Specific tasks for individuals

  • Registration: ideally you will have received most/all the registration forms in advance but you may have some extra people on the day especially if you open the event up to outside school. You will need several people on the registration desk with up to date registration lists, a stack of blank forms, pens, a safe place for cash/cheques, a float of change and spare race t-shirts.
  • Start of the course: you will need a number of people here to ensure everyone is behind the line and the race organisers are ready for it to start. One person to fire the starting gun.
  • Finish line: you will need several people here to welcome the runners in and shower them in coloured powder.
  • Course markers/signage: you will need people to set up the course and signage for loos, first aid etc.
  • Colour throwing: organise the start, finish and each 1km colour throwing volunteers.
  • Coloured powder selling stations
  • First Aid station: are any of your volunteers a first aider?
  • Start area set up: setting up registration tables, first aid station etc.
  • Finish area set up: setting up finish area etc.
  • Clean up crew: ensure you have sufficient rubbish bins placed around the areas to minimise the rubbish that is dropped on the ground.
  • Loo crew: ensure that the loos are stocked with loo paper and hand towels (if no dryer). Ensure signs to the loos are placed clearly.  Either use the loos on the site or bring in portaloos.
  • Photographers: you can post the pictures on a website and have people pay a small fee to download.
  • Advertising: raising awareness both at school and in the community through local radio and local papers etc. Placing the posters before and during the event. Information on ELoH and sponsors.
  • PA: ideally have a portable PA system commentating on the event, information on ELoH and your sponsors. Perhaps ask your local radio station to cover the event providing the PA system.
  • Race co-ordinators: you will need a few people who know all about what is going on milling around the race in charity T-shirts so they can answer any questions by the competitors or spectators. These co-ordinators (and ideally all volunteers) should have a list of all the relevant contact numbers for the day.


You will need to look for places that can serve as a course but also have space for a start and finish area.

You will need a location with sufficient parking, either on site or nearby, and have enough areas to accommodate both the participants, spectators and volunteers.

You could have a course that loops back so the starting area serves also as the finish area.  Or you can have a straight or winding course.


Obtaining a sponsor for your event will help offset some of its costs.  They can help pay for the printed white t-shirts that are often given away as part of the registration fee and could help with the cost of the holipowders.

Sponsors can provide monetary support or gifts for the prizes (if you are having any).  Perhaps they are a local radio station that could cover the event and help spread the word about your event.  They might be a local supermarket chain that can help with the costs of water for the runners, fruits, energy bars etc.

Advertise your event well in advance

Send information to all the pupils’ parents and ask them to tell their family and friends.  Place posters around the school and in the pick up/drop off areas for parents to see.  Where possible, place posters in the local community if you are expanding the event to outside the school (libraries, post office, hairdressers, town hall, sports clubs, gyms etc.)  Ensure the posters have all the necessary information (date, location, timings, website address, ELoH information, sponsors’ names etc.).

ELoH will be happy to advertise your event on their website, and where possible, attend the event bringing information about the charity.

Registration process

  • Create a webpage with all the information about the event and Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope. Include an online registration form and the email address to send the completed form.  If you have sponsors, thank them on the site too.
  • Decide what the registration fee will be and whether it includes a free white t-shirt.
  • Ensure all entrants raise a minimum sponsorship fee (amount to be decided). Perhaps suggest they set up a BT MyDonate page.
  • Registration should open ideally 8 weeks before the event. You will need to decide if on-line registration will close before the event or if participants can register on-site on the race day.
  • Information on the form: date of race, start time, start location, registration fee, name, address, contact number, email, age, t-shirt size (if required), emergency contact name and number, course map (showing parking, registration desks, start & finish lines, loos & first aid point),  on-line registration deadline & whether you can register on the day.

Decide if you have a finishing “party” with an area selling food and drink after the race and perhaps a sound system.  This can help raise funds for ELoH and also give a nicely rounding off the event for the competitors.

Holicolour powder suppliers

To download the guide click here.

School cook book

Putting together a book of all your favourite recipes is a great way of raising money. It preserves many of your most liked foods that will be used long after you have left school, maybe whilst at university and perhaps even when baking for your own children when you grow up!

It creates a sense of unity and pride within the school, gives you a keepsake of your time there whilst also helping many limbless children in the developing world.

You can either print & bind your own recipe books or you can use one of the many online companies offering a cook book creating service. Some are aimed at a younger audience so make sure you go for the company that fits your needs.

Here are two such companies:

Producing the cookbook

To put together a charity cookbook it is usual to have one or two people in overall charge to co-ordinate things.

Other people are then invited to submit their own best loved family recipes. It’s usual to include the name of the person whose recipe it is, sometimes along with their personal story about the dish and why it is so great.

The co-ordinator is responsible for bringing the whole thing together. This will probably involve chasing people up for promised contributions and ensuring that all the recipes received are suitable and fit the brief.

The style for the book and the way it will be laid out should be carefully chosen. Recipes might be featured alphabetically or split into chapters based around particular ingredients.

Recipes should be re-written to fit a common design and layout. Do include a clear index and page guide for the cookbook. Decide on whether you will use imperial or metric (or both) measurements and stick to it.

As you re-write the recipes check that you think they will work OK. It is easy for people to miss an ingredient off a list that they then refer to later. Make sure nothing is missing and that all listed ingredients are actually being used.

You may also put some time into creating a nice cover. Is there anyone at your school who is particularly good in drawing? Or should several pupils contribute to the cover?

Set the price of the book depending upon how many recipes you have and knowing the actual costs of producing the book (cover, binding etc).

Selling the cookbook

The advantage of cookbook fundraising is that when it comes to selling the book you have an established army of sales agents – your contributors. Most should be able to sell copies to families and friends.

The books can also be sold at any other fundraising event your school puts on or takes part in.

If the cookbooks are of sufficient quality you may be able to persuade a local bookshop to take some on a sale or return basis.

Getting your recipe book reviewed by a local paper (who might like to print some of the recipes) or local radio station may also help sales.

Another idea to generate publicity and sales is to organize a competition whereby purchasers can vote for the best recipe in the book.

To download the guide click here.


Good luck!