Page 1

VIC & TAS 2012


What’s inside Introduction


Chapter 1:

Where to start? Let’s talk about goals, setting dates and themes


Chapter 2:

A fete committee’s selection criteria


Chapter 3:

Your pre-fete checklist


Chapter 4:

A word from your sponsor… All about getting sponsorship and donations


Chapter 5:

Calling all volunteers


Chapter 6:

The day before the fete


Chapter 7:

Showtime – the day is here!


Chapter 8:

The fete’s not over until the clean-ups done as well as the Handover manual!


Index to ebooks


Appendix I


Fete Checklist




Mandy Weidmann 1300 653 305

Direct Digital Publications Pty Ltd ABN 98 118 909 069


p: 1300 653 305 f: 1300 769 823

1300 653 305

Direct Digital Publications Pty Ltd takes no responsibility for materials in this publication or claims made by advertisers, or errors or omissions. Readers should not act on any representations made in this book without independent verification.

COPYRIGHT © 2012 Direct Digital Publications Pty Ltd

How to organise a fete - e-book


fundraise with Australia’s original AND best show bags EASY, effective fundraising Pre Packed, ready to sell

10e0y % back

Call NOW for our fantastic SAMPLE packs mon rantee see the quality before you buy! gua 1300 677 469

Introduction Fete (def ): a lavish, outdoor festival. Synonymous with fundraising and fun. Or so it should be! Fetes, festivals, carnivals, call them what you will: they hold a special place on fundraising calendars and in community’s hearts. Everyone loves them! But be warned: they don’t just happen. They are a lot of work. That’s where Australia’s annual guide to fete and festivals really helps. For many years we’ve provided some shortcuts to sourcing reliable suppliers to meet your specific event needs. Now we’re combining those useful contacts with practical advice and original ideas, including tips from those I call ‘fete greats’ – a few truly amazing volunteers who have turned ho-hum into va-voom!

Happy fundraising! Mandy Weidmann Direct Digital PS: The reality is, in Australia, fetes have become the domain of primary schools as major fundraising events. That’s why I’ve referred so much to them. But believe me; the principles can be taken up by any group wanting to run a community-based fete or fiesta. PPS: You’ll find underlined words throughout this e-book. These are hyperlinks putting you in touch with known suppliers of products or services being referred to in the text. If you download the e-book and print it out, you can still find these services at

How to organise a fete - e-book


Chapter 1:

Where to start? Okay, I know, you’re thinking: with a date of course. Wrong! That’s like closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

Tip 2:

Appoint a fete committee A fete is no job for a one-man band. It needs a committed Fete Committee, a sub-committee of the school’s Parents and Citizens Association (P&C).

Tip 1:

While the P&C as a whole should decide on the main elements of the fete (like the date and theme), the organisational nittygritty is handed over to the fete Committee, made up of enthusiastic, motivated, well-organised team players.


Chapter 2 details the different positions that need filling.

The first thing you need is a goal!

Set a SMART goal 

Specific – well-defined and clear

Measurable – in terms of progress towards the goal

Agreed – all key stakeholders agree to the goal and have a stake in it

Realistic – don’t be too ambitious

Timely – a time frame is built in.

Now that’s SMART! Advantages of SMART goals 

You can get actual quotes for what’s needed. Helpers and supporters are motivated knowing how much money is needed and exactly how it will be spent.

Find out more about setting SMART goals by reading my e-book 22 lessons for A+ fundraising.

6 ebook - How to organise a fete

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Fete Commitee List

click here for full toolkit

Tip 3:

Know what’s happening around you before setting the date The right date is critical to a fete’s success. Neither you nor I can predict the weather a year or more in advance but asking a few questions will save you major disappointments with foreseeable clashes. Find out about: 

scheduled dates for fetes or similar events of other schools in your locality

Featured Advertiser


CLICK HERE for more information

Fete Showbags presents colourful, easy-on-the-budget confectionery show bags for fundraising. National delivery.


What experience do you offer? A wide variety of our Showbags have been designed by an industry expert with over 40 years knowledge in shows. Each and every bag that we sell has been thoroughly tested at fetes across Australia. Q Describe the product. A We provide a wide range of Showbags, with lines from gummi, warheads and bertie beetle right through to novelty bags like crazy lab and fetes busta. There are of course a wide range of novelty options to ensure that your committee is able to provide the right range for the kids expected at the fete. Q How can a school fete make money on show bags? A We sell the bags to the school or community group for $3.50 and recommend they sell them on for $4.50-$5.00. That makes them very affordable.

8 ebook - How to organise a fete


How can we maximise sales? Promotion and display are everything. Involve children in creating a backdrop display, using blu-tac to display the contents of every bag on offer. They’ll be so proud of their efforts; they’ll drag Mum and Dad up to look (and buy). Q What’s your return policy? A We cannot take back unsold show bags so we ask groups to think carefully about quantity. It’s much better to sell out. If some stock is left unsold after the fete, consider some of these options for offloading: • offer in a cent auction • sell at the school canteen • give away as prizes for good behaviour. Q Have you one piece of advice for fundraising success with show bags? A Avoid a sticky confectionery mess by choosing a shaded or air-conditioned location.

your school’s sporting diary. If your school is playing a major game away from home that means there’ll be a significant number of children and parents unable to support your fundraiser (both as volunteers and as visitors with open wallets!). On the other hand, a major sporting event at your school could work to your advantage and draw in a bigger crowd.

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Date Planner click here for full toolkit

dates for community events such as festivals, street parades, fireworks and major sporting grand finals.

With this information, you can go ahead and set a date. How long will your fete run? Over the years, many fetes have grown into dayand-night extravaganzas. Great in theory but do you have the capacity? You need many more volunteers: can you find them? Do the Maths: how much profit will you want to achieve for the extended hours? Is that feasible? In tough economic times, ‘fete greats’ and veteran suppliers say, families may linger longer but only spend the same amount of money. Friday evenings are becoming a popular alternative to crowded Saturday calendars.

Evening events lend themselves to fireworks finales. Give yourselves 12 months (at least) to plan. You will need to book some suppliers like amusement rides at least one year in advance to get the selection of rides you want. Click here to find a list of Amusement Ride operators in Victoria.

Tip 4:

Theme your dream fundraiser A theme gives cohesion to all the different elements of a fete. Some popular themes for fetes include: 

Country fair

Rock and roll

Around the world

Mother’s day

Father’s day

Spring fair



Haunted House

Outer space

Sports Day

Old Fashioned Carnival

For example, a Country Fair theme could see stalls decorated with hay and dried flowers and convenors wearing denims with flannel shirts and straw hats. A bush band could provide entertainment and a How to organise a fete - e-book


“Taste it, Love it!� Mini Melts Ice Cream is an exciting and truly unique ice cream. Made in Australia from the finest quality ingredients, Mini Melts is a super freezy, super creamy Ice Cream that is flash frozen, locking in the flavour and delivering a taste sensation!

(08) 8352 5202

10 ebook - How to organise a fete

baby animal farm could teach children about animals that live on a farm. Click here to find a list of Baby Animal Farms in Victoria. An International Fair opens that way for world flags, national costumes and exotic food stalls. Tailor some of the games and activities around a certain country or culture. My favourite theme was ‘the circus’. The kids loved it – and so did the teachers. They were able to work the theme and all the preparation that goes on in class time with drama and art lessons. An Arts Council troupe of performers came to the school in the lead-up and taught the students some fun moves; they even returned on the day of the fete and worked the crowd for us. 

Linda, ‘fete great’, convenor

Chapter 2:

A fete committee’s selection criteria Choosing a committee and appointing specific jobs will distribute the work evenly, and lessen volunteer stress and work load; enabling everyone to enjoy the day.

The executive  Fete convenor

Like a CEO with overall responsibility for the event – only without the pay incentive! -- the fete convenor keeps the big picture in focus. One person may have the time and energy to run with this volunteer role; or two or three good friends may be able to share the load.  A fete convenor: 

chairs all committee meetings

liaises with all stall holders, the school principal and teaching staff and the P&C

mediates disputes (and yes, they will happen!)

If I can walk away from all of this with friends in tact, I’ll be a happy person. Philosophy of ‘fete great’ Karen, a successful convenor for five years

How to organise a fete - e-book


Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Guide for Fete Convenors Assistance for Fete Letter Fete Planning click here for full toolkit

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Guide for Treasurer

click here for full toolkit

Tip 5:

 Fete secretary

Many hands make light work

This person has an eye for detail and is responsible for all the correspondence, meeting minutes, and other ‘office type’ work involved. Ideally they will have strong office, computer, and organisational skills.

Aside from the three strategic positions, a fete sub-committee will be made up of parents and friends who volunteer to oversee all other aspects of the event, including: 

stall convenors

The fete secretary’s job continues well after fete day: it’s his job to send out thank you letters to all sponsors and stall holders, and to update the handover book.

set up


money handling

equipment hire

Not sure what a handover book is? See Chapter 8.





gate control

Guide for Secretary


click here for full toolkit

first aid






clean up

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

 Fete treasurer

Money doesn’t just change hands on fete day. It’s coming and going before and after the event too. Accurate financial records are essential. A financial controller – or fete treasurer – will ideally have experience in accounting or bookkeeping.

12 ebook - How to organise a fete

Consider also a volunteer coordinator to look after recruitment and timetabling of helpers. Chapter 5 provides more information about volunteers and how to get them offering to help. Once your committee has formed, compile and distribute a comprehensive contact list. Be sure every member of the committee is on it and that all committee members get one. Include email, home and work phones, mobile number. Committee members need to be able to contact each other easily for help or advice.

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Fete Commitee List Volunteer Roster click here for full toolkit

Encourage them to keep notes to pass on to next year’s committee. Chapter 8 explains more about the importance of a Handover Manual. Be clear on your committee’s accounting practices from the start. Include a procedure in the information folder clearly outlining the methods by which goods can be purchased for each stall. Just like business, a fete will benefit from “economy of scale” purchasing. Your committee purchasing officer may be able to get discounts for bulk buying of items that a number of stall holders need: like disposable tablecloths, napkins, plates, bunting and cups. Likewise, your equipment hire officer can coordinate all the stalls’ hire needs. A publicity officer will coordinate messages sent through your school community and out to local media.

Your first committee meeting At the very first committee meeting, outline a clear plan listing all elements of the fete, the number of hours it will run, and set a target amount of money to be raised. If this is the school’s first fete, it is a good idea to have the Secretary put in place a comprehensive filing system that can assist in planning for the next year.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Handover Report Bulk Supplies Order Form Equipment Order Form click here for full toolkit

Supply each stall and task convenor with an information folder that provides as much detail as possible about their task.

How to organise a fete - e-book


Tip 6:

Communication is integral to success

Communication, communication, communication! The fete committee needs to communicate really well with each other, with the school administration and with parents.  Karen, ‘fete great’ Committee members need to be fully informed at all times. This can be done through regular meetings and emails, a facebook page or even a website set up for the event!

14 ebook - How to organise a fete

Monthly meetings are adequate in the initial stages, moving to fortnightly and then weekly, as the event gets closer. Hold your meetings at a place that is easy and convenient for everyone to attend, and ask your attendees to bring along a plate of food to share. Always circulate a written agenda. This allows committee members to think about what’s going to be discussed and keep on topic. No one – least of all busy fete organisers who also have family and work lives -- wants to be held up at meetings that go around and around in circles.

The fete secretary will take minutes of the meeting and distribute them to all committee members. Group email is useful for dealing with sudden issues that need urgent answers.

Chapter 3: Your pre-fete checklist

There’s a lot to do; a lot to remember. Use the checklist in Appendix I to keep track of all that needs to be done. Here we detail 13 essentials that demand attention:

1. Location Confining your fete to a limited area keeps the audience circulating around the stalls. It also enhances that fiesta crowd feeling. 

You need a flat site – oval or car park.

You need access to electricity. If that’s not possible, you will need to hire a generator

Ideally you want passing traffic to see what’s happening.

Draw a Map of the area and plan where each stall will go. Pay attention to the mix of stalls and try to keep them grouped (for example, creating a food court and a sideshow alley). Consult with convenors about the location of their stalls. Amusement rides need a large flat area such as the school oval or car park, and access to electricity. Pony rides and a baby animal farm need space too; and while they’re best near one

How to organise a fete - e-book


another, lambs, ponies and goats don’t mix well with the noise of big amusement rides (or the screams). A petting farm with 30 animals will need a 10m diameter circular space; pony rides need a cordoned-off circle about 80m wide. Do a walkthrough of the area prior to your fete to confirm in advance that the spot has good access for their equipment.

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Site Plan Examples

click here for full toolkit

Tip 7:

Ask your amusement ride supplier for a site visit with you Most large rides are transported on semitrailers, so having ample space to move in and out is important. Click here to find a list of Amusement Ride operators in Victoria. For live entertainment, you will need a large space for the stage and a comfortable place for the viewers. Select a grassy area for the stage that has plenty of clear space for audiences. Try to provide as much shade as possible, as many parents will take the opportunity of watching events on stage in order to take a break from the fete.

16 ebook - How to organise a fete

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Guide for Rides Convenor

click here for full toolkit

Tip 8:

Mark it out

On the day of your fete, mark out your areas by using spray paint on grass or chalk on bitumen and concrete in order to mark out stall areas. Alternately, you can use prominent signs directing your convenors and participants. Ensure all stall convenors have a finalised map so they know where to set up.

2. Insurance Do not assume that your school’s insurance policy will cover a large event such as this one. An extension of coverage may be needed. Public Liability insurance is essential to protect your school from any untold incidents that may occur. Wet Weather insurance is also worth investigating. Check the public liability insurance of your outside vendors too.

3. Electricity Enlist the help of an electrician for advice on what needs to be done to ensure adequate supply to all stallholders.


your business


1300 653 305

Tip 9:

Tip 11:

Fetes use a lot of power. Relying on extension cords and double adaptors is asking for trouble, but ask an electrician to supervise.

You’ll never beat the line but you can keep it moving. For example, consider the number of people per ride. An Octopus will carry about 24 people while only four people may be able to climb a rock wall at any one time.

Hire a generator

Your Workplace Health and Safety requirements may have special conditions placed on working with electricity; check those guidelines too.

4. Booking rides and equipment Amusement rides – from inflatable jumping castles and merry-go-rounds to climbing walls, dodgem cars and sizzlers – are HUGE drawcards. They’re also your biggest expense. It pays to check availability and book as soon as possible: many schools secure rides a year in advance. Go for a mix of rides for different age groups. It will prove the best investment. Remember to ask amusement ride staff for Blue Cards.

How to work the queue

Tip 12:

Think all day-ride pass All-day ride passes are very popular. Offer discounts for passes purchased in the days leading up to the fete to encourage sales.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Ride Pass Order Form

click here for full toolkit

Tip 13:

Outright hire or percentage?

Click here to find a list of Amusement Ride operators in Victoria.

Most ride operators will offer two alternatives, outright hire or percentage split. What does this mean?

Tip 10:

Outright hire means you pay a set fee and retain all proceeds of ticket sales.

Height matters Be mindful of height restrictions. Some rides exclude participants less than 1.3m tall; for others it may only be 1m.

18 ebook - How to organise a fete

You have to pay the hirer no matter how popular – or how wet the day turns out. Percentage of takings means you split the profit with the ride operator. Usually you get 20%-25% of overall ticket sales.

How to organise a fete - e-book


This may mean less profit than the outright hire but it also hedges against making a loss due to bad weather.

Liaise also with the school’s performing arts section for special performances such as dance groups, bands, or choirs.

‘Fete greats’, having proven the success of their event, all advocated the flat fee.

When thinking entertainment, don’t limit your ideas to song and dance. Displays by Fire and Police departments are popular; so too sporting demonstrations such as martial arts or gymnastics. Dog obedience groups prove popular too.

5. Entertainment Start with an MC who provides guidance and draws the attention of the crowd. Appoint one or two people with outgoing personalities to work the crowd. Your MC will need a good sound system so that they are heard around the entire site. If the school sound system isn’t up to scratch, hire one that will get your message over loud and clear. Your MC will need a comprehensive running sheet, listing stalls and performances to promote throughout the day. They will announce ‘specials’ as they come to hand, as well as raffles or lost children in need. They can also mention support from your sponsors if you have promised this exposure. Play a selection of music in between announcements to liven the mood of your fete. Don’t discount using kids as entertainment for your fete: in fact, count on it. By encouraging every class to perform one song or dance routine on the day, you’re assured of a strong family turnout to support the performers; and once there, they’ll spend money on rides, refreshments etc.

20 ebook - How to organise a fete

Street entertainers and performers need to be booked well in advanced. They can be expensive but will add to the colour of your event. Entertainment should support the fete’s theme. For example, if you’re hosting an International Fair, invite the local Chinese community to perform a traditional lion dance. For a Country Fair, book a bush band. A fete themed on the musical ‘Grease’ would benefit from an old-style rock’n’roll band.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Run Sheet for MC Guide for Entertainment Convenor Entertainment Schedule click here for full toolkit

6. Publicity Publicity is about getting your message out so that as many people as possible will know your fete is on.

stall one week; ask for cake mixes the next. Get the children involved by offering a prize (such as a pizza party) to the most-generous class. Organise a Free Dress Day in the lead-up to the fete, in exchange for bringing a requested fete item.

You want more than your school community to support you: you want your whole community circling this fete as a ‘must see’ on their calendar. As soon as the date is set, contact your local councillor about promotional banners being erected on major roads near your school. Councils usually limit the number of hoardings allowed: a case of the early bird captures attention. Other publicity tactics include: 

Run a poster competition within the school and charge a gold coin entry fee. Have a display of all the posters on the day of the fete and ask the public to vote for the best poster. Offer a major prize for attending the event, and you will be sure to draw in crowds of people. Ensure that the winner has to be present at the draw to keep your crowd there. When seeking prizes, inquire at local businesses such as travel agents or electronic shops. Check out Chapter 4 on sponsors. School newsletters are the major way to promote events to school families. Include an extra sheet specifically for fete promotion, and have it printed on brightly-coloured paper so that it gets noticed. Publicise a different stall each week. Also promote the businesses that are supporting your event. Use your school newsletter to source prizes, lollies, cakes, ingredients. For example, focus on prizes for the bottle

Invite schools, kindys, churches and clubs in your locality, encouraging their attendance.

Ask local shops and businesses to display a fete poster in their window. If they’re a sponsor, make sure the poster acknowledges them as such.

Most radio stations run a community hotline and will promote your event on air at no cost. They also provide community information on their websites.

Local newspapers can be tough to get into. You need a gimmick or a contact. Perhaps someone within your school community works in media or PR? They may be glad to drop the right word in the right ear.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Guide for Publicity Officer Media Release Template click here for full toolkit

How to organise a fete - e-book


We combined our Circus theme with a bid for a world record: the longest mural on calico. It attracted media attention – newspapers and radio – and the ‘curiosity’ boosted our crowd numbers. 

Linda, ‘fete great’

7. Handling security and money A lot of money will change hands at a fete. You will need: 

a secure and lockable area set aside for the collection and counting of money. The school office may be most suitable.

coins and money bags

cash on hand for every stall to create a float. Keep details of how much money is given to each stall holder. Then you’ll have an accurate picture of their profit.

calico bags, marked with a stall’s name. Supply two per stall. The float can be in one of these. Use the other for cash collection.

identification badges for those authorised to collect money – distinct from any other fete-related badges.

A spreadsheet to track each ‘collection’ which may take place every hour or two.

To avoid misunderstandings or mistakes, have two people count the money being collected at each stall. Account for the amount on a sheet and have both those who counted the money, sign beside the amount.  This accountability will assist with reconciling the takings for banking and reporting and leaves no room for temptation or accusations. 

Admin Bandit

(accounting software and volunteer treasurers)


your business


1300 653 305

22 ebook - How to organise a fete

Tip 14:

Beat cheats! Consider whether to invest in professional looking pre-perforated tickets, speciallydesigned temporary tattoos or using wristbands for identification of day pass users on rides.

Tip 15:

Borrow a coin counting machine Ask your bank if they have a coin-counting machine available for use. It will save you hours of tallying up loose change. Consider whether you’ll need a security company to collect the takings at day’s end: you could be holding tens of thousands of dollars. No treasurer deserves the stress and risk of carrying thousands and thousands of dollars over a weekend.

Linda ‘fete great’

8. Equipment hire Make equipment hire an agenda item early in the planning process. Every stall will need some equipment. Give stall convenors a comprehensive equipment requirement list and ask them to complete the form, specifying exactly what they need, sooner rather than later. For example, food stalls will need cooking equipment, ice chests or refrigeration,

baine maries, covered serving stands, deep fryers, BBQs and more. Ask your local council about food regulations. Ensure each food stall has a fire extinguisher to comply with local fire regulations. Food stalls take longer to set up: delivery of equipment the day before the fete is best. Your equipment hire coordinator has the task of sourcing what’s needed. Some items will need to be hired – and hiring en masse could provide savings. But encourage a stock take of what’s available at the school and on loan from the school community first. Tables and chairs, for example, can be sourced from the classrooms. Refer to your Handover Manual to see what was used the year before. You don’t have one? Start now? Find out more in Chapter 8. Walk around the area selected for the fete. How much is undercover and protected from the elements. Use as many undercover areas as possible to provide shade from sun and shelter from rain. Before hiring, use your school newsletter to seek loans of equipment. For example: 

portable sun shades – ideal for stalls


ice chests

Local businesses often have marquees available for loan to fetes. Start with local real estate agents, finance companies, car dealerships, and hotels. Your local councillor may also have a marquee available. How to organise a fete - e-book


Ask neighbouring schools if you can hire from them for a small fee. If your school plans to make the fete a regular event, consider purchasing some items that can be used each year.

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Equipment Hire Form click here for full toolkit

Tip 16:

You can never have enough loos or rubbish bins! Yes, schools have toilets but enough for the crowd you expect? Hiring portable toilets is a sensible and sanitary investment. Likewise, the school wheelie bins are unlikely to handle the volume of rubbish created. Hire a skip for the end of day clean-up. Click here to find a list of Hire Companies in Victoria.





• Snake Shows • Reptile Shows • Crocodiles • Lizards • School Incursions • Fetes • Entertainment • Christmas Parties








• Wildlife Displays • Snake Pits • Pythons • Wildlife • Kinder Incursions • Festivals • Corporate Events • Birthday Parties

Phone: (03) 5961 9183 / 0432 143 228

24 ebook - How to organise a fete

9. Stalls and stall ideas Stalls are arguably the most important part of a fete. Success rests with the detail in the planning, paying particular attention to diversity and quality. Parent groups often have specific stalls they like to operate. Send out an invitation for these groups to convene stalls, giving them a simple theme to work with. New parents to the school can also bring new ideas. Many parents own local businesses. Offer them a stall. For example, a parent who owns the local ice cream parlour is preferable to an outside vendor coming in and running the ice-cream van. Create a craft group within the school to make items for the fete. This is not only a fundraising activity: it’s a communitybuilder as well. With regular craft sessions held throughout the year, it’s a great way for new parents to get involved and make friends. Items that don’t sell at the fete can be stored and used at another fundraiser. Involve the students too. Ask each year level to run a particular stall. Children enjoy the responsibility. Make it a little competitive: offer a pizza party to the year level that raises the most money.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Stall Ideas Craft Stall Ideas

click here for full toolkit

Tip 17:

What to charge? All items should be priced a little below shop price for a similar item. Ask stall holders to hold the price until later in the day. Have guidelines in place for late-in-the-day deductions, to encourage quick sales.

10. Outside vendors To avoid a fete with little to no stalls, consider bringing in outside vendors. They will either pay a flat stall fee or a percentage of profits. The P&C or fete committee should decide what is most appropriate. Outside vendors need to pay for their stalls in advance. If they are operating on a percentage basis have one person appointed to collect money from them at the end of the day.

How to organise a fete - e-book


Click here to find a list of Stallholders in Victoria.

Tip 18:

Check licences

Ask that outside vendors show you their food licence or permit. If they can’t they shouldn’t be there. Outside vendors are a great option for a small school which may otherwise be limited to 10 stalls or less. Their presence adds colour and flavour to the day. Outside vendors are a great way of pulling in people who otherwise may not be drawn to a school fete. But be selective about what they sell. It needs to be appropriate for the school audience – and not take away from your core sales. 

Karen, ‘fete great’

Tip 19:

Call it a Market Day! By bringing in outside stallholders, you can advertise your event as a market day. You are likely to attract a much larger crowd from outside the school community.

11. Your fete program guide This is a MUST yet it’s often overlooked. A program guide informs visitors about the stalls, thrills and attractions of your fete. To offset the cost of creating programs, ask your local printer about producing the program in exchange for being a fete sponsor.

For this option to work, you must respect the vendors’ needs. They need to make some money too!

Make your program colourful and eye-catching, designed to complement your theme.

For example:

Include map showing specific locations of all stalls

List the time and location of all activities and entertainment throughout the day.

Be realistic about what you charge them for the privilege of being part of your day. The smaller the school, the less the fee.

Don’t book a balloon stall and then have a sponsoring company give away 1000 helium balloons.

Have a page that lists the prizes for events such as silent auctions, chocolate wheels, and cent auctions.

Avoid booking two or three similar stalls.

List all sponsors’ names and contact details. You can vary the size of the listing depending upon the amount of sponsorship provided.

Click here to find a list of Food and Beverage Vendors in Victoria.

26 ebook - How to organise a fete

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Fete Programme Guide Suggestions

first-aid tent (which might also be the café – simply have a first aid kit available, mark it with a first aid sign, and have the phone numbers of the first aid volunteers handy).

click here for full toolkit

Tip 20:

Number each program, and have a draw for a lucky door prize. It will encourage people to stay around (spending more time equals spending more money).

Tip 21:

Have large-scale maps posted around the grounds

That way no-one misses out on seeing something; everyone knows where to go. Make a big Red Cross for first aid so that in an emergency, there’s no question of finding the right person. 

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

First Aid Roster click here for full toolkit

13. Photography ‘Fete great’ Karen swears by the value of a roving photographer to catch the highs of the day. “There’s bound to be a keen photographer in the school community who’ll volunteer,” she says. You can use these images in all sorts of ways -- in next year’s newsletters, sponsorship pitches, accompanying media releases to the local paper, even as a slideshow for the wrap-up party!

Karen, ‘fete great’

12. First aid It’s worth trying to book St Johns Ambulance first aiders for your fete to deal with health situations – from grazes to upset tummies, over-excitement to more serious illness or accidents. Alternatively, roster any parents who are doctors or nurses to be ‘on call’ from the

How to organise a fete - e-book


Chapter 4:

A word from your sponsor‌ Sponsorship is probably the most overlooked and underestimated ingredient to successful fetes. Local business sponsorships can offset the cost of running your fete and increase your revenue. They can provide: 

financial assistance

in-kind help



Start by looking within your school community. Who, within the parent cohort, runs a business? Could they supply goods or products at competitive rates or better still donate in return for free advertising? Parents have a vested interest in supporting the school: it helps their kids!

Use your contacts For example, a parent I know runs a catering business. She was surprised to learn that her school fete was buying the

But remember: you won’t be the only one seeking their support. That means you need to start early, know how to ask and what to offer in return. Your sponsorship coordinator and fete convenor should work together initially on this, approaching individuals and letting them know what they’ll get in return. See a sample letter at the end of this chapter.

Fete Toolkit

03 9602 1311

I ncludes:

Sponsorship Proposal Tips in seeking Sponsorship click here for full toolkit

28 ebook - How to organise a fete

hamburger buns at the local supermarket, paying full retail price. She offered to order them through her business at wholesale – a significant saving. Bonus: the rolls were delivered fresh on the day and pre-split. Another parent is a food distributor. She was able to source and donate gourmet cookies for the fete cafÊ. A public servant was able to put his school in touch with marketing people in government departments who were only too happy to provide bundles of stickers as token prizes. Cost nothing but the kids thought they were winners!

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

First Aid Roster

click here for full toolkit

Tip 22:

Plan – and advertise – SPOT Days well in advance These are days in the lead-up when you ask families to donate goods – such as cans of drink or packets of chips for prizes. By including the dates well ahead in the school newsletter, families can look out for supermarket specials on non-perishables. It’s easier on the family budget, allows for some planning, shows goodwill and encourages participation!

Tip 23:

Using political supporters

Your local councillor and State parliamentarian can be useful supporters too, particularly providing in-kind support such as photocopying flyers. Just like the butcher, such help warrants acknowledgement.

Looking locally Once you have exhausted parental contacts, approach your local community. Look to major wholesalers for items that would assist in food stalls, such as flour, bread, milk, or sugar. Seek gift vouchers from local businesses for games or raffle prizes. We’ve had success with the following types of businesses: 


beauty services

nail salons


real estate agencies



ice creameries

pizza parlours



How to organise a fete - e-book


book shops


For a big raffle prize, put your proposal in writing:

bike shops


Clearly establish what you are asking for.


fashion boutiques

Detail how this support will help achieve your goal – and any flow-on benefits to the wider community.


sports stores



fast food outlets

Spell out the advantage of providing such a generous prize. Feel-good is one thing; tangible is better: “Your business will be highlighted as a supporter of our school in our weekly newsletter, read by 400 local families.�


toy shops


Offer to link their business to the school website. Check with the principal first!



petrol stations

Tip 24:

How to use cash donations from sponsors ‘Fete great’ Karen recommends investing the cash donation in a like stall, to offset its costs. For example, a $50 cash donation from a butcher is used to buy sausages for the BBQ; a similar cash donation from a greengrocer buys some of the salad. The BBQ would carry a sign saying it was proudly sponsored by the butcher and the greengrocer. A cash donation from the local haberdashery offsets craft material spending.

30 ebook - How to organise a fete

Tip 25:

Always say thanks

Always thank your business sponsors. A certificate of thanks, designed and printed on the home PC, costs next to nothing but is appreciated. ‘Fete great’ Karen invited sponsors to her fete, requesting them at a certain time, and offering drinks and canapĂŠs in a ‘Sponsors tent’ as a show of appreciation. Note the generosity in your Fete Handover Manual – for next year.

A note about raffles There are rules about running raffles and they differ from state to state.

In Victoria 

The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation requires any organisation running a raffle to be ‘declared’ or registered as a community or charity organisation. Your group may already have that status. If not, you’ll need to fill out a form available from

A permit is needed when the total prize pool exceeds $5000. A nominal fee is charged for the permit. The permit lasts 12 months.

For more information email minor. or telephone the Minor Gaming Unit on (03) 9651 3630.

In Tasmania 

The Tasmanian Gaming Commission enforces the rules on raffles in that state; and they’re quite specific.

A permit is required when the retail value of the prizes exceeds $5000.

Tip 26:

Raffles made easier Australian Fundraising offers a service where they do all the hard work. It looks after the legal aspects, organises great holiday prizes – accommodation in quality motels around Australia; prints personalised tickets and presents the tickets in sellable bundles. You only buy as many as you are confident you can sell (the value of the prize reflects sales).


your business


Application forms are available from the commission’s website: Gaming

1300 653 305

How to organise a fete - e-book


Sample letter Dear <NAME OF LOCAL BUSINESS PERSON> On SUNDAY 18 MAY, ABC COLLEGE opens its doors to the community. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a day that attracts a large and varied crowd: 

current parents who due to work commitments during the week are unable to see what their children are involved in at school

prospective parents and children keen to judge for themselves the merit of our college

past students walking down memory lane


prospective real estate buyers in the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s catchment [list suburbs if appropriate]

Open Day 2008 is primarily a day to showcase what makes our College one of the top ten academic performers in the State. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also an important opportunity for our Parents and Citizens Association to raise vital funds to support the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newlyapproved building development. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re grateful to our local businesses for supporting us in the past through the donation of raffle prizes. Past donations have included vouchers for meals, hair and beauty services, bottles of wine/spirits, artworks, sports gear and gift packs. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hopeful that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue your generous support of us this year. Believe me: it will be rewarded: 

You will be listed as a valued sponsor in the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fortnightly newsletter to all families and on the College website where your business will have a12-month presence.

Your business will be mentioned throughout the day in announcements.

If you would like to contribute to our Open Day, or would like further information, please telephone the college on 99999999 (daytime) or myself on 94444444 (evenings). A member of the P&C Committee will be pleased to collect your donation. Thank you in anticipation. JO BLOGS President ABC College P&C

32 ebook - How to organise a fete

Chapter 5:

Calling all volunteers

A fete doesn’t just happen; and it takes more than fete committee to pull off. It needs helpers – and lots of them. But how can you encourage people to put up their hands and volunteer. Everyone says they’re busy! I’ve found breaking down jobs into small manageable tasks works best. When people realise it is only a small amount of work – for a short time – they will be more willing to join in. Apart from stall rosters, it is useful to have a ‘floating’ roster. There will always be the need to provide short term cover for a stall, in particular when it gets busy or a volunteer needs to watch a performance that their child is in. Have a co-ordinator for the floating roster, and make sure they have contact details for everybody. Use your contacts. Lots of schools provide Year level contacts sheets with parents’ names and phone numbers. If a Year level is assigned a particular stall, do a ring-around and ask every household what they can do.

“It’s easy to ignore a plea for help that arrives home in a newsletter. It’s much harder to say ‘no’ when someone being friendly is on the other end of the phone.” 

Karen, ‘fete guru’

Tip 27:

Create a volunteer sign-up board I’m a great believer in the sign-up board: a chalk board or whiteboard somewhere central where parents (or other prospective volunteers) regularly congregate. On it, post the fundraisers, projects and events happening throughout the year that need help. Below each fundraiser, provide details of how a volunteer can help. Include timelines where possible. Now leave space underneath for sign-ups – name, phone number and email. This upfront and open approach dismisses any fear of being ‘caught out’ by unexpected activity and allows potential helpers to factor their volunteering time into their lives. It also encourages ‘last minute’ offers. Your fundraising coordinator (or volunteer coordinator) can transcribe the offers of help into a spreadsheet and see at a glance who is supposed to be where and when. Shortfalls will be obvious. How to organise a fete - e-book



your business


1300 653 305 34 ebook - How to organise a fete

While the volunteer sign-up board should be in a public place, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t assume everyone will see it. Use your newsletter and email database to point it out. If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a critical gap, send out a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;please help us!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 22 lessons for A+ fundraising provides lots more information on how to attract â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and keep â&#x20AC;&#x201C; volunteers.

Fete Toolkit I ncludes:

Volunteer Roster click here for full toolkit

Chapter 6:

The day before the fete Aim to set up as much as possible on the day before the fete. Not only will you have enough to do on the day, but you will also have time to iron out any problems that arise. Setting up can overwhelm volunteers. Have a plan of action ready to make this as smooth and stress-free as possible: 

Ask for volunteers to help after school to collect tables and chairs from classrooms. These can be set in place the day before.

Organise for all hire equipment to be delivered the day before and distribute it to the appropriate stalls

Book your electrician (hopefully a parent providing service in return for advertising!) for the afternoon before, to get all power requirements in place. Be sure those stalls that need power are set up and extension cords are in place, with all Workplace Health & Safety checks completed.

Create a central station for children dropping off cakes, lollies and other items. These may need to be stored in your portable cold rooms.

A word of warning: try not to throw volunteers in the deep end. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really not fair to ask â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or expect â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a new member of the school community to take on a big role like a stall convenor straight away. Ease volunteers in, skill them up, just as you would train a new staff member. Consider a succession plan. If a stall convenor is about to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;graduateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the child is leaving school at the end of the year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; appoint a co-convenor (who in an ideal world will have a couple of years left at the school) to learn the ropes this year, and take over next.

How to organise a fete - e-book


Use spray paint on grass or chalk on concrete to outline the areas for stalls.

Collect the float and change from the bank and store safely.

Let rides operator know when you are setting up as they may choose to set the major rides up the day before.

Ask some fathers to sleep overnight onsite as volunteer security.

Create a contingency plan in case of wet weather.

Chapter 7:

Showtime - the day is here! The day of your fete has arrived! If your volunteers have spent the previous day setting up stalls and taking care of last minute details, your first priority on the day of the fete is to make sure everyone arrives early. 

Convenors will be dressed in clothes that are easily identifiable. Remember â&#x20AC;&#x201C; theme!

Hand out identity badges to all stall holders and fete workers. These can be anything from a proper lanyard with ID tag to a laminated tag with a hole punch and ribbon to tie it around the neck. Have key contact numbers, including first aid and the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;floating rosterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; co-ordinator, on the reverse side of the badge.

Have someone direct traffic for stalls to set up and give them ample time to have their vehicles off the grounds.

Hand maps out to as many helpers as possible to assist outside vendors setting up their stalls.

Make information available to many of your helpers, and ask them to assist as many people as possible. If only one person has this information, it will hold

TRACEY & STEVEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MOBILE FARM Tracey & Steve's mobile animal farm is supplied with a wide range of healthy, well handled farm animals.

We cater for all occassions! Animals include lambs, goats, piglets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks & more!

Mobile: 0431 754 355 Phone: (03) 9773 9266 E: au W: Servicing ALL of Melbourne

& Geelong

36 ebook - How to organise a fete

up everyone who is waiting for assistance. 

Do a last minute check that the stall holders have everything they need to run their stall and be well organised. Give them a specific contact person to work with, so if something does go wrong they know whom to turn to.

Hand your MC a final running list and program guide.

Have a schedule for money collection throughout the day.

Enjoy your fete!

Chapter 8:

The feteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not over until the clean-ups done as well as the Handover Manual! Your fete is over, and now comes time for clean up. Once again many hands make light workâ&#x20AC;Ś and many hands need rewarding. 

No matter how tired you are, Fete Convenor, fire up the barbie, break out some beer and wine, and cook a BBQ dinner for all the helpers. It will be appreciated and remembered, for next year (or see Karenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alternative, box below)

Any left over food, cake and other perishables that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be used at a later date also can be sent home with your fete helpers.

If possible, read out the monetary takings from each stall. People like to know that their hard work has paid off.


your business


1300 653 305

Within a week of the fete, the Fete Secretary needs to send out thank you letters to sponsors, and stall and task convenors. Make sure a thank-you to volunteers appears in the school newsletter too. Let the school community know how much was raised and what it will be used for. How to organise a fete - e-book


Within a fortnight, hold a wrap-up meeting at which all stall and task convenors return their folders with updated information about suppliers, quantities, helpers and sales. Together, this forms your handover manual.

The handover manual ideally will include:

I would host a party to thank the committee. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have a cake and on it, the profit figure was iced. No one knew the result until that party and then it was revealed with a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ta-daâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; creating a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d then make sure the rest of the school community knew the result.

Karen Simons, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;fete greatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also time to start planning for next year!

Tip 28:

The importance of your handover manual

contact names, phone numbers and emails for suppliers, sponsors and volunteers

quantities ordered, quantities left over (and where it is stored), and prices

real success stories of the day â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the failures: both are important lessons.

It will have enough detail so that someone else can pick up the job with only one or two heartbeats missed. Think of it as a succession planning tool too. A valuable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;helperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on a stall this year may well be ready to step up as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;coordinatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; next year.

F e te To o l k i t I ncludes:

Handover Report click here for full toolkit

Volunteer turnover is high within a school environment as children tend to grow up on us! This is the number one frustration when it comes to planning the following yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event - you have lost all the knowledge about the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main fundraiser â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the fete. Unless, of course, you had a handover manual! Successful businesses do this to avoid a total vacuum when someone with lots of knowledge and experience leaves.

38 ebook - How to organise a fete

Index to Fetes & Fundraising eBooks FREE eBooks available from fu n d ra is in g

1. The Essentials of Fundraising - 22 Lessons for A+ Fundraising 2. Fundraising with ARTWORK, STATIONERY & LABELS 3. Fundraising with Athons & Raffles 5. Fundraising with Bulbs, Herbs & seeds 6. Fundraising with Chocolates & Lollies



.a u

7. Fundraising with Clothing & Jewellery

id e a s.c o m

4. Fundraising with Books

The Essenti als of Fundrais ing 2012

8. Fundraising with Custom Labelled Beverages 10. Fundraising with Entertainment 11. Fundraising with Food & Fruit 12. Fundraising with Glowsticks & Flashing Novelties



13. Fundraising with Homewares 14. Fundraising with Miscellaneous Ideas

A how-to gu Australian ide for fundraising voluntee



15. Fundraising with MOTHERS & FATHERS DAY STALLS

fundraisin gid

9. Fundraising with ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS

16. Fundraising with Novelties & Showbags 18. Fundraising with Photography 19. Fundraising with Promo Products/Wristbands/Badges 20. Fundraising with Shopping Tours



Individuals 2012 u

fundraisin gid

17. Fundraising with Personal Care Products

21. Fundraising with Toys & Educational 22. Fundraising for High Schools 23. Fundraising for Primary Schools 24. Fundraising for Childcare & Kindergartens 26. Fundraising for Individuals 27. How to organise a fete in Queensland 28. How to organise a fete in New South Wales / ACT 29. How to organise a fete in South Australia / northern territory 30. How to organise a fete in Victoria & Tasmania


NSW & AC T 2012


31. How to organise a fete in Western Australia



25. Fundraising for Sporting Clubs & community groups

Appendix I â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fete Checklist Contact list â&#x20AC;&#x201C; phone and email

 Stall convenors  School contacts  Ride operators  Outside stall holders  Security  Suppliers Stalls

 Equipment list  Stock list  Tables and chairs  Signage Bits and Pieces

 Sticky tape and scissors  Zip ties  Marker pens  Pins  String Amusements

 Confirm access  Confirm ride pass sales  Organise wristbands 40 ebook - How to organise a fete

Equipment hire

 Chip fryer  Mobile cold room  Esky hire  Sno cone/popcorn/floss  Baine maries  Hot plates  Coffee  Hot water urn  Ovens  Tables  Chairs  Marquees  Portable toilets  Stage hire Other items for food stalls

 Cooking utensils  Paper plates  Chip cups  Napkins  Cutlery  Sauces  Vinegar  Salt and pepper  Meats

 Bread and buns  Potato chips  Ice  Cake boxes  Disposable table cloth  Fire extinguisher

 PA system set up  Electrical set up  Power leads to stalls  Generators and lighting  WH&S checks on all equipment


General set up

 Soft drinks  Bottled water  Juices  Milk  Liquor licence  Beer and wine Money

 Cash from bank  Two floats for each stall  ID for money handlers  Secure room for handling money  Security guard  Coin counting machine  Plastic bags for money to bank  Security van collection  Computer


 Prepare map of fete area  Issue map to all involved in fete  Print plenty of spare copies  Program of events  Running sheet for MC  Garbage collection  Roster for set up and break down  ID badges  Food vouchers for helpers Publicity

 School newsletter  School website  Posters  Flyers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; letterbox drop  Local radio station  Local newspaper How to organise a fete - e-book


How to Organise a Fete in Victoria  
How to Organise a Fete in Victoria  

HOW TO ORGANISE A FETE IN f e t e s a n d f e s t iv a ls .c o m .a u Developed especially for school fetes years experience www.feteshowbag...