1. Santa’s secret shop
Start scouring the shelves for bargains as early as possible, aiming to pick up gifts for around £1 each. Or buy a ready-made pack from Your Fundraising Gift Shop, where an unwrapped gift costs from £1.66 +VAT and pre-wrapped gifts (with one of each unwrapped for display) cost £2 +VAT. Run your shop during the school day, inviting a class at a time to come and choose presents for their loved ones. Recommend that children bring along £3 per gift on the day, or offer a pre-pay system where parents bring in the money in advance.
2. ‘Snowman’ drive
A fantastic family activity, the aim of the game is to be the first player to draw a complete snowman (normally a beetle). The body parts are each given a number: 1 for buttons, 2 for the face, 3 for the hat, 4 for arms, 5 for the head and 6 for the body. Players take it in turns to roll a dice, and the number rolled dictates which body part they can draw. The player who completes their picture first wins. Source donated prizes for the winners.
3. Nativity DVDs
Before this year’s Christmas performance make sure you get written filming consent from all parents of the children appearing in the show through permission forms. Film the production either yourselves or with the help of a local cameraman, preferably at a charitable rate. If you’re planning to film it yourselves, ensure you have the appropriate equipment, for example a tripod to keep things stable, and that the camera takes good-quality video – you are selling the footage, after all. Take orders on the night of the play and then send DVDs home in book bags once produced.
4. Christmas calendar
Take photos of each class, one for each month of the year. Choose each class’s month beforehand so you can theme the photos accordingly with clothing and props. Fill extra months with school clubs, staff members or year group/key stage photos. Send the photos off to a supplier such as Hampton School Calendars to be transformed into a calendar and then sell the products on for a profit, offering a discount for multiple copies.
5. Bedtime stories
Invite children and their parents to come to school in their pyjamas for an evening of bedtime stories. Have three storytellers, each in their own classroom. Pupils go to each room to hear a 10-minute story, and after this time move onto the next room (if you have lots of pupils, divide them into groups and rotate them around the classrooms). To make it festive, have three Christmas stories – you could even have guest storytellers, such as an elf, a snowman or Mrs Claus! Gather everyone together in the school hall afterwards for refreshments and a visit from Santa, complete with presents. Charge £3-£4 per child depending on costs.
6. Gingerbread house competition
7. Moonlit hunt
Hold it after school, once it’s dark, and place Christmas-y questions around the school grounds, plotting their location on a map (vaguely or with clues to make it harder). Provide the map to players, who must find the questions and write down the answers. For extra difficulty, have the first letter of each answer spell a festive word. Parents can take part and players can participate in teams of up to five. Finished maps are handed in for a prize. Have refreshments in the school hall afterwards. Charge £4-£5 per team depending on prizes.
8. Printed products
A fundraising Christmas card project is quick and simple to run while tying into the curriculum and placing minimal demand on teachers’ time. Pupils create artwork to a specific format, then you send order forms home, collect payments and distribute orders. Expect to raise £1-£3 per pack sold. Make sure finished cards will be distributed with enough time for parents to post them before international delivery deadlines.
Alternatively, how about a tea towel covered in self-portraits from the whole school? You can print around 300 pictures on a tea towel, so for larger schools you could look into doing them for each key stage.
9. Bespoke Christmas puddings
Sadly, after 32 years of helping PTAs and schools fundraise with their range of scrumptious festive puddings, Ultimate Plum Pudding has closed its factory and no longer offers a fundraising service. Fear not, though! New company Goodness Baked is offering a fundraising service for schools, and will be producing personalised 454g Christmas puddings for 2018, with plans to roll out additional flavours and sizes in 2019. Expect to make around £3 profit per pudding. For more information, visit goodnessbaked.co.uk.
Quick and easy Christmas schemes
Find a directory of recommended fundraising suppliers for schools at funded.org.uk/suppliers