The North London PANDAS support group is a relatively new group and has been running for about a year. For the first year myself and another leader Natasha paid the hall rent and refreshments from our own pockets. We decided that we would organise a fundraiser to help ease those costs. We now meet twice a month and often meet outside of that time on a one to one basis in the park. So although our group running costs are fairly low we would like to be able to offer mums more such as mindfulness, pampering or baby bonding sessions which may incur a small cost. By fundraising it gives our group options and opportunities to expand our services to other mums in the local community.
We decided on a nearly new sale of baby and children’s clothes and toys to be run on a similar line to other outdoor table top sales. Stall holders paid for a table and then kept the money they made. We then charged an entrance fee and offered refreshments.
My motto is ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ so I was quite bold in asking companies to help support us so in actual fact the event cost nothing except our time and effort as everything was donated. We raised a total of £340 on the day which was amazing. £140 of that was from the entrance fee and refreshments alone. Never underestimate the amount of work that goes into the planning of these events and the volunteers that are needed on the day. If someone offers help say ‘yes!’.
We are so pleased to be able to use that money to donate to PANDAS and use the rest towards our group costs.
The process we went through to organise the fundraiser was quite intense. We first had to choose a date and a suitable venue. We had to consider the potential for customers, car parking, loading and unloading items, facilities at the venue such as toilets and tables and rental hire and table hire charges.
We then had to consider advertising and promotion of the event. We had to produce an eye catching poster with the PANDAS logo and concise information. We included contact numbers and our email address. We then tried to get sponsorship and advertise through social media such as baby groups, Facebook, and Twitter. We handed out flyers about the event beforehand and on the day and also chose a target audience. We put leaflets at nurseries, church halls, toddler groups, gp surgeries, toy shops, leisure centres as well as other shops. We also told the press and local media about the event and wrote a press release with all the relevant information.
For the stalls we noted the stall holders details and decided on ways they could pay for their table such as the post, pay pal or a bank transfer. We ensured payment prior to the event and made sure they knew what they could and couldn’t sell. We also made sure they had information about the event such as what time to arrive and where to park.
We then decided to offer refreshments to bring in more money. We had tea and coffee donated by the local supermarket, volunteers to serve and donations from willing caketerms
In terms of the entrance fee we found that a donation received more money than a set charge.
On the day organisers and volunteers wore PANDAS T-shirts. We had a table plan of stalls and holders and labelled the stalls so that everyone knows where they are. We welcomed stall holders and ensured that the volunteers had everything they needed. We had floats for the entrance fee and refreshments.
Finally at the end of the event we totalled the takings minus the floats and costs of running the event. We have shared what we have raised with others and thanked everyone for their support.