Organise a Socially Distanced Christmas Market at Your School

Many schools and charities have sadly found raising funds to be extremely difficult this year. Due to social distancing, many events were unable to go ahead however, now the rules have been relaxed a little its time to get creative with your plans.

Sometimes a shakeup can be just what your fundraising needs – we can get so stuck doing the ‘same old’ because we know it works, which is fantastic and its great to stick to what works. However, it’s also good to try something new to revamp your plans and bring in more cash, possibly from new audiences too.

Today’s post is all about Christmas Markets. Schools all over the country are famous for putting on the well-loved Christmas Fetes or Christmas Fayres however, COVID-19 may mean that these events almost definitely can’t go ahead. But that just means you need to modify your event, rebrand it as a Christmas Market or Christmas Craft Fair; invite stall holders to pay you to hold a stall and also hold your own stalls selling donated items that have been kept aside for at least 48 hours to ensure they are safe to sell on.

It’s important that you stick to retail stalls and don’t hold any raffles or games to be sure you are not breaking the current restrictions.

Santa’s Grotto
Sadly, that also means you won’t be able to welcome Santa along with his elves and reindeer because of course, he will be isolating with Mrs Claus in the North Pole.

You can however set up a special North Pole post-box for children to post their Christmas wish list to him, to keep the magic alive for your pupils, their sisters and brothers. A couple of your crafty teachers could make a post-box from leftover cardboard and red and black tissue paper – minimal cost and maximum effect.

Keep the Event Fresh in the Crisp Winter Air, Yet Under Cover
I don’t know about you but to me a Christmas market should be held outside to make it feel extra Christmassy. This also helps with keeping stalls and visitors well-spaced apart and will also make them fell much safer as it is thought that time outside is much safer than time inside at the moment.

One thing you will need to have in place to ensure the market goes ahead even if rain is forecast, is a school canopy. If you already have a large canopy installed at your school, make sure you gain as much use from it as you can, its not just for pupils to learn and play under, it can be used for events too – whether social distancing is in place or not. With a canopy, your outdoor events can go ahead in all weather conditions.

Advertise Your Christmas Market Well
Make sure you advertise your event well by adding the events to your school website, and social media feeds, add it to your school newsletter and set up a n events page on Facebook, asking parents to share on their feeds and with local facebook group for maximum exposure.

Be sure to regularly mention in your advertising that your event is outside, yet undercover and it will be sure to get the stall and visitors numbers up.

Make it a Ticketed Event
You could sell tickets in advance for time slots to help control the amount of visitors in at each time and keep note of how many spaces are free so you can still welcome some visitors on the day too if there’s any time slots left. Remember you will also need to take contact details of all visitors and stall holders as part of the track and trace requirements currently in place.

Disclaimer – Please check the local restrictions for your area before organising any event, and again when it is about to go ahead to ensure you are following all requirements from the government.

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Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
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Christine

Marketing Assistant Manager at Able Canopies Ltd
Christine is Able Canopies' Marketing Assistant Manager and is an advocate of outdoor learning. She is a big fan of fundraising and is always looking for fresh fundraising and outdoor learning ideas to share.

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