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The schools inspiring virtual events and fundraising trends

by Rosie Hurwitz
children holding canyfloss in front of faces at a school summer fair

With Covid-19 continuing to make real life school events pretty impossible this year, it’s not just kids that will miss out on the fun. Cancelled events mean already cash-strapped schools will also miss out on the biggest fund-raising events of the year. The solution? Virtual school events!

Never-to-be-defeated Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) across the country began using Patchwork last summer to organise their virtual school fairs. They included games, activities, competitions and donations. Their imagination and creativity means families can take part at home and donate much-needed funds online at the same time. Here at Patchwork we love seeing how people use the site in different ways. We’ve listened and responded by creating some easy to customise templates so that other schools can set up virtual events super easily too!

children and adults at school summer fair

Kate Frood, Head Teacher at Eleanor Palmer School in North London told us “Covid 19 has meant a loss of about £10,000 of fund-raising from our usual array of PTA events, from weekly cake sales to our Summer Festival. This at a time when we have additional expenditures such as the installation of outdoor hand-washing troughs and buying new IT equipment. It was so easy to build the Patchwork page and our virtual school fair looks instantly engaging and attractive. We’ve been able to put together a fun mix of real events and ways of simply donating. It has really captured all our imaginations and we’ve managed to re-create that wonderful community spirit.”

Patchwork allows you to share the plan for a virtual school event and parents and children can choose the things they’d like to fund, make and do. Fundraising activities could include £3 to enter a virtual pet show, £10 for a strip of raffle tickets or £1.50 to name the teddy!

Virtual School Summer Fair Patchwork in iPad

Why host a virtual school event?

  • A safe way to connect online – to have fun and bring the school community together
  • Not limited by location or logistics – easy and affordable for schools to host digital events
  • No mess for PTAs to clean up – families partake in activities in their own homes/gardens
  • No hassle or infection risk collecting cash – schools receive funds securely via Paypal or into a bank
  • Fundraising not limited to one day – digital event means donations can keep rolling in!

Jennie Potts of Tufnell Park School PTA says “The pandemic halted our fundraising in its tracks. We were due to hold a bingo night and an annual fun run in the school that we were unable to hold, along with the school summer fair. As well as not feeling we wanted to ask parents for money in the current climate, we have felt we should not be approaching local businesses for donations of raffle prizes, as they are struggling to keep afloat too. The setting up of the virtual fair allows those parents who have remained in work to donate if they feel this is something they would like to do. The feedback we’ve had about our virtual summer fair has been really positive. We’re making money for the school again when we’d assumed it wouldn’t be possible this summer. Patchwork was so easy to use and there was even a school fair template.”

Cakes for sale on stall at school summer fair

Patchwork Founder Olivia Knight says “Patchwork has always been a brilliant tool to help people organize and fund gifts and events, but it’s really come into its own in the past year, as virtual events have become the norm. We’re really pleased and proud to be able to support our brilliant schools as they adapt and show such amazing resilience in these tough and testing times.”

If you’d like to learn more about how Patchwork can help your school raise funds safely, contact us at hello@patchworkit.com. Check out our selection of readymade fundraising templates and ask us about our schools affiliate partner programme to earn extra funds for your PTA when you and your school community use Patchwork!

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