Top Tips For running a Father's Day Stall

Setting your Father's Day Stall date.
When setting your date , consider what other events are on that day - excursions, sporting events, etc. Ideally, the entire student body should be available as customers, for your fundraising gift stall. Also endeavour to have your stall early in the day - before the kids have spent their money at the canteen!

Budgeting for your gift purchases.
It is essential to plan for your Father's Day Stall. Determine how many gifts for Dads, you need to purchase? Know your Fundraising stalls' profit targets and then work out your cost/funds available per gift. It helps to research - last year's Father's Day Stall Gifts File is great for this. It is crucial to purchase enough gifts for your stall. It you run short, there will be tears! A minimum of 1 gift per student is a good start.... but remember to check with previous fathers day stall organisers for tips - as kids may make gift purchases for Dad + Step Dad + Grandad etc. Some schools purchase as many as three gifts per student - but for other schools, this would be well over their requirements.

Any leftover gifts can be used for your Christmas Stall, Fete and Trivia Night prizes, but importantly, always stay within your allocated budget. (If an information file, is not available from previous fundraising stalls, seek instructions from your P&C fundraising committee that have made you responsible for the stall.)

Fundraising Parent Committee - Profit expectations.
Is your stall for profit or offered as a service to the children of your school? This factor makes a huge difference to your budgeting. (Cost per gift + Profit Margin = Selling Price or Selling Price - Profit Required = Cost available per gift).

Determine your selling prices for your gifts. Some suggest going with one set price (say $6 each gift - or an amount affordable for your families), this makes it easy for your kids to know the money they need to bring on the day and also alleviates the need for pricing every gift for your volunteers to sell your Fathers Day Stall gifts.

If you choose to have a range of prices say $2 - $10, it has been suggested to keep prices to whole dollars to avoid the need for huge amounts of change. (It has also been recommended by our contributors, time and time again, that $10 be your maximum selling price).

Get as many volunteers involved as possible.
You may wish to include help for bulk gift purchasing (limit this to 2-3 gift selection assistants), storage of gifts, gift-wrapping, setting up your stall, additional fundraising ideas for the day (Father's Day stall Raffle etc) and assisting the kids on the day. Make it a fun, social, fundraising event for all - while spreading the workload and delegate tasks wherever possible. Have refreshments and lucky door prizes for your volunteers, particularly if your stall runs all day or over several days. Including a note of thanks to your volunteers and shoppers, in the next school newsletter, will be an added goodwill boost for this annual event. (Suggestion - If short of volunteers on the day - ask permission to have the senior students assist with the stall - they usually love to help out).

Determining the best gift supplier(s) for purchasing bulk gift for Dads.
Retail is not a good idea, unless you are getting super discounted prices. Remember, the kids will not be happy with the same gift range year in, year out. Instead look for new and different gifts online - they are often available at wholesale gift prices. Find a good, reliable wholesale supplier for Father's Day gifts online - check their customer feedback - ensure it is genuine. Look for full customer names and locations - not just Joyce from Tassie! Also consider supplier guarantees offered and expected delivery dates too. Overly delayed delivery times, should ring alarm bells! You must ensure that your gifts will arrive in plenty of time for your stall. Once you receive your delivery, check it immediately! Make sure all is as it should be, while ensuring, any problems can be resolved in plenty of time. (Suggestion: Engraved Pens and Mugs are always popular - but avoid anything that is delicate or fragile, dangerous or sharp, can melt or spoil, or is out-of-date and please bear in mind, some schools and organisations, will not allow edible gifts).

Do your gift purchasing early.
Take advantage of early bird specials, free freight offers, bulk purchase specials and the like, while at the same time avoiding the disappointment of popular items being soldout. Also, consider the value of gift packs. You can purchase multiple items in good value gift packs and then split up to meet your price point. A typical example of this is a car wash gift pack - perhaps too expensive as a set, however, split into individual items, meets your pricepoint. (A great gift for siblings, as each can purchase a related gift item for Dad).

If you are a small school, consider teaming up with your neighbouring schools, preschools etc. This will increase your purchasing power, and minimise freight costs. Teaming up, may also assist in achieving minimum order requirements and/or meeting the criteria for special offers.

Have a good variety of gifts available at your fundraising stall.
Kids love the excitement of choosing a gift for Dad. Even in the largest of schools, 10 different gift items to choose from is the most popular suggestion. More than this and the little kids find it a little overwhelming to make a choice. Also remember to select your gift range with your kids in mind. It is important to purchase practical, quality, gifts that the kids and Dad will love! Remember, kids know cheap and nasty too! Maintain your gift variety throughout your stall. If the first class has a variety of 10 gifts to choose from, please make sure the last class does too. (Suggestion - If you find a particular gift item is slow to sell on the day, add a bonus to that gift to make it more appealing. Perhaps have a few wrapped lollies or chocolates on hand to add to the gift. Then watch them being snapped up like hotcakes! Yes we know the kids eat the sweets and Dad gets the gift - but everyone is happy! Check first though, to ensure your school policy is OK with edible gifts. Another option is adding a gift bag or perhaps a small leftover gift from a previous fundraising event.)

Present your Gifts well at your Father's Day Stall.
If packaging looks cheap, discard it. Always have at least one of every gift item available as a display sample, for the kids to see what it is and what it does - if batteries are needed, have them handy too. With your Dad gifts, you may choose to gift wrap with ribbon, or cover in cello with ribbon. (Suggestion - If wrapping - Run a wine and cheese night at one of the organiser's homes. Ask party goers to bring cellotape, scissors and donated gift wrap - and get cracking!).

If short on time or helpers, low cost gift bags are a time-saving option. They make the gift presentable and often are a safer way to carry the gift home. Craft bags are kinder to our environment and the children can add their personal touch with their own artwork or message for Dad. Also organza bags, make the gifts look lovely, and are reusable - so kinder to our world, than disposable gift wrap.  These bags are available in blue, gold, silver etc, suitable for Dads.

You may wish to offer IOU's, for those kids that forget their money on the day. With IOU's it is wise to keep purchase value to a minimum and have someone reliable keeping your records - student name, class, amount and home phone number. These can then be followed up, if necessary. Alternatively, you can have some free (low cost or donated) gifts available for those few kids that forgot or cannot afford to purchase. (Suggestion - A lovely poem on masculine coloured paper, rolled up and tied with a ribbon or some stylish laminated bookmarks.)

Consider adding gift cards to your range.
Your little shoppers can purchase these with their change and write a personal note to that special person in their lives. Where kids have forgotten their money or do not have the money to bring... cards can be a low-cost, freebee gift available - add a nice poem inside. Talk to your crafty Mums in your school community - they may be prepared to donate their time and materials to produce your cards for sale or giveaways!

Advertise your Father's Day Stall well.
This is an absolute necessity, for ensuring you have plenty of volunteers and also plenty of customers. If you have a school newsletter - enter several submissions leading up to your stall date. If you are pre-selling tickets for Fathers Day Gifts - put your cut-out purchase slip in your newsletter - for return to the school office with payment. Kids need to be reminded to bring money on the day - send a small coloured note home the night before (ask the kids to put it in their lunch box - a parent will hopefully find it that way).

Have a float for change on the day and ensure that you allow plenty of time to set up your fundraising stall.
If having a range of prices - set up tables for each price-point and have good signage so the kids can readily see what is affordable for them. Ensure the little ones having difficulty selecting a gift for Dad - have the help of an enthusiastic volunteer. Excitement is contagious - if you love the gift, the little shopper will be convinced that their Dad is certain to love it too... and will leave your stall with the best gift for Dad and a beaming smile!

Consider the possibility of siblings purchasing the same gift for Dad and have a swap plan in place - just in case.

Enjoy your stall, have fun - don't get too serious. Make the most of those precious smiles on the children's faces. And where possible let your school community know how much money you raised and what the funds will be going towards. Everyone loves a successful fundraising event.