Now that you have taken the big step and decided to hold a Fete, it's time to assemble a group of people that will put the event together - The Fete Committee. While the School P&C/P&F Association may make the initial decision to hold a fete, the overall organising of the event is normally handed over to a sub-committee of the P&C/P&F - the Fete Committee.
The key to success is a well organised, active, enthusiastic, dedicated, & motivated Fete Committee, who will in turn encourage the greater school community to participate and contribute. Free time and experience in organising fetes is preferable, though not essential.
As with all successful ventures, effective organisation will minimise problems and ensure a profitable outcome. The main positions to be filled on the committee include:
Fete Convenors are the overall project managers; those people with the skills and focus, who will co-ordinate the event from start to finish. Just like the Managing Director of a large corporation - without the fat pay packet! The responsibility of convening a Fete may be somewhat of a burden for one person. On the other hand, we don't want too many "chiefs", as this can lead to a breakdown in decision-making, with each member proposing differing ideas as to how the event should be held.
Experience indicates a small group of two Convenors, who enjoy a good personal & working relationship, to be an ideal size for the overall co-ordinating of a Fete. The role of the convenor involves:
- Chairing Meetings
- Liaising with Stall & Activity co-ordinators
- Liaising with the P&C/P&F
- Keeping the Principal updated on progress & developments
- Provide general project direction and leadership
- First contact person for the fete, on lead up and on Fete Day for enquiries and Media conact
- Confirms all Stall Holders each year
- Resolve any disputes - and you get plenty!
Anyone taking on the role of Treasurer, must have - or needs to learn - a basic understanding of accounting; it's about money coming in, and money going out. In other words, the Treasurer is responsible for the financial management of the fete and balancing the books.
Money doesn't just change hands on the day of the fete. It's coming and going before, during, and after the event. The Treasurer has to do the banking, depositing cash and cheques, paying the bills, and tracking income and expenditure throughout the year. You need to be on top of your finances so the Committee knows how well it is tracking against the budget, and how to respond if unexpected problems arise. The Treasurer's role is one of responsibility, honesty & integrity, as that person has access to the committee's funds.
TIP! The position of Treasurer would not be recommended for a person who is under severe financial stress or has a known gambling problem. "Missing funds" is a common problem at community fundraising events! Those with experience in Accounting or Bookkeeping; would be ideally suited to the role of Treasurer.
The Secretary should have good office, computer & organisational skills, plus an eye for details. The role includes:
- Locate any existing Fete records, and maintaining the Fete File
- Take notes/minutes during each meeting, and have a separate column with an action plan noting what needs to be done (and by whom) before the next meeting or by a particular date. In this way, there is no confusion regarding what has to be achieved and by when. A time line should also be drawn up at the first meeting
- Disseminate information to the other committee members that is relevant to their function
- Undertake all correspondence & general office administration
- Send out Agendas prior to each meeting
- Send out Thank You letters to all sponsors & Stall Holders after the event
The Convenor, Treasurer and Secretary cannot organise the entire Fete. There are many supportive roles which make up the Fete sub-committee such as:
Responsible for co-ordinating all entertainment including main stage, securing performers, scheduling and liaising with performers:
- Organise the entertainment shedule in conjunction with Fete coordinator
- Book paid and non-paid performers
- Provide MC support on the day/running of the entertainment program
- Book staging annually and equipment needed for entertainment area
Social Media/Website Coordinator
The role includes:
- Keep the Fete Facebook page and website up to date with fresh information and annoucements
- Add Sponsors to the website
- Provide the Fete Coordinator with Feedback from the Facebook page
Marketing and Promotion Coordinator
This role is responsible for all marketing and promotion of the Fete both internally and externally including banners, newspaper articles, online special event directories, weekly Fete newsletters, flyer development, posters and distribution.
- Assists in liason with the Fete Coordinator to promote the Fete
- The design, printing and distribution of the Fete flyer/posters
- Submit Council applications for all banners and street signage
- Promotion of fete at other schools in the area
- Develpment of a Site Map
This role is responsible for the coordination of all infrastructure and equipment requirements including marquees, stages, seating, shade and power requirements including bump in and bump out coordination.
- Works with Fete Coordinator to confirm hire needs
- Organise the logistics for each stall regarding tables/shade etc
- Organise power requirements for the day
- Coordinate the set up and pack up of the day in conjunction with rest of committee
- Arrange collection and return of any equipment from other places
- Liaise with school about rubbish management on the day
- First aid
- Organise security for night before
This role is responsible for managing all aspects of hiring and management of carnival rides and shows including confirming eta for set up, access, supervision, following up public liability insurance and workcover, Risk Assessment, Job Safety Analysis documents, set up and pack up supervision.
This role is responsible for seeking and securing sponsorship including cash and in-kind. Includes writing of agreements, ensuring sponsorship benefits are implemented, writing of thank you letters and ensuring each sponsor is promoted via Fete Newsletters, Flyers, Facebook Page, website etc.
Risk & OHS Coordinator
This role ensures that risk assessments are carried out before and during the fete including the checking off of all risk assessments of contractors attending the fete.
Other specific Fete roles that are not part of the overall Fete Sub Committee include stall and activity co-ordinators such as Trash & Treasure, Plants, Pre-loved Clothing, Books, Silent Auction, Face Painting, Crazy Hair, Food, Drinks, Games, Fairy Floss, etc.
It's all very well organising a Fete, though how much money is required? Where will the money be spent? A well laid out Fundraising plan will be needed, with clear and realistic objectives; and a clear timeline to work with.
TIP! By setting a target to be achieved; the event is given purpose which helps encourage & motivate helpers, supporters and possible sponsors.
Ensure the purpose and financial targets of the fundraiser are continually promoted in the school newsletter. Parents are normally very supportive when they are aware the funds raised will be invested in specific facilities which are of benefit to their children.
A Fete Fundraising Plan may include:
- Raise $50,000.00 for the Splendor Primary School, which will be invested in an urgently-needed refurbishment of the School Hall
- Bring the whole school together to help run the fete to ensure the whole school community feels ownership and connection to the fete, school and each other
- Provide a fun and positive atmosphere for the whole community
- To showcase the school to the community
- To celebrate together as a school community
It is vital that all committee members are kept fully informed of progress, and the most effective method of communication is via meetings. Fete meetings are initially held on a monthly basis; then fortnightly and weekly as you get closer to the event. At the first meeting, outline your Fundraising Plan, clearly identifying the purpose and all financial objectives. Each Stall & Activity coordinator should be given an information folder that provides as much detail as possible about their activity or stall.
- Encourage as many people as possible to attend the meetings & assist with the Fete via bulletins in the school newsletter
- Prior to each meeting, prepare and distribute (email) a list of topics for discussion or agenda
- During the meeting, ensure the discussion keeps to the relevant topics & minimise "waffle"
- Keep the meetings to a reasonable time frame. Prolonged discussions that accomplish little are not only a waste of time; they deter attendance at future meetings
- Ensure the atmosphere at each meeting is warm, friendly and active
- Minutes of each meeting should be kept by the Secretary, which is then distributed to committee members shortly after
- Ensure light refreshments are on hand during each meeting
- Ensure all paperwork is maintained by the secretary in a Fete File
This is a copy of a Memo sent to the various members of a School P&C. It illustrates problems that sometimes arise with meetings and how they can be resolved.