PTA Summer Fair Volunteer Surge!

A PlanSocial Case Study

Newly appointed PTA Chair, Lisa, describes how PlanSocial had immediate impact by increasing their summer fair volunteer base by over 500%, and caused profits to soar their event.

This is a fantastic example of how a mid-size primary school could have an instant step-up in volunteer number if they just ask in the right way, and make it easy for people to play a small part :)  

#primaryschool #volunteers #summerfair

Holding a glass of Pimms and a Decoy PTA Summer FĂȘte programme

Tell us about your school

Decoy Community Primary School has over 400 pupils and is in Newton Abbot. 

How did you organise PTA events before you started using PlanSocial?

I just joined the school myself, but from talking to other people that did it before, we had very few volunteers, typically around 8 running Summer Fetes. We needed external caterers, who took a lot of the profit. Summer fetes were organised with paper slips. 

What did you do differently this year?

We decided to do our own BBQ this year, with burritos and pulled pork. We asked volunteers to help for one hour each only, so we needed a lot of people to get involved - it was a mammoth job. We used PlanSocial to help us recruit people to help. The event ran from 4pm until 9pm, and we ended up with 49 helpers! So many of them were new and we hadn’t met them before. 

We only signed up to PlanSocial two weeks before the summer fete - we should have signed up sooner! By clearly laying out what needed to be done and making it really easy to volunteer, it really worked! It was so easy to print out the final rotas and keep them handy on each stall so we knew who to expect for each timeslot.

Did you fundraise more than before?

YES! We made £1300 more than the year before! This was mainly because the huge rise in the number of helpers enabled us to take on the catering ourselves, and therefore keep more of the profits.

Did using PlanSocial help with the admin side?

Yes, it was so much easier than the previous year. The lady who did admin before was behind it 100% and did it for 10 years. But things have changed, and people want to use their phone and reply to a quick email, or use social media like Facebook. This is the way people do things now, and PlanSocial helps us connect in these ways to people.

It was also very helpful for people to be able to contact us, as they could post their questions on the message wall. It is also a handy way for parents to be able to contact each other, other parents in their class etc.

What was the overall impact of using PlanSocial?

We only had 8 helpers on average before, which is not really enough, and to have 49 people on board this year was amazing. So I’d say it’s had a fantastic overall impact. I can’t see how I could have done without it. It's a brilliant tool.

On a personal level, I didn’t know any helpers since I was new to the school. Organising the summer fair helped me get to know everybody.

Many new volunteers said they really enjoyed it and will help again. With PlanSocial, people can see exactly what they are signing up to, which is really important. They all want to enjoy the summer fete themselves, understandably.

By volunteering for just an hour, and signing up to a clearly defined timeslot, they are still able to enjoy the fete. Those who didn't mind volunteering a bit longer, could just put themselves down for more than one slot.

What is the number one benefit of PlanSocial?

It’s the ease of not having to run around and chase people you don't know - and handling bits of paper, writing all the details out. We can’t imagine not having it now.

Would you recommend PlanSocial to other PTAs?

Yes I would recommend it to any PTA, and already have!

Ready to benefit from PlanSocial in your school?

Start a free hub now for up to 20 volunteers, sell tickets for your summer fair, and pre-sell food, drink and activity timeslots.

Upgrade if you'd like to get the whole school volunteering so you can enjoy the fair yourself with your family :)