School Holiday Shops: The Basics of Getting Started

virtual holiday shoppe

School Holiday Shops: The Basics of Getting Started

virtual holiday shoppeschool holiday shop is a great way to involve parents, teachers, students, and the wider community to come together and celebrate the spirit of Christmas. It also helps children get familiar with important life and social skills early on, making it a fun learning experience.

So, if you are planning to host your own school holiday store this year, this article will help you brush up on the basics to make it a success.

What’s a school holiday shop?

A school holiday shop is a place where kids can go to buy things for their family and friends. The shops are usually set up in the school itself or in an outside building nearby and sell items such as toys, books, and stationery that are affordable for students.

Also known as in-school gift shops, these shops may be run by charities, community groups or individuals, and small business owners. The aim of the shops is to help children pick out presents for their loved ones on their own and learn more about the responsibility that comes with shopping for the holidays.

Another beautiful thing about having a school Christmas shop is that it allows children to get familiar with important social skills in a controlled environment. They are a great opportunity for children to learn how to effectively communicate and interact with others when purchasing goods.

Tips to get the most out of your school holiday store

Buying the merch

Before you begin purchasing merchandise for the school holiday store, it is important to have a plan. First, you will have to decide where you will purchase your merch from. You can either handpick it by yourself, which is a very time-consuming task, or you can find a vendor that dedicatedly sells school Santa shop gifts.

Another thing to remember about buying your merch is that you need to decide on a budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of cool things that you may not be able to sell because there are too many.

That’s also why it is recommended that you partner with a school holiday shop company. You can select the items you want and the provider will deliver them to the school one week before the event so that you have enough time to set up your store. And if you don’t sell all your merch, you can always send it back to the provider without paying extra on freight costs.

Setting up the store

To get the most out of your school holiday store, you need to ensure that you get the fundamentals of selling right.

Make sure you book your stall early so that you can pick a strategic location for maximum exposure. A common piece of advice is to set up your store in a high-traffic area that is easily visible and accessible to kids as well as has footfall that is consistent throughout the day.

Another tip is to look at the past years’ sales of the stall and use that as a guide. It will not only give you information on how many people will come to your stall but also insights into how successful shops get the job done.

In addition, work on your signage. Make sure that is clear to read and has a color scheme that can draw attention to the stall. Also, ensure that the name of your store is visible to let people know exactly who’s running it.

Even if this is an in-school holiday shoppe, you want it to be visible, easily accessible, and inspiring! Get the students to help design signage and make the store accessible to parents who may visit, too. 

Partner up with a teacher

To run a popular school holiday shop, you need a volunteer from the school staff to help you connect with the kids. Teachers can perfectly guide you on how to interact with the students and help you establish trust among your little shoppers.

You can also talk to the teachers about how much they think each student will spend and plan your pricing accordingly. For example, if each child is only going to be allowed $5, you can stock up on fewer items than if each child gets $25 for gifts because the budget will affect their spending potential.

Working with the teachers will also ensure you have enough people to man the stall on the days of the sale. Many schools will also talk to the PTA to get a better understanding of what the students want. School holiday shoppes like Kids’ Kastle even have a dedicated process for working with PTAs. 

school santa shop gifts

Start advertising early

Once you have outlined the responsibilities of each person, get to work on your marketing plan. Plan how you want to promote your shop. You can either individually talk to parents and families to let them know that you will be hosting a school holiday shop or send out messages or emails to simplify your promotion process.

Make sure you give out as many details to families about your store as possible, including the gifts that you are planning to stock and the dates you will be operating.

holiday gift shop fundraiser

How working with elementary school holiday shop companies can make your job easy

Holiday shop services are designed to make running a holiday shop easier for you. The provider will not only supply you with merchandise but also provide you with materials needed to run the store successfully, right from bags to posters to tablecloths.

Therefore, even though you will not be creating selling or marketing materials yourself, you will still have a good-looking and inviting shop that will draw people into your shop. They will also take care of the shipping and returns so that you can focus on having a good time running your school holiday store.

Winter wonderland

10 Best Virtual and Creative Christmas Fundraising Ideas for 2020

10 Best Virtual and Creative Christmas Fundraising Ideas for 2020

Top 10 Best Virtual and Creative Christmas Fundraising Ideas for 2020

10 Best Virtual and Creative Christmas Fundraising Ideas for 2020

Brainstorming fundraising ideas for this winter isn’t an easy task. Schools can’t rely on traditional holiday gift shop fundraisers, snifty pencils, dances, or other large events that involve gatherings. While some companies, like Kids’ Kastle, offer hybrid and virtual secret santa gift shops, this isn’t something that all schools have access to or it doesn’t pull in the same funds that schools need.

To help get motivated and create some holiday cheer, we’ve put together 10 virtual and creative winter holiday shop fundraisers any school can take advantage of. We focused on low-cost, easy set-up, and maximum interest levels. We hope that these holiday fundraising ideas excite all students from elementary school to seniors, and can complement your normal holiday gift shop fundraiser.

A Snowman Building Contest is a Top School Holiday Fundraising Idea

We love the snowman building contest because it’s flexible for virtual and online school set-ups! If you’re having an in-person school holiday shop fundraiser, you can schedule the snowman building contest to run the same day. This allows your visiting student and family groups to keep social distance as they build outside and shop inside, and it creates decorations everyone can enjoy!

Even if you’re not doing a Christmas shop fundraiser, you can run your snowman building contest one of two ways. Invite families out to build their snowman at safe distances on the school grounds, or have families make the snowmen at home and send in pictures with the students standing by their creations! 

A small fee to enter with an affordable prize will get families active, involved, and raise funds easily for your school.

christmas fundraiser

During Your School Santa Gift Shop, Host an Ugly Sweater Contest

This is another holiday fundraising idea that works for schools on-line or in person. For students and families who come on-site to shop your school Christmas shop, have them dress up and pay a small fee to enter the ugly sweater contest. Have a few different prizes you can reward at the end of the shopping day to celebrate the winners — people can vote, or you can have a panel of judges from the PTA or student council. 

If all of your school holiday fundraisers are staying online, host the contest virtually! Students and families can either submit photos that everyone votes on, or you can do a virtual video session, like a fashion show! Either way, everyone will have a great time voting, dressing up, and chatting about the holiday.

holiday gift shop fundraiser

Think Outside Traditional School Christmas Shop Ideas and Involve the Family Pets

One great thing about virtual fundraising ideas is that you can think about how to include the pets of the students! Have students and families submit photos of their pets dressed up in holiday outfits, celebrating winter holidays, or matching their owners in look-a-like contests.

Families and students will love showing off their pets and getting creative with photography and outfits. Post the photos online and let the voting begin! Have a small fee to enter with fun prizes families will want to win — maybe it could even be a free gift from your school’s Santa gift shop or something for the pets themselves. 

school holiday fundraising ideas

Make Your Holiday Gift Shop Fundraiser a Virtual Silent Auction

A fun school Christmas shop idea is to create a virtual silent auction! Students love the traditional holiday gift shop fundraiser, and this adds an additional element to help get parents, families, and community members involved.

Work to create partnerships with the community, and offer prizes like gift baskets, gift cards, discounts, meet and greets, and more. The great thing about a holiday virtual silent auction is it can run for an extended period of time, it can raise plenty of funds, and it shows a community connection. 

These also offer gift ideas to those placing the bids, so you’re more likely to see people engaging and promoting the sale.

silent auction school fundraiser

When in Doubt, You Can’t Beat a Raffle for a School Fundraiser

Raffles are a tried and true school fundraiser idea, and it’s one everyone can take advantage of, online or in person. Just like with your silent auction, team up with local community businesses or creatives for some fun and exciting raffle prizes. 

Whether these are tailored to the kids and come from your holiday gift shop, or you create something for the parents, it’s sure to create a buzz of excitement.

Raffles can be hosted both in school and virtually, and you can choose between shipping the items or having local pick up stations. Raffles have the potential to be limitless with funds, and are easily promoted. No matter how elaborate or simple you decide to go, look into your options for a raffle this season.

school fundraising raffle ideas

A Fun Holiday Fundraiser Idea is Wreath Sales

Consider the members on your school’s PTA and other teachers and parents that get involved each year with the fundraisers — chances are, you know more than one crafty and artistic person who is a wiz with homemade items. A wreath sale is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of those crafty skills from the parents and teachers in your community!

Pull together a group to create holiday wreaths, and involve the help of the students! These can then be sold online or in person to raise money for your school. This is a great holiday fundraising idea because each wreath is unique, handmade, and comes directly from the local community and even from the students themselves. It may involve a bit more prep, but is well worth it for the fun.

how to promote your holiday fundraiser

Keep Your School Fundraiser Simple with a Movie Night

Movie nights are a great holiday fundraising activity for families from your school because you can host them outdoors with minimal investment or planning. With a quality projector and a large lawn space near the school’s exterior walls, you can project any movie you wish onto the side of the school.

Set up can include chairs from the school, or make it picnic-style if the ground hasn’t gotten too cold, and ask families to bring blankets as the night grows chillier. Snacks can be bring-your-own, or you can sell treats that families have made as part of a concession stand to increase fundraising funds. This is a great way for kids to take a break, get outdoors, and for parents to relax, all while helping your school.

virtual fundraising ideas

An Interactive Holiday Fundraiser for the Kids is a Scavenger Hunt

While families are waiting on their school santa shop gifts, ask them to take part in a scavenger hunt. Once your local area is seeing a lot of Christmas and holiday decorations, have families drive or walk around and look for items on the homes, like icicle lights, an inflatable Santa, a depiction of Rudolph, and others! They can take pictures or cross the items off of a list and submit them after a couple of weeks.

If you prefer to stay indoors, make the scavenger hunt happen online or in students’ homes. Have them submit photos of holiday decorations and ordinary objects around their house, instead. A small fee to enter with affordable, enticing prices can do a lot. Plus, the kids will want to participate and the parents will enjoy the activity.

secret santa gift shop for schools

Consider Cooking Lessons for Your School Holiday Shop Fundraiser

Many school fundraisers include food, dough, and similar items during one season or another. If a member of your PTA or a teacher is a wiz in the kitchen, take your food holiday fundraiser one step further and offer cooking lessons. The great thing is, these can happen online, right over video chat.

You can tailor your food fundraiser to parents with quick dinner ideas and healthy lunch items made in under 15 minutes, or you can make an activity for the kids, like holiday cookies or other fun treats they’ll want to make. This is a great option for every family and provides a skill many people are interested in.

cooking lessons for students

Wrap Up Your Christmas Shop Fundraiser with a Virtual Talent Show or Telethon

Don’t let your holiday shop fundraiser be the last hoorah of the year. Take your student’s talent show online with a fun telethon! Kids can record their acts right in their living room, and you can have teachers or parents provide informative and fun craft projects, educational moments, or comedy sketches inbetween acts.

Think back to PBS when viewers would pledge money and be entertained as they watched the show. You can even note that you will have a parent or teacher complete an incredibly goofy act if certain funds are raised while the telethon is happening, like pouring ice water over their head or cutting their facial hair. Be creative! A lot can happen online. 

online holiday school fundraiser ideas

Your Holiday Gift Shop Fundraiser Can Be More Online

Just because normal fundraising activities are out, does not mean your school is going to lack the proper funds and holiday cheer this year. Use virtual learning and online tools to your advantage, and think about simple ways to keep kids engaged that excites families and parents. With a little community effort, your holiday fundraising this year can go a long way.

How to Promote Your Virtual School Fundraiser and Holiday Shoppe 2020

how to promote your virtual school fundraiser

How to Promote Your Virtual School Fundraiser and Holiday Shoppe

how to promote your virtual school fundraiser

The 2020-2021 school year isn’t something anyone anticipated a year ago. As Spring fades and Winter approaches, so does the holiday season, normally a very active fundraising time for schools. This year, however, putting together a school holiday shoppe fundraiser can feel like a challenge. Parents and schools are tasked with finding a way to raise money for their schools while giving kids their dose of holiday cheer without risking everyone’s health and safety.

Here at the Kids’ Kastle, we’ve put together three school holiday shoppe options that run the gamut from safely hosted in-person, entirely virtual, and a hybrid for those schools that need both. Opting for a virtual holiday shop is just the first part of putting the fundraiser together, however.

In order to ensure your holiday virtual fundraising is a success, we’ve put together 7 great tips for how to promote your virtual holiday shop, so kids get all the cheer and the schools can raise their much-needed funds with low stress and great success.

Announce Your Virtual Secret Santa Shop via Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true method that we can’t recommend enough. Whether your school is in-person or online, every parent is checking their email frequently so they don’t miss out on important updates.

Send out a newsletter to all parents announcing the virtual holiday shop for this year. Even if you go with a standard or hybrid in school holiday shoppe, your newsletter can outline all the precautions you are taking and how parents and kids can order this year.

Make sure the newsletter uses bright colors, bold text, and gets straight to the point. Include a line asking parents to forward news about the virtual fundraising events to all of those who may be interested, to create more hype and further interest in the event.

elementary school holiday gift shop

Promote and Share Your Secret Santa Shop on Social Media

Whether it’s done via an official school account, or you ask parents and teachers to spread the word on their own, social media is a free way to reach dozens of people who may be interested in your school’s virtual fundraising. Create a graphic that sums up the dates, how it works, and how others can get involved, and then post it and share it!

Talking about your Secret Santa Shop for your school online will excite others and influence them to participate however they can. Outline how these virtual fundraisers for Elementary Schools create much-needed funds for a stressful year, and how they contribute to goodwill for the kids involved.

Social media is a direct outlet to your community, friends, and family, so take advantage of that avenue to get more people involved.

virtual holiday fundraisers

Take Advantage of Partnerships for Your Holiday Shoppe

Are there any local businesses that are helping you run your school holiday shoppe this year? Ask them to help you spread the word!

Whether they do so on-site at their business, mention it in their newsletters, post about it on social media, or just talk about it with their clients, it’s another great way to get news about your virtual fundraiser out there.

Partnerships for school fundraisers are generally focused on promoting the school as much as possible, so don’t be shy about asking for a little social boost from your school fundraising partners.

Even if your school is hosting its holiday shoppe on its own, reach out to other partners you’ve worked with in the past and see if they’ll include a link to your virtual fundraising on their website, social apps, or email newsletters.

secret santa gift shop

Don’t Forget Old Fashion Postcards and Mailed Newsletters for Holiday Gift Shops

Although online marketing is great for virtual fundraising promotion, you can’t lose by sending out a mailed newsletter or postcards for your holiday gift shop. If possible, send these items home with the students so they can share them with their parents.

If your local school has moved entirely online, mail them out with links, more information, and ways to get in touch and stay involved. Sending physical mail also allows parents to make note of the holiday gift shop and place the announcement in an area they regularly check so it stays on their radar.

virtual school fundraising

When in Doubt, Use Word of Mouth for Your Secret Santa Shoppe

Nothing works better for school fundraising promotion than a personal recommendation via word of mouth. Hype up the hybrid or virtual holiday gift shop to parents, teachers, and even the students. The more excited everyone is, the more they will talk about it, share the news, and encourage others to get involved.

At the end of the day, the results are all focused on the kids, so if this is your highlight for your Secret Santa Gift Shop, snifty pencils people will be more than willing to share the news with others in their life. This year, people could use holiday cheer more than ever!

virtual holiday shoppe

Make Sure Your Virtual Fundraiser Has a Great Graphic

No matter what avenue you opt for for your holiday fundraising, make sure you have a great graphic to promote it! Something with bright colors, a big title, and a fun image will capture everyone’s attention and make them want to be apart of the fun. 

Include a stellar graphic as part of your to-do list when organizing the virtual fundraiser, as this is more likely to get people involved.

Holiday Gift Shoppes are Easily Promoted with a Catchy Tagline

Another way to spread the word about your school’s holiday gift shop is with a catchy tagline. Mention the fun for the kids, the great gifts, or just include something optimistic and fun that makes people smile! 

If your promotional materials bring joy, more people will choose to get involved with the virtual holiday shoppe and tell their friends about it.