Go cashless and use tokens at your PTA Fairs

Tokens at a cashless PTA Fair

Tokens at a cashless PTA Fair

Stop your PTA treasurer from running away 🏃

Has your PTA treasurer ever threatened to down tools and run away, Thelma and Louise style, before your fair has even started? This would not surprise us!

The inconceivable amount of work in preparing dozens of floats, running about with change, never having enough change, counting mountains of cash, chasing missing floats, lost revenue from external traders, and missed donation opportunities would make anyone head for the hills. 

Cash only fairs take vital volunteer manpower away from the fair, tying them up with chasing, collecting and counting cash all day. Perhaps it’s time to take a stance and go cashless using tokens at your fair instead?
Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

What should we use?

Invest in, or make your own tokens. Amazon and Ebay are good places to look for rolls of paper tokens or poker type chips. 📀📀📀

Have the tokens all one value eg: 50p OR buy different coloured chips/tokens, then Green=50p, White=£1, Black=£2 for example.

If using poker chips as tokens, make sure the colours you buy are easily distinguishable and are at least 2.9cm wide. If making your own out of cardboard, it might be an idea to laminate them for reuse.

How does it work?

  • Have pre-bundled tokens available to buy on the day and in advance online using Ticket Tailor.

  • Denominations of £5, £10 and £20 work well but will depend on the school.

  • Have a token booth ( or two ) at the fair where people can collect advanced sale token bundles or exchange cash for tokens on the day 🙋💷. Visitors then spend their tokens at each stall instead of using cash.

  • Have a ‘sweeper’ collect used tokens from the stalls, returning them to the token booth. Keep a count of how many you take away from each stall so you can tally accurately at the end, calculating how well each stall did. Each stall should have Sharpie labelled Ziplock bags for the ‘sweeper’ to collect and count 🔢. This helps in identifying which bag came from which stall.


  • The mix of cash and tokens can cause confusion. Set a clear selling strategy and stick to it.

  • Sell 'bundles' of tokens in advance online using Ticket Tailor. These can be at a slight discount to encourage sales.  The bundles can be collected from the token booth on the day on presentation of their online order confirmation.

  • Walk the admission queue on the day to sell tokens to ease congestion at the token booths.

  • Use  tokens as prizes on stall games enabling the kids to purchase their own prize from the prize table. The prizes will vary e.g: 1 token = small prize, 2 tokens = medium prize etc…

  • At the end of the day, swap any left over tokens back to cash, or better yet, have a donation bucket on the way out for either cash or leftover tokens. 💰📀

A note on external suppliers:
Agree upfront with the service provider that they accept the PTA token payment system. It’s best not to ‘sweep’ from external suppliers, simply exchange their tokens for cash at the end of the fair.

So, that’s it. We hope you got some insight into the way a cashless fair could work. Ticket Tailor provide low cost ticketing to enable such events as cashless fairs to sell merchandise, tickets, even bundles of tokens in advance.

Sign up and see how easy it is for your PTA to go online, work less and fundraise more.