If you belong to a PTA or PTO (parent teacher association/organization) and are in charge of finding PTA fundraising ideas to help your school raise money to support school programs, this is a great place to start! We have compiled the ideas below, along with the numerous school fundraising resources we’ve created to help school administrators and parents organize a successful PTA fundraiser. Since schools are already a local hub for students, parents and members of the community to gather (i.e. sporting events, talent shows, parent/teacher conferences), hosting a community event at your school is an excellent PTA fundraising idea. We’ve outlined three common PTA fundraisers below.
Top Three PTA Fundraising Ideas
1. School Walk-a-thon or Fun Run
An excellent PTA fundraising idea is a school walk-a-thon. There are many benefits of a walk-a-thon such as:
- A walk-a-thon is great way for parents, students, teachers and the local community to bond together to support a great cause.
- Promoting a healthy lifestyle through fitness (no selling candy!)
- Low overhead costs, and large revenue potential.
- Opportunities for additional revenue through business sponsorships, fundraising raffles, and on-site food, beverage and merchandise sales.
Make your walk-a-thon event a greater success by adding incentives. Offer prizes to top-performers and classrooms. One school encouraged students to raise more by promoting a teacher tricycle race if certain financial goals were met. Another idea would be to host a fundraising raffle as part of the event. Obtain donations from local businesses and sell raffle tickets to walkers and spectators. At the end of the walkathon or Fun Run, recognize fundraising top-performers and announce the raffle winners.
Create a twist to your walk-a-thon event. How about a “serve-a-thon” where parents and students work together to serve their community? Instead of walking for a cause, students donate their time raking the lawn for an elderly neighbor, or cleaning up trash at a local park, or tutoring a younger student… this is a great way to earn money while helping those in need.
A walk-a-thon, Fun Run or other “a-thon” themed fundraiser can be easily managed with DoJiggy Pledge peer-to-peer fundraising software. Students create personal fundraising pages where they upload photos and videos and explain their mission. Then students and parents ask relatives, friends, and neighbors to make a donation to help a certain cause (i.e. computers for the school library, or new gym facilities). Fundraiser administrators can easily manage event details and registrations, track donations and participant performance, and run numerous reports.
2. School Garage Sale
At least once a year, people clean out closets, basements and garages to discover things that are accumulating dust. A community garage sale is a great way for people to get rid of these items while donating to your school. An event like this also brings parents, teachers, students and members of the local community together in a social environment.
Here are a few tips to help you organize a successful community garage sale:
- Host the event at a place easily accessible to your community, like your school gymnasium or cafeteria.
- Make sure to promote your yard sale on community bulletins, in the local paper, on Craigslist and encourage members of your organization to spread the word.
- Recruit volunteers to help work the event: set-up and tear down, displaying and pricing items, managing money, and promoting the event.
- If this becomes a large community event, you may also want to consider selling baked goods or lemonade as an adding additional money-raising opportunity.
- Make it easy for people to drop off donated items. Consider asking parents with trucks to offer their services on a pick-up day to travel to homes to pick up donated items. This could be a great way to receive larger items such as furniture that people may be willing to donate, but don’t have the resources to deliver (and could bring in high-dollar sales).
- Because there will be money on-site, you may want to reach out to local police to see an officer might donate his or her time to be on-site during the event.
3. School Carnival
Some schools achieve great success hosting a fun, interactive event for the local community. Not only can these fundraising events bring in a great deal of money, but they also provide an excellent opportunity for families to socialize. Charge a small admission fee for attendees. There’s a ton of great entertainment resources available to you through parents and students! Have the school band and dance team perform at the carnival. Recruit local yoga teachers to host kids yoga classes. Provide games and contests. You may want to consider bringing in a vendor with inflatable rentals or a climbing wall. They will typically come for free if they can keep the profit from ticket sales. Rent a large outdoor screen and showcase a movie on the football field after it turns dark. Ask local restaurants to sell food and drink on-site (and take a percentage of profits for your cause).
Add a silent auction as part of your school carnival. While some family members are engaged in the numerous games and contests, others can browse the silent auction display. Silent auctions are relatively easy to organize. Event organizers secure donations from businesses such as professional sporting event tickets, gift certificates for local restaurants and hotels, and possibly even autographed merchandise by local celebrities. Items are displayed on banquet tables with detailed information about the item and a silent auction bid sheet. Event attendees place bids during the event and auction winners are announced at the close of the event.
PTA Fundraising 101
See this article for factors to consider and more information on PTA Fundraising (or PTO Fundraising).
If none of these fundraisers tickle your fancy, we have plenty more school fundraising ideas to consider. Don’t forget to browse through our school fundraising resources, where we offer ideas, fundraising tips, “how-to” guidelines, and various fundraising templates and forms you can use at your event.