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PTA Fundraising Ideas

PTA Fundraising Ideas

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 some of the best, proven PTA fundraisers below.

Top PTA Fundraising Ideas

The best PTA fundraisers have certain criteria in common.

  • First, they have to be fun! Fundraisers should be enjoyable for kids and families alike. 
  • PTA and School fundraising campaigns should enforce ideals and lessons that we want our children to learn. Parents and teachers know that children are like sponges, and every opportunity to tech them counts.
  • Building on that, PTA fundraising ideas and events can be educational and culturally enriching. 
  • School fundraisers should be healthy. Notice that there are no candy or cookie dough sales here. Why promote these types of unhealthy activities when so many of our children are already overweight and out of shape?
  • The best PTA fundraising ideas must allow schools to raise a significant amount of funds, to meet their fundraising goals. Of course, depending on the goals and available resources, some events will be more lucrative than others. Be sure to determine your fundraising goals as a place to start.

Here are our pics for the best PTA fundraising ideas.

Run a School Walk-a-thon or Fun Run

An excellent PTA fundraising idea is a school fun run or 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.

Consider Creative School Crowdfunding Events

Some PTAs have decided to create a twist on the traditional walk-a-thon event. How about a school serve-a-thon where students (and sometimes parents) work together to serve the 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. Each classroom can create a project and watch the donations flow in in support. Serve-a-thons are a great way to earn money while helping those in need and teaching children about service.

Crowdfunding for schools can take on many forms, including readathon fundraisers, spin-a-thons, obstacle course fundraising events and more. Just about anything that gets your students excited will work when a crowdfunding component is added.

Utilize Crowdfunding Software for Successful PTA Fundraising Events

To successfully host a walk-a-thon or other peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll need the right crowdfunding software. Here, students register and create personal fundraising pages. Then students and parents ask relatives, friends, and neighbors to make a donation for the school (i.e. computers for the school library, or new gym facilities) or PTA. Fundraiser administrators can easily manage event details and registrations, track donations and participant performance, and run numerous reports.

Fundraising websites for PTA fundraising

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Host a 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 families 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.
  • Consider selling baked goods, deli sandwiches made by students, and lemonade and coffee as an adding additional fundraising 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.

Bring the Fun with a School Carnival

Some school parent teacher groups 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 in-kind 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 throughout the carnival and auction winners are announced at the close of the event.

Add School Merchandise Sales in the Fundraising Mix

Everyone wants a school hoodie, right? Why not sell them at a profit? Online stores for school merchandise sales can serve as a great additional boost to reaching PTO fundraising goals. Plus, when your supporters carry merchandise that displays your logo, it helps spread awareness about your school and mission. Brand awareness is just one of the essential steps towards building your school’s brand.

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 – including the 40 best fundraisers for schools. 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.

PTA Fundraising Ideas: Conclusions

PTA fundraising is an important part of any PTO or PTA organization. That doesn’t mean it’s easy or everyone wants to join you! Be sure to select PTA fundraising ideas that are fun, healthy and teach valuable lessons to the children involved.

Making PTA fundraising fun and demonstrating how the funds raised will be used to improve your school is important. Working towards a specific fundraising goal often encourages more parental involvement than just raising money with no advertised goal or cause. 

Finally, don’t forget about the ease of online fundraising and using fundraising software to help you reach your goals. Parents will appreciate being able to donate online and often give more.

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Crowdfunding works for PTA fundraising ideas & campaigns

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