As a small school or a school that struggles with parent involvement, grand events like a Summer Fete are a challenge. In this article, we suggest 5 ways to generate funds whilst keeping the workload to a minimum.
Before you Start Fundraising
The first step is to clarify what the PTA funds will be used for. Does the school need additional equipment or resources in the classroom or playground? Could funding provide an opportunity for a specialist to provide music, art or PE sessions? Is the school looking to build an outdoor classroom?
With the end goal in mind, set a realistic fundraising total that directly links to a relevant cost. Now you are working towards a tangible item rather than simply hitting a target. Tell parents what you are hoping to purchase and how it will benefit the pupils.
1. Mufti Day Gift Swap
Every child is keen to swap school uniform for their choice of clothes, so adding one Mufti day per term into the calendar is an easy option. Charge £1 per pupil and keep it simple.
Alternatively, parents can be asked to donate a box of chocolates, biscuits or a bottle in exchange for the non-uniform day. Collect these items at the school gates or from the classroom.
Packaged a selection of items into baskets or boxes, stuffed with tissue paper, to create several tasty and tempting hampers. Raffle tickets can then be sold to parents, grandparents and teaching staff at a parents evening or other event.
Some items may be kept aside as prizes for other fundraising events.
2. Devise a Termly Competition
How about a competition to encourage pupils to get creative? Charge £1 for entry and offer a certificate for every participant. A chocolate bar from the Mufti donation could be the prize for a winner from each year group.
The pupils have a week to plan and work on their creations. A few PTA members will need to be on hand to collect and judge entries on the designated day. Be warned; picking a winner is the tough part!
The competition could be:
An Upcycling Project – Turn a cardboard box into something for your bedroom
Design a Poster – For a school or community event or to promote an issue such as road safety
School Bake Off – Judging will be easier if you give a choice of what to bake
A themed photographic challenge – e.g. A Room with a View
3.Create a Holiday Activity Pack
PTA members could put together an activity pack to sell to parents for half term. Most parents would be willing to pay to help keep their children entertained.
The activity pack could contain a code to decipher, a wordsearch and spot the difference. It could have a crossword, ‘how to make’ instructions, a maze and a picture to colour in. You might put instructions for a daily 10-minute workout with a box to tick for each day of the week or a template to cut out.
The complexity of the pack will depend on the target year group. It could be sold as a digital resource or printed copies.
Whilst it would take time to prepare, this is something that PTA members could work on independently, at their convenience. If several people contributed, the workload can be relatively small. If most parents purchase a pack, the effort is worthwhile.
4. Ask for Business Sponsorship or Community Donations
With a clear idea of what you are fundraising for, one or two members of the PTA could focus on contacting local businesses for support. Do you prefer to write a letter that can be tweaked for each company, or would you rather call or pop in?
Be specific about what the PTA fundraising will buy and the impact it will have. The company might be invited to sponsor a piece of equipment. You might request a raffle prize, resources and other non-financial donations.
Do you know of any business owners with a connection to the school? Were they pupils or do they have children that attend now? These links can trigger a positive response.
5. Sign up for Easy Fundraising
Possibly the easiest PTA Fundraising opportunity comes from Easy Fundraising. Sign up and then encourage parents to sign up, putting the school PTA as their chosen cause! Then, a small donation will be made every time they shop online. The process is simple and the contributions from participating retailers gradually add up.
If you like this idea, you may also be interested in other non-event fundraising opportunities.
These suggestions can help new PTAs. They may also be run as some quick wins alongside larger events. We hope they help you to reach the PTA fundraising target.