The majority of PTA events focus on providing activities and events that appeal to parents and/or pupils. These can liven up the school calendar and generate funds, but parent’s pockets are only so deep. It’s time to look beyond the school gates for fresh opportunities to raise funds for the school.
Local businesses and companies that parents work for can support your fundraising objectives. This article explores:
- What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
- What’s in it for businesses?
- How can businesses contribute to PTA fundraising?
- Building community relationships
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model in which a company shows commitment to social or environmental issues. It can include giving time, money or resources to charitable causes.
What’s in it for Businesses?
There is no obligation for a business to undertake CSR, however, doing so can improve its reputation. It can allow the business to gain a competitive edge. Parents and teachers may be more willing to buy from a company that actively supports their child’s school. That can have a positive effect on sales.
Charitable donations can also be a way of paying less tax. The money would be leaving the company accounts anyway, so there is an option to direct it to CSR instead of HMRC.
Someone within the company may have a connection to the school or community. They want to give something back and make a difference to the next generation.
How can a Business Contribute to PTA Fundraising?
There are 6 common ways for a business to support their local school:
- Sponsor an Event
A great example of this is estate agents sponsoring a fete. They can provide branded ‘for sale’ boards that promote the event within the community. They might also donate a tempting raffle prize and host an activity stall.
- Make a Donation
Donating money or resources are quick and simple ways to support a local charity with minimum effort. If your PTA is hopeful of a financial donation, approach companies in February or March, as the tax year is coming to an end – remind them of tax reductions!
See if your local supermarket runs a token scheme. This usually involves three selected charities, with customers voting for their preferred choice with tokens. The money is divided between the charities, depending on the percentage of votes received.
- Purchase Equipment
A business may prefer to gift equipment to the school. As an example, you may be raising funds to equip the school with cookery equipment. A local hardware store might be approached for donations of weighing scales, mixing bowls or baking trays.
- Provide Volunteers
Some companies give employees time off to volunteer and see it as a valuable team-building exercise. If you need specialist skills, or additional hands to help make your PTA fundraising event a success, ask for volunteers rather than money.
- Host Fundraising Activities
Companies can undertake a range of activities to raise funds for their local school. This could include coffee mornings, a competition or sponsored events.
- Be a Collection Point
In our article about non-event fundraising ideas, we mentioned collecting items that can be exchanged for cash through recycling schemes. Local companies might be convinced to be a collection point for cans, toner cartridges or similar. A collection bin may be installed for a week or the entire year.
How to Convince a Company to Support your PTA
Be Specific with PTA Community Requests
With a plan of events for the term, the PTA can identify the equipment and volunteer support required. Are there certain companies that have the resources you need? Would their skilled team be of more value? Which brands might offer a desirable raffle prize?
Rather than one standard community support letter, it is best to approach different companies with a personalised request. What is the best thing they could offer?
If the goal is financial donations, be specific about what the money would be spent on. A clear appeal for specific items is more tangible than simply reaching a target. Fundraising for playground equipment? Share what your funds can purchase and how this will delight the children, keep them active and make P.E. lessons more varied and fun.
Consider what the PTA can Offer in Return
Collaboration is a great way to build long-lasting community connections so see CSR requests as a two-way relationship. This approach can be an incentive for community involvement and it shows you are willing to give, as well as receive.
Companies want to raise brand awareness, so what can the PTA offer? Is it possible to include their logo on posters and offer to include an article about the donation in the school newsletter? Could you let their MD open an event?
Can you offer a couple of tickets for the next school show or offer to perform in a local care home?
Could the school assist the company in some way, such as the use of the car park during school holidays?
Thank you for your Donation
Companies like recognition for their CSR. Can you provide a letter of thanks and a certificate? Include how much they contributed and how this will benefit pupils.
Would the PTA chair be willing to complete a Google Review for the company? Feedback is welcome by all businesses and your endorsement could showcase their business values.
A significant donation might even warrant a banner or plaque to publicly thank them!
School Fundraising wishes you every success with gaining community support.