4 Fundraising Tips for Your School’s Booster Club

Booster clubs and PTAs are incredibly valuable to the schools they serve. Parents and other volunteers fundraise to fill in gaps in school funding, fueling your school’s sports teams, fine arts programs, and other extracurricular activities. This expands students’ opportunities and enriches their lives. 

As a school leader or member of your booster club, how can you be sure you’re doing everything you can during these campaigns? In this guide, we’ll cover a few fundraising tips that will make your booster club’s campaigns more efficient and profitable. 

Let’s get started!

1. Hold a pledge drive fundraiser.

Pledge drive fundraisers are a type of crowdfunding. Participants collect pledged donations from their friends and families before a fundraising event. Then, once the event is over, donors pay the pledged amounts.

As 99Pledges’ guide to PTA fundraisers explains, participants can collect pledges in two ways. Donations can be flat, one-time gifts (e.g., pledging a sum of $50). Or, donations can be dynamic amounts based on the participant’s performance at the event. For example, supporters might pledge $5 for every mile the participant walks during a walk-a-thon fundraiser. This added flexibility is attractive to donors, allowing them to choose their level of support.

These fundraisers are simple to set up. Here are the five steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Work with a software provider to set up a campaign-wide fundraising page and individual pages for each student.
  2. Ask participants to share links to their pages with supporters.
  3. Encourage them to collect donations through their online donation pages.
  4. Track and share your participants’ progress.
  5. Hold the fundraising event and receive the proceeds automatically. 

Pledge drive fundraisers are perfect for schools. They are extremely versatile, meaning that you can adapt them to fit almost any age group, club, or interest. Read-a-thons and soccer ball kick-a-thons, for example, are very different but both use the pledge drive method.

2. Leverage matching gifts.

Matching gift programs are a type of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In matching gift programs, a donor’s employer financially matches their donation to a charitable organization. Most employers match at a 1:1 ratio. So, if a participant gives $50 and submits a matching gift request, your school will receive $100 from a single donation.

These workplace giving programs allow supporters to double their contribution to your club without needing to reach back into their wallets. However, many donors are unaware of matching gifts or don’t know that their employers have any CSR initiatives. Spread awareness of the opportunity to double their donation through matching gifts, and tell them how to submit requests. Consider adding a reminder to submit a match request to your donation page or form.

Encourage donors to research their employers’ unique matching gift requirements. Double the Donation’s guide to matching gift programs specifies that while K-12 schools are eligible for matching gifts in most cases, each company can set its own restrictions. The guide also highlights other guidelines donors will need to consider, such as the match ratio, minimum and maximum donation amounts, and submission deadlines.

3. Market your fundraisers online.

Promoting your school fundraiser is essential. You need potential supporters to be aware of the fundraiser and be persuaded by your cause or purpose. This cause, whether that’s raising money to replace your soccer team’s worn-out goals or fund your marching band’s fall show, should be the center focus of the campaign.

Digital marketing is the most effective—and affordable—way to reach your community of supporters. You can even connect with people across the country who want to support your students, like extended family members. And, promoting your fundraiser online is virtually free.

Here are a few of the ways your booster club can leverage digital marketing:

  • Use your school’s website. Your school probably already has a well-established school website that parents visit regularly. Take advantage of this built-in audience by posting information about your fundraiser on the website. Be sure to include instructions and links for signing up so getting involved is easy. If this isn’t an option, design a dedicated website for your booster club’s fundraisers and ask the school to link to it.
  • Post on social media. Raise awareness for your fundraiser by posting updates and information on your team’s social media pages. To reach people outside of your existing audience, ask to make a few posts on your school’s social media platforms as well. Create and share branded graphics and captions about the fundraiser. This makes it easy for supporters to share about the campaign.
  • Market through email. Many schools send out weekly or daily emails with important updates and announcements. Ask your school to mention the fundraiser in a few of these emails to reach more parents.

By using your school’s established digital communication platforms, you can reach more people than you would if you started a website or social media account from scratch. Being featured on these more authoritative sources also makes information appear more trustworthy to those who aren’t as familiar with your club.

4. Stay organized.

An unorganized booster club will be less efficient, meaning you won’t be able to unlock your club’s full fundraising potential. However, coordinating your efforts helps you get more done in less time, eliminates confusion, and prevents member burnout.

These tips can help your PTO or booster club stay organized and ensure all members are on the same page:

  • Establish specific roles. Outline specific job descriptions and designate members with the appropriate skills to fill the positions. Make sure these appointees have the time and desire to perform well in the role.
  • Clearly delegate tasks and responsibilities. Communicate what each member of the club should be doing to stay active and involved. While those in officer positions should have a detailed understanding of what’s expected from their role, providing other members with instructions and next steps can make the whole team more productive.
  • Set up reporting procedures. Establish a structured, standardized system for handling data and finances. This system should track revenue, costs, and donor data (e.g., contact information). Make sure to outline policies for the proper handling of the funds your club receives.

An organized booster club will work like a well-oiled machine. Adding more structure to your club can help you earn more revenue and improve your members’ experiences.

Whether you’re raising money for your school’s football team or generating funds for the band’s next competition, holding regular fundraisers is a key part of your job as a member of the booster club. With these strategies, your club can maximize revenue to give your students the best experience possible.

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