12 Ingenious Fundraising Ideas for Your School’s PTA
Many K-12 schools rely on their PTA (or parent-teacher association) to help support programs and services for their students. But valuable programming isn’t free, and many of these schools have tight budgets to work with. And that’s where fundraising comes in!
If you’re a member of a parent-teacher organization looking to uncover the best possible fundraising ideas for your school’s PTA, you’ve certainly come to the right place.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite fundraisers, along with an overview of each one and the potential impact it can have on your school’s PTA fundraising efforts. These include:
- Workplace giving
- Corporate sponsorships
- Apparel sales
- Shoe drives
- School auctions
- Envelope fundraisers
- Pajama days
- Gaming tournaments
- Coupon book sales
Ready to jump in and begin raising money for your school through its PTA? Let’s get started.
1. Workplace giving
Workplace giving is one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy. Specifically, it’s any time of corporate giving that relies on individual employee support to leverage funding from the company itself.
These are our two favorite types of workplace programs for PTAs and school fundraisers to target:
Matching gifts are simple. A donor contributes to your school’s most recent fundraiser. They submit a match request to their employer, who offers to match employee gifts. The employer reviews the match request, ensures it follows provided matching gift guidelines, and disburses the matching funds.
In the end, your school receives two donations for the cost of soliciting one, and you can easily double the impact of your fundraising efforts.
Plus, there are also custom matching gift programs to consider. Rather than a corporation matching its employees’ donations to any nonprofit or school, a specific company would partner with your institution for an exclusive matching gift opportunity. The company would encourage its staff to support your cause (typically within a limited time frame), then match the total with its own donation!
Volunteer grants are similar to matching gifts. However, the main difference is that instead of companies providing funds to schools (and other nonprofits) that their employees donate to, they provide funds to organizations their employees volunteer with instead.
Thus, it’s a fantastic way to engage with your school’s volunteers—including PTA members—while also collecting bonus dollars for your fundraising!
2. Corporate sponsorships
Corporate sponsorships are another significant way for companies to support your school. In this case, a partnership is typically formed between a business and an organization (such as your school) with a specific event or project in mind. This might be an upcoming fundraising run, community festival, etc.
And the key is to form a mutually beneficial relationship. The business provides funding for your school, and your school offers unique advantages, like increased exposure from marketing materials, in return.
P.S. This fundraising idea tends to work best when you target local businesses in your community as potential sponsors—though you shouldn’t exclude big chains and national corporations as possibilities, either.
Tons of parents and other donors, and even some students at your school, are likely to carry their smartphones with them at all times—which makes them excellent contenders for a text-to-give fundraiser!
All they have to do is text a predetermined keyword to a phone number assigned to your school by a dedicated fundraising platform with text giving functionality (such as “text ‘SCHOOL’ to 123-45!”). From there, they’ll receive a link to a streamlined online donation form where they can complete and submit their donation.
To get started, be sure to promote your school’s unique mobile giving number and fundraising keyword to your audience. This can mean posting the information on your school website and social media platforms, as well as through posters around campus or flyers being distributed, etc.
4. Apparel sales
Apparel sales are top fundraising ideas for school PTAs for many reasons. For one, it promotes school spirit! The more people participate in the fundraiser and buy that newest branded t-shirt, hat, lanyard, etc., the more people you have showing off their pride for your school—whether that’s students, faculty, parents, or general community members.
Not to mention, people love supporting apparel sale fundraisers because they get a tangible item in return for their monetary contribution. It’s a win-win!
You’ve heard of a walk-a-thon—but what about a bike-a-thon, swim-a-thon, or score-a-thon? Or even a read-a-thon? A spell-a-thon? All great potential fundraising ideas for your school’s PTA!
Basically, you can take just about any verb, place it in front of “a-thon,” and come up with a unique and exciting fundraising ideas for your school’s PTA. From there, you just need to encourage students to take on the challenge and begin securing pledges from their friends and family members.
Then comes the actual event, and participants can show off their skills by walking, biking, swimming, scoring, reading, or spelling as much as possible. In the end, students’ sponsors pay out their pledged donations to your school, according to their sponsee’s performance in the fundraising event.
6. Shoe drives
Shoe drives are a fun PTA fundraising idea, and everyone loves to participate in them. Often, they don’t even have to open their wallets! Instead, students (and their families and friends) are asked to donate new or gently used shoes to the fundraiser. The school then typically partners with a shoe drive facilitator that collects the donated shoes and provides the school with a check in return.
Consider running this fundraiser in the spring to coincide with spring cleaning efforts—you never know how many old shoes you’ll find in the back of your closet!
7. School auctions
Going once…going twice…SOLD on the idea of an auction fundraiser for your school!
Invite students, faculty, families, friends, and community members to join you for an engaging evening to support your school’s programming. Attendees will bid on items placed up for auction (hint: an excellent emcee or auctioneer can make a huge difference), the highest bidder “wins” the item and pays the determined amount to your school, and takes home a valuable good, service, or experience.
Be sure to solicit donations from local businesses and key supporters as auction items to help keep the costs of organizing this event idea low. This might include gift cards, merchandise, and more.
8. Envelope fundraisers
The premise of envelope fundraisers is simple, which can make them top fundraising ideas for your school’s PTA. All you need to do is create a display of 100 empty envelopes, each marked with a number 1-100. Then, set your display up in a highly trafficked area of your school (such as the office or designated student pick-up area) for a few weeks. Encourage supporters to contribute a dollar amount equal to the number marked on an envelope, and if every envelope gets filled, you’ll raise $5,050.
9. Pajama days
Who wouldn’t want to wear their pajamas to school? So make it into a fundraiser!
There are a few ways you could host a pajama day to raise money for your school. The first involves simply charging a flat fee (of a couple of dollars) for students who want to wear their pajamas to school one day. The alternative would be to make it a school-wide reward for reaching a common fundraising goal—such as raising a specific dollar amount or collecting a lofty number of donations.
Either way, you can make it extra enticing by allowing participating students to watch a movie in class and snuggle up with some hot cocoa. P.S.: this is a great fundraising idea to host leading up to the winter holidays.
10. Gaming tournaments
You’ve likely heard about gamifying your fundraising efforts. By hosting a gaming tournament for your school, you can fundraise-ify your students’ gamification efforts!
First things first, you’ll need to choose a game to play for this PTA fundraiser. And the ideas are endless—from board games to video games to sports and more. Once you’ve determined which game will function as the foundation of your tournament, it’s time to get your students excited to be involved. For example, be sure to offer particularly appealing rewards and/or organize the tournament during class time. You can even turn it into an annual event that students look forward to each year!
Then, make sure you’re collecting funds by charging either a small participation fee or selling tickets to spectators.
11. Coupon book sales
A coupon book sale is one of the most popular examples of a product fundraiser, and that’s for a good reason. In fact, it’s one of the only fundraising ideas that a supporter can participate in and end up saving money in the long run.
To get started, you’ll need to partner with businesses in your community. (Restaurants tend to be a huge hit!) These businesses agree to provide you with a unique coupon for their goods or services that you are then able to include in a coupon book compilation.
From there, you’ll just have to sell the coupon book you’ve created—and savvy shoppers (and dedicated supporters) will be happy to oblige!
A raffle is an exciting fundraising idea for all sorts of causes, including schools and their PTAs. This idea can be hosted on its own or alongside another fundraising event to help drive participation. Best of all, it doesn’t tend to be overly difficult to sell low-cost raffle tickets to supporters—especially when the potential to win is great.
You can even organize a “50/50 raffle,” where you don’t have to worry about securing prizes, either! Instead, the winner simply gets 50% of the total amount collected through the raffle ticket sales. And of course, the remaining 50% will go toward your school.
Any of these fundraisers have the potential to bring in some much-needed funding for your institution. And any can be tweaked to fit your needs, your students, and your supporter base. So choose your favorite fundraising ideas for your school’s PTA and get started!
Just remember—it’s worth it to invest in the right tools for your fundraisers. You’ll simplify the process from start to finish and make up for it several times over in the revenue collected from your fundraising. Best of luck!
Check out more unique and effective ways to raise funds for your school with this resource at https://www.schoolmoney.org/fundraising-ideas-for-schools/.