PTA Fundraising and PTO Fundraising…Let the Games Begin!

If any of  you reading this are a parent with a child heading back to school this fall, you’ve likely already heard from your school’s PTO or PTA about school fundraising opportunities during the coming year.  Not only are they looking for donations, but they are also looking for members, volunteers and supporters to help them accomplish their goals for the coming year.  These groups are very important to the school, and hence…important to your children’s education.


PTA fundraising (PTO fundraising) helps fund many school programs such as:

  • bringing science and art into the school,
  • supporting “after-school” programs for children w/ working parents,
  • offering enrichment classes where kids can participate in sports, language programs, special interests activities, etc.
  • purchasing technology (for example: my kindergartener’s entire class gets an iPad this year…WOW)
  • and much more!

If you are a member of a PTA/PTO group (or thinking of joining) here are some important factors to consider when planning a school fundraiser:

Important Considerations for PTA/PTO Fundraising:

  • What age are the students? Consider what students are interested in and capable of doing prior to selecting your fundraising initiative (remember to engage parents for elementary school fundraisers as they are the ones “actually” doing much of the fund raising). See Fundraising Through The Years for more fundraising ideas by grade.  Be sure to keep in mind the message and skills are you teaching students through your fundraising campaign.
  • Budget & Resources: What is your budget for producing the fundraiser? What are the upfront costs and how will your school pay for these? What resources do you have including: parents, volunteers, local business sponsors, etc.
  • What tools/resources will you use to collect donations and manage the planning details of your fundraiser? Consider using a school fundraising software to collect online donations for an annual fund drive, or for a pledge fundraising event where individual students collect donations (such as a school walk-a-thon)
  • What are your plans for promoting the fundraiser? Networking, social media, community relationships, local businesses, event calendars, school flyers, email blasts, website links, school gatherings, etc.
  • BEWARE of “Over Fundraising” – Be sure to regulate the volume of school fundraisers so you don’t burn out parents, students and your local community.  Find out what other fundraisers are going on with school groups as well as neighboring schools. Try to avoid hosting your fundraiser at the same time and be creative by planning a different type of fundraising campaign.

For more creative school fundraising ideas and helpful tips, free downloadable templates and “how-to” guidelines, visit our school fundraising resource center.