Tips to engage parents in school fundraising

Now that school is a few weeks under way, I’m sure parents and students alike have already been notified of a few upcoming school fundraising opportunities.  Fall is the perfect time for schools to engage parents in giving back to their child’s school! Everyone is excited for the upcoming new year and willing to do what it takes to be sure their child has the best education, and along with that comes the needed funds to make that happen.

Proud parents
Proud parents engage with their child’s school fundraiser

Here are some tips to help engage parents in school fundraising initiatives:

  1. Start the funds flowing right at the beginning of the year by hosting an annual fund drive.   Parents are more receptive to contributing as the school year begins. They’ve already shelled out money for school supplies, back-to-school clothes, so what’s an extra $50?  Many schools suggest a SET donation amount per student. This makes it easy for parents as they don’t have to question what amount to give.  And, you can make it even easier by setting up an online donations website where parents can safely pay with credit card. This suggested donation also provides an estimated amount of dollars the school may be able to raise up-front helping with goal-setting for the balance of the school year.
  2. The beginning of the school year is also a great time to recruit for PTA! Especially for new parents arriving at the school who may be looking for opportunities to branch out in their community and meet other parents.  There are plenty of PTA fundraising initiatives throughout the year, and you’ll need the extra resources to help plan these.
  3. If you decide to host a school fundraising event, such as a school walk-a-thon, be sure to encourage parents to be proactive in the pledge drive. Show parents how they may make it a fun process for the family. They can help set up the student’s personal fundraising page together by selecting fun, family photos and helping them write their personal goal statements. Parents can also assist in soliciting donations by promoting the fundraiser beyond family contacts (neighbors, friends, family members). Parents also have a whole network of supporters that may be willing to donate to the fundraiser (i.e. co-workers, church members, etc.)
  4. Parents can motivate children with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards!  Often schools reward the classes or students who’ve received the most donations, but parents can also reward their children by showing them how proud they are.  Parents are encouraged to ask questions about how the fundraiser is going, and find out how they may be able to help. Physical rewards don’t hurt either! Offering to reward your child for achieving his or her personal fundraising goal (perhaps that new game your child’s been wanting or inviting friends over for pizza) is a great way to show them “job well done!”  These things provide for a more successful parent and student involvement.