Fundraising Case Studies

Best PTA Fundraising Ideas

We covered the fabulous school fundraisers of Booksin Elementary School in our last article. It doesn’t end there. The school’s PTO fundraising and PTO newsletter add a whole new layer to their school fundraising campaign. PTA fundraising is at its best with this prolific school and their fundraisers for kids..

PTA Fundraising

BESCA stands for Booksin Elementary School Community Association and is the School Connected Organization (SCO) that supports Booksin Elementary. An SCO serves to enrich the educational and/or extracurricular programs within the school and is comprised of 5 elected parents, 3 teachers and the principal. It is the hub for PTA fundraising. Each effort is shared on the PTO newsletter, the Booksin Beat.

The PTO fundraising committee benefits every Booksin student. They fund art, music, science, technology, the garden, the library, class field trips and more.  Their fun fundraising ideas, particularly their school walkathon which we discussed in our first article, provides funds to teachers for use within their classrooms. Their walkathon and other school fundraisers assist students with fees related to science camp.

The PTA support to Booksin Elementary is more than financial. Known for its culture of parent involvement and volunteerism, members of the PTA community are active on and off campus every day. The PTA team is both in the classroom providing assistance to teachers and outside the classroom working on initiatives and events such as the Book Fair, Safe Side program, the Student Book Exchange and Yearbook.

To define exactly what they do and how your school PTO fundraising committee can grow, we detail each effort:

Bi-Monthly PTO Newsletter

The Booksin Beat is central to keeping parents and the entire community informed and involved in school fundraising and volunteerism. One way they have done this recently on their bi-monthly PTO newsletter is to ask for volunteers: “Booksin Robotics Club needs adult volunteers for next year! Are you interested in Robotics? Could you donate an hour of time per week? We need help preparing for next year’s season and putting in place some volunteers for leadership roles.” Read more on getting parents involved in PTA events.

Annual Yearbook

The Booksin yearbook, organized by the PTA, is a photo memory book that highlights students, staff and important PTO fundraisers that show the positive attitude and liveliness of the school. They sold 640 yearbooks last year at $20 per book.

They specifically asked for these parent and volunteers on their school website and PTO newsletter:

  1. Photographers – class candid’s, WAT, Halloween, after school programs, 5th grade event photographers (science camp, revolution enactment, etc.)
  2. Photo page upload designer – this is a role for the volunteer that has less access on campus and enjoys placing photos on the page…several of you did more than 1 page this year and your work was awesome! Having a volunteer that is able to collect, take some photos, and do the page layout really makes the page layout pop.
  3. Public relations – assist with copying/distribution of flyers, monthly email blasts requesting/reminding Booksin community to share/upload photos
  4. End of year Yearbook distribution (assist with label application and delivering books to classes)

Book Fair

Their PTA event fundraising team holds The Book Fair is a week-long event where the local children’s bookstore, Hicklebee’s, provides an opportunity to sell books and other items to raise money for the school library. In 2014 they earned $4,922 donated in books. Reading fundraisers are a great way to encourage the love of learning and collaboration with community businesses by PTAs is called smart school fundraising.

Safe Side Program

“Monday, October 19, at 6:30 PM is Parent Education Night in the Booksin Cafeteria, where you’ll learn the skills to help keep your kids on the Safe Side, both on the Internet and in the real world.Remember, this is for parents only. Wednesday, October 21, at 6:30 PM is Super Safety Night, where kids will watch The Safe Side Stranger Safety video, followed by the Internet Safety video for kids in grades 3 through 5. We will meet in the Booksin cafeteria.”

PTO Recognition

On their PTO fundraising website they share individual contributions of parents, recognizing them for their dedication and specifically which program they helped. Sharing “the countless hours and an amazing amount of thought into our new art program” was shared recently of two parents.  “The Art room is very well organized and the docents will have better access to lesson plans and materials. All of the Booksin students will benefit from their hard work.  Please be sure to ask your kids about their monthly art lessons and if you see Tara or Chelsea on campus, maybe give them a shout out for all their hard work!”

PTA Fundraising Considerations

Parents and school administrators work together to determine goals, set budgets, manage timelines, and organize various details of a fundraising campaign. Consideration of these factors in your planning efforts will help make your fundraiser a greater success:

  • What age are the students? Consider what students are interested in and capable of doing prior to selecting your fundraising events. You want to spark your children’s interest with a fundraising campaign. See Fundraising Through The Years for more ideas.
  • Financial Planning: What is your budget for producing the fundraiser? What are the upfront costs and how will your organization cover these? What are your fundraising goals? How will funds be used?
  • What resources do you have to work with, including: Parents, volunteers, local business & media relationships that can assist with sponsorships, advertising and marketing of your PTO/PTA fundraising efforts?
  • What tools and resources (i.e. online fundraising software) will you use to collect donations and manage all the planning details of your PTA fundraising campaign? Take advantage of a free trial of PTA fundraising software.
  • What are your plans for promoting your PTA fundraising events? Networking, social media, community relationships, local businesses, event calendars, email blasts, website links, school gatherings, etc.
  • What message and skills are you teaching students through your fundraiser? Are you choosing healthy options such a walkathon or book fair?
  • How will you motivate participants? Will there be prizes or awards for top performers and classrooms?

Fun Fundraising Ideas

Creative school fundraising & PTA fundraising ideas are needed to set your school fundraising team apart from the crowd. That’s why we’ve created a whole page loaded with 50 fun and unique fundraising ideas to help get organizations started with planning your fundraiser. Scope out all of the colorful details of a color run fundraiser for a PTA fundraising event loaded with creativity.

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Maureen Peine

About Maureen Peine

Maureen has been writing and marketing for DoJiggy for over 7 years, and has a strong background in nonprofit fundraising. While with The Nature Conservancy for 7 years prior to DoJiggy, she learned the inner workings of marketing to the State of California within the external affairs department. Her heart is in her writing as she believes in the power of change through nonprofit organizations.
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