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Fundraiser Planning Archive

  • Free PTO Swag To Get Your Hands on ASAP

    Snag as much swag as you can (the bag is on us).
  • PTO Today Spending Survey 2017: Great Expectations

    School parent groups feel the need to step up support, our 2017 survey finds. How does your group compare?
  • Your PTO Fundraising Plan

    Not sure where to start with your fundraiser planning? Our sample timeline balances large and small efforts throughout the year.
  • 22 Apps To Make Fundraising Easier


    Communicate better and work more efficiently by making these mobile apps part of your fundraising plans.
  • A Real Magic Act

  • Fine-Tune Your PTO and PTA Fundraising

    Strategies and tips to help you go beyond school fundraising basics—and boost your profits.
  • 8 Steps for a Successful Spring PTO Fundraiser

    What to consider when planning your next spring fundraiser.
  • 10 Steps to Getting Business Donations for Your PTO

    Take a professional approach to improve your odds of success.
  • Low-Cost Student Incentives for Your Next Fundraiser

    Inexpensive ways to inspire kids to participate in your school fundraiser.
  • How To Raise More Money

    Focusing on what you’re selling can limit your fundraiser. Your main message should be something else.
  • Kids Are (Still) Key to Fundraising

    The success of your fundraiser can hinge on how you communicate with students.
  • Low-Cost Fundraisers Can Mean Big Fun

    If your child could have any behind-the-scene job at school, which job would she choose? My daughter dreamed of being the school receptionist for the day. Her dream came true due to a clever (and low-cost) parents council fundraiser.  Our parents group sponsored a Brown Bag Surprise Fundraiser. Families purchased sealed brown paper bags for $10 each. Every bag had a prize of some kind. Most bags contained a school pencil, school sticker, or small pieces of candy. In a few select bags, there were coupons for special prizes. If your bag contained a special coupon, it was like finding a golden ticket!  The parents council coordinated with our school principal for possible Grand Prize ideas. The parent group created an order form and distributed a paper copy of the form through our weekly student folders as well as posted an online version that was linked through our school e-newsletter.   Once orders were collected, volunteers stuffed the bags, sealed them, and then placed stickers on each bag to match the order forms. Since every sack had a prize of some kind, all bags were a similar weight so as not to give away the brown bags with the secret coupons! The bags were distributed to students through the classroom teachers. The students took the bags home to open and share with their families.  Depending on the ages at your school, school location, and resources, there are a wide variety of no-cost prizes you could offer. Here are some ideas based on our school’s Brown Bag Fundraiser: Principal for the day: A student makes announcements in the morning, lets the student body have one special activity like extra recess during the day, eats a special lunch with the principal, etc. Receptionist for the day: A student answers the phone, takes attendance, greets visitors and makes visitor badges, run notes to classrooms, etc. Pajama day: A student’s class gets to come to school in pajamas. Flip flop day: A student’s class gets to wear flip flops for the day—weather permitting. Pull the fire alarm: A student stands with the principal to pull the fire alarm during a monthly fire drill. Premier parking place: One lucky family has a dedicated parking place for the school year near the front entrance of the school. School sleepover: A student gets to invite friends to spend the night at the school. The student’s family supplies supervision overnight, and the principal stays late and comes back early the next morning—with doughnuts. Jeans day: If you attend a school with a dress code, a student’s class wears jeans for the day in place of the uniform. School store or ice cream coupons: If your school has a school store or sells ice cream at lunch, provide coupons for items in the school store, a dollar amount in the school store, or a free ice cream at lunch. There were coupons like this in many brown bags—not just one winner.We raised quite a bit of money to help with school programs. The best part about this fundraiser is that the school keeps almost all of the proceeds since it is organized by school volunteers and the supply costs are minimal. I have no doubt that my daughter’s experience as the receptionist will be one of her favorite memories from elementary school, and I was thrilled that I did not have to beg the grandparents to order wrapping paper (again). For additional resources on quick, creative, and fun fundraising ideas, check out: How To Run a School Penny War FundraiserDuct-Taping the Principal12 Creative PTO Fundraisers6 Fun Fundraisers Caitlin Tobin is a mom to two elementary aged children and a teacher. She currently teaches 4th grade but has experience working with children from nursery school up through freshmen in high school. She loves snack foods, crafty projects, and spreadsheets. She is on a mission to help the world choose the perfect teacher gift and writes about many of her ideas at The-Room-Mom.com. Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly
  • Put Some Bounce in Your Spring Fundraising

    The options are endless, and it’s a great time for PTOs to try something new.
  • School Fundraising: How Much Is Too Much?

    What does fundraising equity mean for your school?
  • Get Businesses To Support Your PTO

    Asking local and even national businesses for donations, discounts, or manpower can increase fundraising resources—and is easier than you might think.
  • Test Your Fundraising IQ

    What the experts say—and you should know—about product fundraising.
  • Fundraising: People and Partnerships Are Critical to a Program's Success

  • The Key to Fall Fundraising Success

  • Mother Funders: Lessons on the Wrong Way To Fundraise

  • Mother Funders: Nothing Like the Real Thing

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