PTO Today Q&A

Question: Fundraising Ideas/Thoughts

Recently, our school as many others out there, redistricted and we now have almost double the amount of kids- close to 700 (k-6). Because of this, we are classified as a Title 1 school, low income. We are in need of some good ideas to raise funds. We're tried everything that has been successful in the past, but this year we havent even made close to what we have in the past. Slowly things are being cut due to lack of funds. There is only so much the handful of parents that attend/volunteer can do. Any ideas would be great! Thanks


Asked by Anonymous

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Answers:

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
One of the biggest challenges when a school is redistricted is creating a sense of community and school spirit. That's a crucial and often overlooked element of fundraising -- the more connected that parents feel to a cause, the more likely they are to contribute (or buy). The better you are able to get parents to feel connected to the school, the more success you will have in fundraising. It may sound like a contradiction, but to make your fundraisers more successful, you have to first concentrate on building parent involvement.

Here's an article that discusses how to do that in a little more detail: Put Parent Involvement Before Fundraising.

For now, I'd recommend surveying parents to see what they would support. Give several different options, including both items to sell and events you might hold. You may have to accept that you'll be working with a smaller budget for now, but if you concentrate on changing the focus, you'll get your old momentum back bit by bit.

Good luck!


Community Advice

CheerMom writes:
Hi - I have a daughter in competition and sideline cheer, and along with a few other moms, we have been searching for fundraising ideas. Even if the gym does not want to do this as a whole, a group of us moms are going to try this: I think sheets will be a great switch from the norm. Here is the link if you want to look into it: http://www.peachskinsheets.com/FUNDRAISING-FAQ.html . I have not done it yet, but at least it's a unique fundraaising product so I'm hoping for a favorable response. Good Luck! ~ K


Community Advice

Dolly writes:
Our church is tax exempt thru Presbyterian Church USA - but it doens't show up on list provided to internal revenge. WE are finding it hard to convince those making donation that we are in fact exempt


Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Dolly -- First of all, no offense but I had to laugh at your typo: "internal revenge." It's a classic. : ) Churches are automatically considered tax-exempt by the IRS if they meet certain specific guidelines. My understanding is that some churches do go through the application process, however, for the specific reason you stated -- to get specific recognition of their tax-exempt status for donors. Here's a publication from the IRS that might help, if you haven't seen it already:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf


Community Advice

ShopBidGive writes:
I agree with what Craig said initially. The parents definitely need to understand that their support and interaction is imperative to a successful fundraiser. Find out what they would be willing to buy before agreeing to a specific fundraiser. If you find that they want different things, an online auction might be a good fit. It will allow you to appeal to a wide majority of the parents by offering different items. Hope you are able to pull your parents together!


Community Advice

LauraJan1 writes:
All great responses, I hope you find mine to be helpful as well. May I suggest a fundraiser that takes alot of the normal fundraiser workoff your shoulders which will free you up to talk about the benefits of the new school. For example more students, means more parents/supporters that can participate. Let's say you find a fundraiser tnat holds average product selling price at around $20 so now all families can particpate on a very regular basis. Make sure they have at least a few at that $20. Find one that donates back out of that sale more than the average of only 5%. Make sure you get real support from the company like has a toll free number with someone to answer yiur questions. Find fundraisers that focus on alternatives to candy, no cookie dough. Green fundraisers are wonderful, that save people money is terrific. Good luck need to know who I would reccomend? On FB /shopforstudents, good luck.


Community Advice

rachelwilifer writes:
Hi,
We use PopNod (http://www.popnod.com) to supplement our fundraising efforts. It makes it really easy by automatically donating money to our PTO while supporters shop online, at stores such as Gap, Target, etc. We get a quarterly payment without doing much work. All we need to do is to promote our personalized link for our PTO.


Community Advice

LauraJan1 writes:
Try an Ink & Toner Sales Fundraiser with www.ShopForStudents.com. It's free for your school or group to use. They give you your very own unique link, flyer(s), online banner ads for social media efforts and donate based on total GROSS sales unlike most online fundraisers. No cookie dough or candy. Your school, parents and supporters save up to 75% off on ink and toner and get FREE shipping PLUS your school receives 15% on all sales made. Contact them at info@shopforstudents.com. Good luck.


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