This week’s tips from the community include auction balloons, a homework “diner,” and a mini-golf decorating contest.

  • A high-flying addition: Here’s a fun auction idea submitted by a community member on our Ultimate Donation List thread. At your next event, try using balloons to give away smaller prizes. Here’s how it works. Write the prize name on a small piece of paper. Insert the paper into the balloon. Use a helium tank to blow up the balloons. Offer balloons at a set price.  Folks won’t know exactly what they’ll be getting and if you mix up the prize types—say, include a few $25 gift cards along with coupons for free coffee—it will make it all the more exciting.

  • A hot meal and homework: NBC News reported on a New Mexico school that hosts an evening event for families to have a meal together with the added element of also doing homework together. The Homework Diner is intended to promote parent involvement by getting parents and kids working together and feeling more committed to the students’ success. Teachers are available at the event to work with parents and kids.

  • Golfer’s choice: Ever tried a mini-golf event? The Cannon Falls (Minn.) Elementary PTO just held one with a decorating contest. The PTO set up a mini-golf course at the school and encouraged each grade and department to decorate holes along the 18-hole course. Attendees then voted for their favorite. The PTO also rewarded the class with the most attendees at the event with a post-golf party.