When it comes to requesting donations for schools and school fundraising ideas, there is really no shortage. There are plenty of different ways to raise money by selling various items in the traditional “door to door” fashion. However, there are some ways to ensure whatever type of fundraiser or donation drive is being held for the school is most effective. For those PTA and PTO groups that are trying to figure out how to get donations for schools, especially in difficult and financially challenging times, Apex Leadership Co. offers the following suggestions:

Ask for Feedback

When planning a fundraiser, PTO groups should go beyond getting member input and ask the entire school community for their thoughts on what type of fundraiser they’d like to see implemented. This can be done via a quick email or survey with a shortlist of ideas. The reason this works so well is because it includes everyone in the process. For those that don’t wish to participate or respond to the survey, at least they know their opinion was sought out; those that do respond will feel like their opinion is taken into consideration. Both of these things are very important when it comes to how people will respond when it comes time to donate. PTO officers and members can start by coming up with a brief list of four or five plausible ideas, and then ask the rest of the school community to vote on their favorite.

Focus the Fundraising Efforts

School fundraisers are vital for getting donations. But school families have a lot going on — so if there are too many fundraisers throughout the year, or the fundraiser seems too confusing, they may not support it as much as they would in a different scenario. Consider ways to scale down the fundraising efforts and focus on just one or two big ones per school year versus multiple “little” ones. Ideally, giving families a “heads up” about a fundraiser at the beginning of the new semester can also help them plan for their donation funds.

Build Excitement

Bring on the hype! There is nothing wrong with promoting the heck out of an event to ensure its success. Remember the end result is much-needed funds for the school — so the more successful the fundraiser, the more the school will benefit. Building anticipation and excitement for the fundraiser really is the fun part! It gives people the motivation and incentive to want to participate. In the case of school fundraising programs through Apex Leadership Co., the two weeks “build-up” to the actual event (whether in person or virtual) helps students get excited about their role in the fundraiser, teaches them important leadership lessons, and gives them ideas for how they can maximize their fundraising efforts. With fun prizes, it also gives them incentives to want to raise the most money they can — not only for their school but to earn those cool rewards. For parents and other supporters, marketing the event early and “bullet pointing” all the great benefits of the fundraiser can help engage them and get them excited about supporting the fundraiser as well.

Father engaged in Activity Game With Son

Say What It’s For

When executing school fundraisers, there are a million little things to consider. One of them that shouldn’t be overlooked, or underestimated, is making sure that potential supporters understand the needs of the school and what the funds will cover. This is particularly vital with the current situation that many schools are in as they have had to pivot their entire format to either partially or entirely online. This equates to the necessity for, and even the creation of, additional resources and technology that weren’t required prior to a COVID world just a few short months ago. Understandably, many families are experiencing hardships right now but if they know exactly what the funds are going to be used for (technology to help streamline online learning, additional SEL resources to help support students that are struggling during this time, etc.), they are more likely to donate.

Don’t Go it Alone

Anyone that has put on a school fundraiser knows that it’s not a one-person job, nor is it easy. It takes a lot of people and a lot of work to execute a successful fundraiser. For those that are taking on this challenge for the first time, it can even be overwhelming. It’s important to have a committee within the PTO/PTA that is dedicated to planning and putting on a fundraiser and it’s vital to have enough volunteer support to help see it through. It’s also a great idea to employ a group like Apex Leadership Co. Apex not only works closely with PTO groups from the very onset of the fundraiser to the completion, they also take the stress off PTO members, volunteers and donors. Most importantly, they make the fundraiser easy, hassle-free, and fun — all while maximizing fundraising efforts.

When putting together a fundraiser, the end goal is really about how to get as many donations for the school as possible. So, as PTO groups consider school fundraising ideas, they should think about the most efficient and impactful ways to reach (or surpass!) the fundraising goal without putting too much stress on members, students, or families. Remember that Apex Leadership Co.’s goal is exactly that — to help schools raise as much money through their fundraiser as possible while making it easy and hassle-free for everyone, while also be fun, educational, and engaging for the students.