Simple fundraising for PTO or PTA

In 2018 I was asking the same question about putting on a fun run. Our school always had a silent auction for the Parent Teacher Organization annual fundraiser. No one was willing to put on the silent auction and this left me with more questions than answers, so I turned to the internet to research as much as possible. I found incredible ideas and suggestions, but didn't quite understand why people donate money without a tangible item in return. But, raising over $27,000.00 and a total profit over $26,000.00 with a school of 300 kids made me understand!

Fun Run Planning

We found a way to accept donations online, came up with a theme, and started ordering supplies. It was incredibly important to come up with a simple prize structure. We also made sure to come up with activities to involve each classroom in the week leading up to the Glow Run. My biggest concern was raising as much as we had at previous silent auctions. With only two months and zero budget, we knew sponsors were a must.

We made up pledge packets to receive offline donations and partnered with an online fundraising company like Pledge Monster. We started the 2-week fundraising event with a kickoff assembly showcasing the prizes that kids could win and what we were offering to teachers to get them to encourage their classroom to participate.

Why would a business sponsor an event?

Sponsors benefit from advertising their logo or names on the backs of 100's of shirts. They are also helping to fund an event that motivates kids to get moving and build a sense of community. The willingness to support the fun run from our community and small businesses was amazing.

Needless to say I was incredibly nervous! That evening we started seeing donations and pledges rolling in. By the end of week one, we had raised $7,000.00 online. I was in awe, by the end of week two, we had surpassed our previous silent auction profit. I felt relief, knowing that we made enough to fund our PTO budget for the year. As we started collecting pledge packets and entering offline donations into our event software, my mind was blown. We ended up raising over $27,000.00 and had a total profit of over $26,000.00.

Lessons Learned

  • ALL kids had a blast!
    • No children were left out, no matter what their abilities.
  • Parents loved not having to sell items
    • The amount of positive feedback from parents was astounding.
  • Easy to motivate kids to raise money
    • Simple inexpensive prizes and a few big prizes for top earners really motivated all of the kids. Every child received a prize even if they only raised $1.00
  • Holding the event during school hours was a huge plus!
    • This really enhanced the ability for all kids to participate.

Online donation platform is a MUST!

  • With the popularity of social media and text messaging it is very simple to just put out the request. The simplicity of sharing on social media encourages the parents who typically don't like to ask people to support a fundraiser
  • Crowdfunding works
    • If 10 people donate $10 to a single child that is $100 raised for your school's organization. $100 x 300 kids = $30,000

What our fun run made me realize is how much people want to support your organizations, but would rather know that you are keeping as much as possible instead of buying candy, wrapping paper, candles, etc. Planning the event was simple and we are here to help you all the way. If you already have an event where you collect money via pledge packets and just want to add an online donation method let us know.

Our team at Pledge Monster wants your organization to be as successful as possible.

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