Guide to online fundraising
Make it easy for your community to contribute to the PTA
coffers in the absence of your usual events.
With many events still on hold, you might want to think about
offering new ways for your supporters to donate to your cause, and
keep money flowing in over the next year. You may have already set
up a regular giving system through the school office, but digital
platforms provide an easy way for people to give - in many
different ways - and you may find yourselves wondering why you
didn't think of doing more of these before. Always be sensitive to
your supporters' financial situations. For some communities, now is
not the time to ask for financial support, but if you have
supporters who can afford to help, here are a few ideas of how they
Regular giving is the system whereby donations are made by
your supporters at set intervals, often monthly. By using an online
platform, you can avoid worrying about standing orders or direct
debits, and Gift Aid is automatically collected. While it's ideal
for some, regular giving is a commitment that might be challenging
in the current climate. With one-off donations, donors can give as
they wish without feeling tied down, and can give as much or as
little as they're able. DonateMySchool (donatemyschool.com) and CAF Donate (cafonline.org/charities/caf-donate) are free of
subscription or joining fees and allow for one-off or regular
donations. Options with fees include Just Giving (justgiving.com) at £15 to £39 +VAT per month,
and Localgiving (localgiving.org) at £80 +VAT per year.
This app enables users to donate their virtual spare change to
good causes. It works by rounding up all card payments to a whole
number (to the nearest 10p, 50p or £1) and donating the pennies to
a charity of the user's choice. Register as a good cause on its
website to get started.
Tickets cost £1 per week, and 40% of sales go to the school or
PTA. A winner is guaranteed in every school community each week,
with the prize amount depending on how many players you have. All
players are also entered into a national draw for the chance to win
£25,000. Your School Lottery draws and contacts the winners - all
you have to do is promote it to your supporters.
If you'd rather run your own lottery, how about a 100 Club? Each
month, supporters pay a fixed subscription for a number between one
and 100 - often £2 per month. Purchased numbers are entered into a
monthly draw, with a percentage of the profits going to the winner
and the remainder into PTA funds. Payments can be made monthly or
annually either by direct debit or your PTA's online payment
If you're trying to raise a set amount for a specific project
over a fixed period, crowdfunding might be right for your PTA.
Platforms such as Crowdfunder (crowdfunder.co.uk) allow you to offer tiered
rewards for different donation amounts. If possible, link the
rewards to your fundraiser - for example, if you're aiming to
purchase a 3D printer, offer the donor a printed item of their
choice. Be wary of 'all or nothing' platforms where you have
to meet your goal to get the funds.
Many people have used the extra time at home this year to have a
clear out, but how can it benefit your PTA? Both you and your
supporter base can participate in online selling to support your
School uniform sale
A school uniform sale raises funds while providing a
service to parents. Collect items safely, according to current
measures; sort, wash and mend them and post images or a list
online. Parents can pay online, with items delivered to their
This site sells donations of second-hand books, clothing, toys
and more on your cause's behalf. Donors send unwanted items to the
company, which then arranges photographs, descriptions and prices
to be uploaded to the chosen school's shop. Once sold, they post
out the item and donate 100% of the profit back to the donor's
eBay's charity function allows users to donate a percentage of
sales (from 10% to 100%) to a cause of their choice. To use the
website, charities must register with the PayPal Giving Fund, which
will collect the donation from the seller and also claim Gift Aid
Send collections of up to 30kg of old or vintage items via
Freepost to Vintage Giving, which will donate their value to a
charity of your choice. Donations can be sent via post or a
Parcelforce home collection. Accepted items include costume
jewellery, gold and silver, cameras, pens and old currency.
Shopping affiliate schemes are a great way to raise money from
online purchases at no extra cost to you or the shopper. Every time
a supporter makes an online purchase through the fundraising
website with which you've registered, your PTA earns commission -
typically 3-4%. Sites such as Give As You Live (giveasyoulive.com) and The Giving Machine (thegivingmachine.co.uk) offer downloadable
browser add-ons and dedicated apps, which remind users to activate
their donations when shopping. Ask the school if they can use your
chosen platform when shopping too.
Individual businesses also offer affiliate programmes.
Label companies such as Stamptastic (stamptastic.co.uk) and Stikins (stikins.co.uk)
pay around 15-30% commission on any sales you generate. Check if
any organisations that are popular with your parent community
provide an affiliate service and register your PTA in order to
start reaping rewards.
Online payment systems
There are lots of payment systems available, many of which offer
charities and non-profits a discount on fees. Here are some of the
more popular methods among our PTA+ community. There are no set-up
fees, instead they each charge a nominal amount as a percentage per
- PayPal (paypal.com) offers non-profits a discounted
rate of 1.4% +20p and allows donors to opt into Gift Aid on
- Stripe (stripe.com) charges 1.2% +20p for
- DonatePal (donatepal.app) charges charities nothing,
instead passing the cost of 2.9% + 25p onto the buyer. It's able to
provide Gift Aid data, which you can then use to make claims.
Check individual websites for more details on which is the best
fit for your PTA. Some payment systems can be used in conjunction
with popular PTA ticketing and management platforms: Stripe and
PayPal can be used with Classlist (classlist.com),
while PTA Events (pta-events.co.uk) only supports Stripe. It's
worth finding out if your school already has a payment system you
can use, such as ParentPay or ParentMail's +Pay. But bear in mind
that you'll probably have to go through the school office whenever
you need to make changes or check figures.
Shout about it!
Online fundraising gives you potential access to a wide donor
base, but it won't get you very far if no-one knows about it. Use
your usual channels such as the school website, emails and
newsletters to get through to your immediate school community. To
reach out further, make use of social media - not just your own PTA
page, but also pages and groups that cover your local area. Could a
local news website promote your fundraisers?
Online schemes are all simple to join, and the majority offer a
benefit to the donor, so get the message out as far as possible for
the best chance of success. With ongoing fundraisers such as
regular giving or 100 clubs, ensure the awareness is continuous.
Plug things more at certain times of the year, such as shopping
affiliate schemes in the run-up to Black Friday and Christmas.
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