Building a sense of community is what PTAs do, and you're a fundraising master! Fundraising for other causes is a great way to teach the children at your school to be responsible citizens - encouraging them to think about social, health and welfare issues both locally and internationally. But before you get started, there are a few things to consider. Your PTA is known for raising money for the school, therefore you should make it clear to all those supporting your fundraising initiative exactly where the money will be going, and give prospective donors a clear choice of whether to support the cause or not. Likewise, funds already raised by the PTA should not be allocated to another charity. Some charities allow 'shared fundraising' with PTAs, where money raised is split - it's worth asking!
Melanie Lopez-Welsch, PTA Chair, Friends' School in Saffron Walden, Essex told us: 'We found this was a great way to start the fundraising year, as it brings parents together while raising money for a good cause. We started planning the event in the summer holidays and promoted it through all the possible means at school, including posters, emails, newsletters and through our valued team of class reps. On the day, after dropping their children off, parents were served cakes, toast, teacakes and a selection of cookies and cupcakes. The PTA also held a 'spot the cake' competition, where people guessed the number of spots on the cake, as well as a 'faked or baked' test to see if guests could tell the difference between shop-bought and homemade cakes. Both these competitions were popular and boosted funds made for the charity. Every single penny went to Macmillan Cancer Support, and we found the text method (quoting a unique code) was helpful as it increased the final amount. It also allowed those who couldn't attend to make a contribution. The school, parents and grandparents made the event extra special through their contributions and participation, which just goes to show what a great team we can be when we work together!'
Jenny Hollies, Treasurer, Drighlington Primary School, Bradford, West Yorkshire: (442 pupils) told us: 'We came across the British Heart Foundation's Jump Rope For Heart scheme, which involved the children carrying out various skipping activities. Within three weeks we had an information pack and a skipping kit containing resources worth over £100! Our pupils donned their trainers to take part and worked together on new techniques, such as the 'egg beater' and 'double under', as well as learning about the importance of exercise and heart health. Sponsor forms were provided by BHF and distributed along with a letter explaining that 80% of donations would go to BHF, and 20% to the school. Local companies donated prizes for the children who had raised the most money, and BHF provided an electronic skipping rope to the 18 children who raised over £50. 61 children raised sponsorship, and all pupils who took part received a certificate. It was a fantastic event for teachers and pupils. A fabulous £1,854 was raised in total, and including Gift Aid we raised £442 for the school.'
Claire Moore, PTA Secretary, Ledbury Primary School, Herefordshire (450 pupils) told us: 'Our fashion show fundraiser was held as a memorial event for one of our lovely mums who sadly passed away with cancer. She was cared for by St Michael's Hospice, which is very well known locally. We joined forces with a local clothes shop, Isaacs, to put on this spectacular event. We produced tickets and posters, and advertised at the school and online. Tickets were sold at the school for £10 in Isaacs, and in other local shops taking part in the event. Isaacs provided the models and clothes, while other shops joined in by supplying jewellery, flowers, hair and make-up, etc. Tickets included a glass of wine, and we also ran a bar selling soft drinks and wine at £3 per glass. We made up goody bags, enclosing small gifts and vouchers donated by local businesses. This cost the companies very little and was an inexpensive way of advertising, as well as being an added bonus for those attending the event! We sold 150 tickets and held a raffle with donated prizes. We raised £2,500 altogether, with £1,250 going to the hospice and £1,250 retained by the PTA.'
Deborah Turton, PTA Chair, Byerley Park Primary School, Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham (219 pupils) told us: 'Our PTA decided to give our coin trail a twist and create a "coin picture". The event ran over a couple of months and was promoted via posters, Facebook and letters sent home to parents. Seven classes took part all together, from Reception to Year 6. The children were asked to bring in any spare change in 1p and 2p coins, and had 10 days to collect as many as they could. A prize was awarded to the class that collected the most. Each year group was invited to place their coins on the design which, that year, featured the Olympic rings. The money collected amounted to a massive £278 and was donated to the NSPCC, our long-standing nominated school charity. The pupils of Year 6 had collected the most coins and, as our winners, each student in the class received a small stationery pack. The cost of the prizes was £30, which ended up being our only outlay. The downside for the PTA is having to bag and bank the coins!'
Hayley Payne, PTA Chair, Priory Junior School, Gedling, Nottingham (212 pupils) told us: 'After our Headteacher was diagnosed with breast cancer, the pupils and PTA decided to fundraise for Breast Cancer UK. We asked the children and staff to come to school wearing something pink and donate £1. The PTA then organised the Great Priory Bake Off! Children could enter their cakes for free, however we asked for a donation of £1 from any adult entries. All cakes were rated not only by looks, but also taste. The judges were our Headteacher and a journalist from the Nottingham Post. We presented three medals to our winners in both adult and child categories - we had approximately 40 entries for the children's category and about 20 for the adults. A fantastic selection of cakes were baked and brought in, and the standard was exceptionally high. All money raised went to Breast Cancer UK. The final total raised on the day was £426!'
- Tell us about any charity fundraisers your PTA has run. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.