Good planning is the key to a strong year of fundraising for your PTA. Without planning, you risk holding too many fundraisers in a short space of time (meaning fatigued parents and funds!), clashes with local and national events, and not leaving enough time to coordinate each fundraiser properly. Here's our quick overview to help you kick-start your year of organisation!
The new school year
Once your committee is organised and you're back into the swing of things, your first port of call is to consider what events to hold and when to hold them. September is the perfect time to schedule your fundraising calendar, as you can ensure there aren't any clashes with public holidays or local events while giving people as much notice as possible for a high uptake.
Have a maximum of one larger event per term, such as a summer/Christmas fair, fireworks night, grand ball or music festival. This means that your PTA committee isn't spread too thinly - and nor are parents or the all-important funds. It may be wise, if you're going for significant events in winter and summer, to have a quieter spring with a focus on simpler fundraisers.
Think ahead to next year. Is it your school's anniversary year where you can plan some special events to bring everyone together and raise even more?
Mix it up
Hold smaller fundraisers and passive schemes throughout the year for a steady income of funds. To ensure variety and a wide appeal, have a mixture of smaller events such as quiz nights, product sales, collections and activities such as colouring competitions. This will give the PTA a constant presence at the school and mean ongoing awareness and support, while fulfilling other goals of creating fun memories for the children and bringing the community together.
Easy fundraisers such as shopping affiliate and recycling schemes can also run constantly throughout the year and are a great way for parents to raise funds without spending money, while boosting PTA income. New parents probably won't know about these, so be sure to publicise these at the start of the school year.
Plan to plan
For each fundraiser, think about when you'll need to begin planning. This will depend on the scale of the event, and if it's something that's been held before it can be informed by past experience. For larger events, start planning as soon as possible - secure venues where needed, book entertainment and consider licensing requirements. Simpler events such as Silver Smarties may only need up to a month to set up.
What's your goal?
Discuss the school's plans for the year with your headteacher in September and see how you can work together to help them achieve their goals. See if you can agree your overall goal per term or for the year - what resources are you hoping to fund and how much do you therefore need to raise? Find out how to agree a wishlist here. If it's a big project, break it down and agree deadlines for when you can realistically fund each aspect.
If you're fundraising towards specific projects, you should make this clear when promoting your events. People are more willing to support a cause when they know exactly where their money is going.