Fundraising will look different for PTA in the 2020-2021 school year as families continue to navigate enormous change and uncertainty. PTAs may wonder whether they should even try to raise money, and if so, how they can be successful with virtual fundraisers. Here are four tips for virtual fundraising, and some fun ideas to get you started!
- Have and communicate a clear, immediately relevant purpose.
Open-ended fundraising is less likely to find supporters in our current environment. “Proceeds will fund Sunshine PTA programs” may have worked in the past, but now may leave members wondering how those programs will serve their kids if those kids are learning at home or are only in school part-time. PTAs need to be specific about exactly why they are raising money, how they are serving families and children where they are right now, and how PTA is working to make the current situation better or easier for the community.
- Consider using reserve funds to make the most of donations.
If your PTA has reserve funds, this is a good time to put those to use, so that families feel that their current donations are being used to meet the growing needs of the community. A reserve fund is recommended for local PTAs and councils, in an amount adequate to pay at least the minimum required for insurance, Secretary of State renewal, Charitable Solicitations renewal (if required), and other administrative costs that keep the PTA open and running during difficult times.
- Be aware of fundraising costs.
PTAs tend to have naturally low fundraising costs, with no- or low-cost venue rental (the school) and volunteer labor. In today’s virtual world, the expenses are changed and need to be carefully considered.
- Consider these ideas, and more, for virtual fundraising.
Gaming Party: Several online gaming systems are free or low-cost such as www.boardgameareana.com and www.jackbox.tv. Coupled with Zoom or another online meeting platform this can be a fun social event for your PTA. Make it a fundraiser by asking for a donation as part of the event registration.
Auction: Careful planning and significant effort make for successful auctions. A virtual auction is no different. There are many online auction options – carefully choose the one that will fit your needs.
Walk-A-Thon: Virtual marathons, 5 and 10 K runs, and walk-a-thons are popping up all over social media. This can be a great way to engage a community that is tired of being cooped up inside, and get them out of the house in a healthy way! Set up some hashtags to let everyone follow along with the fun.
Ask for Donations: One of the simplest ways to raise money is to just ask for donations. Set up an online donation form using memberplanet or other platforms, post the link to your website, and social media, then ask the community to support your local PTA. If you like, you can designate the funds to a specific cause or expense. However, this is not necessary. As a charitable, nonprofit, it is perfectly legitimate to ask for donations to your general fund.
Share your virtual fundraising success story at https://bit.ly/WSPTASuccessStory.