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Super Successful PTA Fundraisers

Fundraising 6 min read

The subject of our fourth #PTAhour was “Super Successful PTA Fundraisers” – those events where the stars align, everyone has a brilliant time, AND you make a healthy profit for your school!

Super Successful PTA Fundraisers - money growing steadily

As usual, our lovely contributors shared a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of PTA stuff on both Twitter and our PTA Q&A group, and we’ve compiled some of their best tips and ideas to inspire you.

General tips for Successful Fundraisers

Nadia F shared a great money-saving idea:

“Team up with other local PTAs to purchase big items such as inflatables, candyfloss or popcorn machines etc, this could save a fortune in hire costs.”

Pembury School in Kent had tips for making extra profit on catering:

“We are lucky to have a parent who owns event-sized BBQ equipment and kindly manages BBQs at our events, and we organise a rota of volunteers to help take money and serve (but not cook.)
We have also had food and drink donated at some events (e.g. cakes and savouries from parents or local shops.) We had a business sponsor for one of our drinks stalls too, who funded the stock so money made was all profit :)”

Christine posted in the Q&A group about a recent quiz event:

“Key is definitely booze. We made £1800 profit at our last quiz night in November. We don’t let attendees bring in their own booze or food, we stress it’s a fundraiser and that’s how the PTA make money.”

And Deborah H shared her raffle tip:

“The best thing we have done was to pre-print and sell our raffle tickets before our fayres. This has increased our fayre profit by around £1,500 twice a year.”

If you want to guarantee super successful PTA fundraisers, plan ahead! That seems to be Parmiter’s PA’s trick, they are already asking for donations to their Christmas Fair tombola – in February!!! Now that’s what we call organised…

And Zoe A made a very interesting point in the Q&A group about what makes a successful PTA fundraiser event, perhaps it’s not all profit-related:

“The Summer Fayre is financially the most successful, but for organisation level and return definitely our Chip and Quiz night. Fish and chips and a quiz written by us, with a very successful real ale and wine bar!”

Event tips for Successful PTA Fundraisers

We just had to share one of Little Ealing PTFA’s most successful fundraisers with you, after seeing they made a whopping £4,780 pounds at their Comedy Night this week!

Event co-ordinator Sophie explains:

“I happened to know Shappi (Khorsandi) who is my friend and neighbour, so I asked if she would mind doing a comedy night to raise funds for my daughter’s school. We sold tickets for £15 and had a bar, Indian snacks and a raffle too.
(This was a very successful money earner as we got the comedians to keep plugging it and telling the audience to buy tickets.) It was the most successful event I’ve been involved in yet! To see the parents having such a good time was the best feeling ever.”

You perhaps wouldn’t think of school discos as big earners, but these schools are aiming to change that!

St. Andrew’s PTA in Salford told us via Twitter:

“We are trialling a new disco formula next week – we have raised ticket prices to £3.50 to include water, crisps & a sweet bag. We can normally make about £700 from the disco.”
Disco ball
Photographer: Paul Zoetemeijer | Source: Unsplash

And Pembury School replied:

“Spookily we are trying a different format too! For us £3.75 per ticket ONLINE sales only this time. Includes a drink and crisps for younger children. We run a tuck shop for the older children so they can bring some pocket money and buy treats, glow sticks etc.”

If your PTA is interested in trying online ticket sales, PlanSocial is here to help. It may not even cost you anything extra too! Get in touch to find out more.

Greenleas School in Bedfordshire have a surefire way of making extra pennies at a disco – bring the adults along too!:

“We regularly make around £800-£1k profit at discos. All children must be accompanied by an adult, so we have a bar for the grown ups which makes around £300. All tickets are £1, so if both discos sell out too that’s £900 already :)”

We had some great tips come in on both Twitter and Facebook about running a Beetle Drive - another successful PTA fundraiser!

Kirstie C told us:

“We ran one on Saturday. We played 6 rounds and had a prize table to choose from for the winner of each round. Also gave out sweets to anyone who got zero or 1 in each round. Overall winner on points got a bigger prize.
We held a raffle and sold cakes & drinks, and we made just over £300 with 60 people attending. I can definitely recommend a microphone for the person running the game as it can get very noisy!”

...which prompted a couple of our followers to decide there and then that this was an idea they were going to try out!

“Had never heard about this before, but just looked it up and sounds great!”
“I actually remember doing this years ago when I was in school. Hadn’t remembered about it until another PTA member suggested it. So going to give it a whirl! :)”

If you’re busy thinking about an Easter event, our lovely PTA Q&A group had some brilliant suggestions for fuss-free fundraisers.

Sam D says:

“Our PTA have a fab idea which they’ve been using for years. We buy the eggs from which ever supermarket has them on the best offer, and get the parents to pre book so we know numbers (£3 a child.)
The event is straight after class on the last day of term. We hide lolly sticks around the school field with either an ‘e’ or a ‘g’ written on them, the kids have to find 3 sticks to make the word ‘egg’ and then return them to us.
We have a table for each year group, tick the child’s name off and hand over their chocolate egg in return for the lolly sticks. The joy is it’s usually all over within the hour :)”

Belinda C told us about her PTA’s Easter event:

“We hide small chocolate eggs around the early years and lower school play areas, then the children take it in turns to come out and find them. We always had a couple of Easter bunnies hopping around.
At the end of the day all children in the school are give a bag with 8 eggs in. This is a free event paid for by the pta. Just be careful when buying chocolate because of the nut content.”

And Hannah E said,

“We hide about 6 laminated coloured eggs around the playground and hand out sheets for them to mark off when they find them. Egg is their prize.
For the older ones we hide letters on laminated eggs and they have to find all the letters and spell the word. Again an egg is the prize.”

Over to you!

What sort of successful PTA fundraisers have you run in the past? Email us, tweet or share your pictures and ideas with over 2,500 other PTA volunteers in our Q&A group for PTAs.

About PlanSocial

PlanSocial provides private community hubs for schools. Make organising events super-easy and inclusive by allowing volunteers to pick out a specific, manageable task. Connect parents in their class groups, sell tickets for events. It’s completely free for up to 100 volunteers, so just start a hub for your school community in 2 minutes.

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