Parent Teacher Association fundraising is fairly common for many education programs. The challenging part of it can be to keep kids motivated during the process. With a little extra guidance you can make it fun for the kids, while gaining ongoing funds for school supplies, events, trips, and more.
Gaining buy-in from students is an important, and sometimes overlooked, resource when it comes to fundraising efforts. Having a great fundraising product is one thing, but getting the kids excited to participate makes it a powerful combination in the community. It does make a difference. Here are eight ways to keep students motivated throughout your school’s next fundraising campaign.
Start Planning Early
If you can drum up excitement for an upcoming fundraising campaign weeks or even a month before it gets underway, kids will have something to look forward to, and will likely ask about it until it launches. Excitement can be contagious, and if kids are looking forward to events around fundraising and cashing in for prizes, this can be a school-wide event that everyone wants to be a part of each time.
If fundraising campaigns begin and ends quietly, your school might not get the participation—from everyone—that you need. If a fundraising campaign is starting at the PTA level, get information out to teachers and parents so this is on everyone’s radar early on.
Getting Parents Involved
If parents understand the fundraising goals of their child’s school, they can help get this message out to friends, family members, and co-workers that students will be relying on to make their fundraising campaign a success. If the fundraising products are appealing to both kids and parents, this becomes a pretty easy sell. Unique options such as merchant tickets, which sponsor local places that everyone in the family loves, can make a fundraising campaign sell itself.
Tangible, Affordable Prizes
Kids will be more motivated to get out there and fundraise if they are reaching toward attainable goals and know there is a reward at the end. Even small prizes or privileges can go a long way to get involvement from all students in your school. If you can have incremental rewards and prizes doled out throughout your fundraising campaign, this will renew your students’ efforts to keep selling fundraising items. Don’t wait till the very end to mention any prizes or rewards; otherwise, you won’t be able to use this as a motivation tool throughout the fundraising event.
If families or local businesses can donate more substantial rewards, this will cut down on overall operational fundraising costs from piling up, which can undermine a campaign. Community businesses like to support their local schools. Don’t overlook them for prize donations.
Group Check-Ins on Goals
Continued motivation geared toward students is a great way to keep momentum within a fundraising campaign and will make sure kids don’t burn out halfway through the campaign. If PTA members, teachers, and principals can all join in at school-wide check-ins on fundraising efforts, this can keep things fresh and kids encouraged to keep selling.
Hold a few assemblies outside of the classroom to change things up. Kids will feel like they are getting a treat outside of class. Announcements and check-ins can be done at campus-wide lunchtimes as well, when you will have all students in one place.
Public Recognition for a Job Well Done
While prizes can be a great motivator, some kids shine from recognition for a job well done. If you are holding weekly check-ins to let kids know how close the school is to its overall fundraising goal, this can be a great time to single out some front-runners in your campaign. This can be a fun way to break up different selling categories, such as who had the best week, who is the top earner overall, or who has sold the most of a specific type of product. Raffles and certificates are other great ways to highlight those doing an exceptional job.
Buy-in From Teachers and Leaders
If your PTA committee is heading up a fundraising campaign, it might seem hard to get your teachers and school leaders involved. While everyone is busy, these are the individuals that have more face time with kids and can talk up a fundraising campaign. A great way to get teachers involved is to offer incentives for them, such as donated gifts from the community if their classroom is a fundraising leader.
If teachers can have impromptu check-in with students on how fundraising is going and on goals in general, students will understand the significance of the campaign over all and will want to help. This needs to be conveyed to teachers as well. If they know that their efforts will ultimately bring funds back to their classroom, they will be more likely to help out and see the value in a school-wide fundraising campaign.
Seek Advice from Fundraising Teams
PTA’s shouldn’t feel like they are recreating the wheel when it comes to fundraising efforts. Forming a close partnership with a fundraising company can help you get an idea of what works and what doesn’t in the fundraising world. Ask about trending products, and what schools with successful fundraising campaigns did that was different from others. Having insider information can get your fundraising started off on the right foot.
Having a Range of Products
Depending on the age range and demographics of the kids at your school, having a range of products can help bring in more money overall because everyone can contribute at the level that works for them. Having tangible products along with discount cards can make sure your campaign is appealing to various groups of individuals within your community.
Everyone will want to chip in with what they can, if they are given the opportunity to do so. Don’t lose students that might get frustrated early on because they are worried they won’t be able to involve their friends and family. Make sure you are running a fundraising campaign that everyone can be a part of.
As a PTA leader, it is important to remember the bottom line of fundraising, which is making your school a better place for your children. If you can take this to heart and put some energy into motivating students to give fundraising their all, you will have a more effective campaign that will bring in the most benefits for your classrooms and school-related programs. While effective fundraising products will sell themselves, having students that are motivated to showcase your fundraising goals overall will make this even more successful.