If your PTA could run one fundraiser for the whole school year or run several throughout the year, which would you choose? Most would likely choose the first. Because let’s be honest, organizing school fundraisers and collecting donations isn’t necessarily a quick and easy process.
It takes a lot of administrative time, energy, organization, and raw-raw to put together a successful school fundraiser. And coordinating these throughout the school year can be exhausting, even for the best school PTAs and PTOs.
But that’s why PTAs and PTOs are heroes of the schools. When there are gaps in school funding, or opportunities to provide better academic experiences for students like field trips, assemblies, and better playground equipment, PTAs and PTOs find a way to make it happen through fundraising donations.
Unfortunately, many fundraising programs can be costly – keeping more than half of the sales or funds raised. Regardless of whether you host a restaurant night in the community or sell products, many of these programs keep a large share of the fundraising donations that came out of your community’s pocket. In reality, most parents and community members would rather give to their school than have to buy something.
So, why go through these efforts for such little returns? What if PTO fundraising could be easier? What if PTAs and PTOs didn’t have to organize multiple school fundraisers every year?
Let’s examine that idea – how could you run just one school fundraiser every year? The Kent Gardens PTA figured this out with their annual “One & Done” Fundraiser!
One & Done: Just One Annual PTA Fundraiser Raising $50K in 50 Days
The Kent Gardens PTA hosts one primary fundraiser a year called the KGPRIDE “One & Done” fundraiser, with the goal of raising $50,000 in 50 days. This is a convenient opportunity for families and supporters to do just that: make one contribution and be done for the year. With a successful fundraising campaign, the PTA can meet their annual fundraising goal and provide all of the funds for that school year’s projects, supplies, and activities. This fundraiser eliminates any other fundraising efforts throughout the year as well as the continuous PTO fundraising donation requests that go along with them.
The PTA has been hosting this fundraiser on the Livingtree Give online fundraising platform for the last three years raising a total of over $156,000 in that time. With their previous two online fundraising campaigns, the PTA has exceeded their goal of $50,000 by more than $4,500 each year, paving the way to fund projects and support student educational enrichment.
Their most recent online fundriasing campaign for the 2019-2020 school year raised $55,916.00 with nearly 400 backers. How’d they do it? Let’s take a look.
Breaking Down the Kent Gardens PTA Online Fundraising Campaign
A Brief Introduction and Description (Short Campaign Description Section)
In the Short Campaign Description section that you see in the first step of Livingtree Give’s “Create a Campaign” process, the Kent Gardens PTA did just that – they included a short description of the fundraising goal, what the fundraiser is, what it means, and how it benefits the school. It provides enough information to draw interest from supporters and lead them to learn more.
Stats and Goals Around Family Participation
Tracking family participation stats can provide key insights into how successful your online fundraiser is. Additionally, it provides your school with a natural participation challenge. Within the platform’s “Short Campaign Description” section, Kent Gardens PTA lists last year’s participation percentage, and this year’s goal to help them achieve their overall fundraising goal.
Creating competition among groups within your school is an effective way to drive PTO fundraising donations. On the Kent Gardens PTA fundraising campaign page, supporters receive instructions right away on how to participate in the class competition within the school. Using the “Giving on Behalf Of” field within Livingtree Give’s donation form, donors can enter the students and classrooms they are giving on behalf of, and the PTA can track who to associate the funds to for the competition.
As an incentive to drive fundraising, the class with the highest participation receives a pizza party and the teacher receives a $250 gift card for their classroom. That right there is plenty to motivate a classroom!
Descriptive FAQ in the Fundraising Campaign Body Text
In addition to your short description, having a full description of your PTO’s online fundraiser is beneficial. This is where you can tell your story, answer questions, or include important details for donors. The Kent Gardens PTA took this opportunity to provide a helpful FAQ that answered everything supporters need to know about the fundraiser.
Whether you’re going for funny, entertaining, or heartfelt, the main image or video on your fundraising campaign is where you can leave a donor smiling. The picture for Kent Gardens PTA shows exactly how they celebrated the previous year’s successful fundraiser: by duct taping their Principal and Vice Principal to the wall outside of the main office.
Creating a Variety of Creative Fundraiser Donation Options
In Step 3 of Livingtree Give’s “Create a Campaign” process, you can not only set your fundraising goal and timeframe, but you can optionally set your donation amounts. While donors always have the option to enter any amount, you can create customized donation amounts to give donors a variety of options to choose from, and also make it a fun or fulfilling experience. Kent Gardens PTA takes advantage of these customizations to create different donation levels (Supporter, Friend, Champion, Visionary, Superstar, or Idol), add related images to the donation amounts, and provide examples in the description of what their fundraising donation goes towards.
Promoting the Online Fundraiser
In addition to including the online fundraiser’s information in newsletters and emailing the supporters in their Livingtree Give “Contact Manager”, Kent Gardens PTA also used social media to promote their fundraising campaign. This was an effective way for the PTA to post reminders, updates about fundraising campaign participation, as well as stats regarding the competition among their classrooms.
In addition, the PTA used a yellow sticker campaign to remind families about the fundraiser.
An Efficient School PTA Fundraising Strategy
All of these elements factor into the annual success for the Kent Gardens PTA. Not only do they create a fun and competitive environment that drives fundraising donations for their PTA, but they market their fundraiser well and make it easy for their supporters to donate online.
Through the combination of these fundraising elements, a great promotional strategy, and generous support from their community, the Kent Gardens PTA is able to successfully hold one primary fundraiser at the beginning of every school year. Supporters can make one donation for the year and they’re done – no more hassling to purchase something at a bake sale, attend a restaurant night, sponsor a student in another “fund-a-thon,” or buy any more food and products. Plus, with the lower processing fees of Livingtree Give, their PTA is able to keep most of the funds that they raise – a benefit to them and their generous community members.
Interested in learning more about holding your next PTA or PTO fundraiser on Livingtree Give? Visit the page to learn more and sign up.