Many parents feel obligated to participate in the fundraising season at their children's schools. It's not that these parents don't want the best for their children. The issue is that most school fundraisers are tedious and time-consuming to parents who have busy schedules.
As parents and members of PTAs/PTOs who are dedicated to supporting students and school needs, you can look for ways to boost parent involvement in school fundraisers. Here are five ways to help you get parents involved in school fundraisers.
How to get parents involved in school fundraisers
1. Get the students excited about the school fundraisers. It is essential to get students excited about school fundraisers. Excited students make excited parents, and those students will quickly pass on school fundraising information to their parents. Parents will jump on board and support the school fundraisers in a short time.
PTAs/PTOs interested in the successful execution of the school fundraisers need to attract and entice students to participate in the fundraisers. This means make it FUN! How? Award gifts to competition winners, offer free snacks and entertainment, install bouncy houses and event activities, and funny principal or teacher stunts (hint: kids love to see principals dress silly or do funny TikTok dances). When students feel like school fundraising activities are fun and rewarding, they will encourage their parents to participate.2. Include various parent roles in school fundraisers. Parents are people with different ideas, skills and preferences. Some parents may like to participate in specific school fundraisers, while others may not want to. So, you need to create various roles in your school fundraising campaigns, which will suit the different parents' interests.
- Organizing. Some parents perform best in the behind-the-scenes work of school fundraisers through organizing. Form committees involving parents where they can help plan the campaign and incentives.
- Volunteering. Another category of parents can choose to volunteer in different school fundraiser roles like assembling performing stages, designing fliers, and contacting equipment suppliers to make the school fundraiser a success.
- Promoting. Some parents may be willing to promote the school fundraiser on social media where friends and family are likely to engage in the fundraising activity. Some parents have contacts in the media who can invite journalists to broadcast various school fundraisers. Cultivate your relationships with these parents to help gain exposure for the fundraiser.
3. Make the school fundraisers family-friendly. Some of the most successful school fundraisers are those, which are family-oriented. Such school fundraisers involve students, parents, friends and family members, and the community too. Since many parents have busy schedules, they may not be able to fully participate in school fundraisers. Involving family and friends is a great idea, as some of these people can fully attend and contribute items and money to the school fundraisers.
Family fun days, talent shows, plays, treasure hunts, spelling bees, and movie nights are just a few ways you can make your school fundraiser family-friendly. Try to find events that will be exciting to students and parents alike. If you can attract the support and interest of the school community, then that’s a bonus. Fuel your fundraiser by charging entry and participation fees, selling snacks and drinks, and finding local businesses willing to sponsor the event (and be sure to recognize them on signage, displays, etc.).4. Don’t hesitate to ask for school fundraising assistance from parents. Ask, and you shall receive. Knock, and the door will be opened. Some parents don't participate in school fundraisers because nobody asked and they don’t know how to help.
Some of them pay school fees and are unaware of a school’s financial needs beyond their regular funding. As concerned teachers and PTAs/PTOs, you need to reach out for parents' involvement whenever you can.
Do this by sending out emails to the parents, writing notes or flyers and giving them to students to take to their parents, promoting the school fundraisers on the school's social media accounts, in the media, and on fliers and posters where parents can quickly notice them.
Your school fundraisers will raise more money if many parents are involved in the fundraising activities. These parents can easily ask for donations from other people in their circles, which increases the amount of money raised from your school fundraisers.
5. Thank the parents for their participation. Teachers and PTAs/PTOs can show their gratitude to the parents who have contributed to the school’s fundraisers. Since most parents are usually busy, they appreciate it when school officials appreciate them. Let them know how much their time and effort are appreciated.
Use handwritten thank you notes, personal phone calls, and personal emails to thank parents for their participation. When parents feel they are contributing to the school in a meaningful way, they feel appreciated and are more likely to participate in future fundraisers.
It is essential to involve parents in school fundraisers. However, you can't force parents to get involved in school fundraisers. You can only encourage and motivate them to take part in school fundraisers. Parents are more likely to participate in school fundraisers if you make the process easier for them. Don't forget to involve students in encouraging their parents to participate in school fundraisers.