Far from being ‘Parents to Avoid’, the PTA’s of schools are active, friendly and vibrant communities, bringing parents together and raising vital funds for schools all throughout the year.
The primary aim is of course to support the pupils of the school by providing financial help with activities like Forest School, trips like pantomimes at Christmas, and of course looking after their welfare and advancing their education.
A lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Chair and their team – Coming up with innovative ideas to engage parents and pupils, and tempt them into spending their hard earned cash in return for events full of fun and community spirit.
But it’s not just the school that can benefit from these fundraising efforts – Many schools also donate some of the money they raise to charities.
So here are just a few ideas that could help your school PTA in their efforts – A fundraising calendar to get you through the year!
Termly Coffee Mornings – A great way of catching up with other parents and carers after holidays, as well as providing a place for parents to chat to a member of the PTA about any ideas or concerns. You could also include a second hand uniform shop at these mornings where parents can buy items of uniform during the school year (you can name things until the cows come home, but they still go walkabout sometimes!)
Charge £50p per cup of tea / coffee / cake and you’ll be surprised how quickly this adds up.
Movie Night – Perhaps once per term, put on a movie night for the pupils after school on a Friday. For £2 per child, to include popcorn, fruit and a juice, you’ll be surprised how popular this can be. Parents don’t have to race to pick up on the afternoon school run, and instead get children home just in time for dinner.
Spring Seasonal Concert – Schools are wonderful for encouraging extra curricular activities, particularly in terms of music. From about year 2, pupils can choose to learn a music instrument or go to singing lessons. If your school have an active school band, orchestra or choir, it provides a lovely opportunity for a concert to showcase the children’s talents. Parents love to see their children perform and for £3-5 per ticket, you can raise some funds for the PTA too. Often, some of the money raised goes directly back into the music department to encourage more children to pick up an instrument and take part.
Termly coffee mornings – Pop this one in the calendar for after the Easter holidays. (£50p per cup of tea / coffee / cake, and run the second hand uniform shop at the same time).
School Play performance – Another popular extra curricular activity is drama. If you’re lucky enough to have a passionate teacher who enjoys putting together a production across the entire school, you’ll have a cast of all-singing, all-dancing budding actors and actresses eager to display their performing talents to proud parents. Over the course of 3 nights and 1 matinee at £5 per ticket, this is a brilliant opportunity to raise funds.
Movie Night – You could also run another movie night this month so all these performers can have a well deserved night off.
Summer Seasonal Concert – (See above, £3-5 per ticket for parents and family to watch their child perform in the school bands, orchestra or choir).
Family Camp Out – This is a nice one for towards the end of the Summer term. Families bring a tent and camp out on the school field for one night over a weekend. £10 per family including campfire snacks and drinks. Test out camping in a safe environment with the kids!
Summer Fete – This is another popular one, come rain or shine! For £2 entry on the gate, plus lots of possible stalls (food, drink, bouncy castle, raffle, ice lollies, pupil dance show, second hand school uniform shop)
Summer Holidays – Everyone is busy during this period so have yourself a well deserved break from fundraising and enjoy the sunshine!
Termly coffee mornings – Put this one in the diary for after the Summer Holidays. A great chance for a proper catch up rather than waving at each other from across the playground, 50p per cup of tea / coffee / cake. Run the second hand uniform shop too, and you could even have a play corner for any younger siblings for a £1 donation – To keep the little ones occupied so parents can actually enjoy a hot cup of tea!
Movie Night – As per the above. You could theme it to Halloween and let the children dress up, although not everyone is keen on Halloween. (£2 per child, inc snacks, once per term, could be Halloween themed, although not everyone takes part in that)
Autumn Seasonal Concert – (See above, £3-5 per ticket for parents and family to watch their child perform in the school bands, orchestra or choir).
Bonfire Night & Fireworks – Like the Summer Fete, this a great one for pulling in the crowds. You’ll often get your school families plus their friends and their children, as they’re generally a more child-friendly event time-wise and location-wise. People are willing to pay for this so you could charge £5 per adult, £3 per child, with family offers. The PTA can run stalls like food, drinks, glow in the dark toys, donuts, sweets, etc. You could also try to get subsidised entertainment like a fire eater or juggler to thrill the crowd while their waiting for the fireworks. Why not also have a Guy Fawkes making competition for the children, at £1 per entry?
Christmas Fair – A great festive treat for all the family. You’ll be surprised how many mother’s have their own business working from home – homemade crafts, Avon or similar, Usborne Books or similar. These are a great opportunity for the school to help small businesses of those who are part of the school community, at the same time as raising funds for the school. Guests pay £2 entry on the door, and stall holders pay £5 per table. Plus the PTA can have their own stalls – tea/coffee/mulled wine, cake/mince pies/ baked goods, raffle, ‘Wrap Your Present’ station for the gifts bought at the fair, Christmas Card Making table for the children, and so many more).
Winter Seasonal Concert – (See above, £3-5 per ticket for parents and family to watch their child perform in the school bands, orchestra or choir).
Other events you could squeeze into the year are:
Pamper Evening – These are a great way to reward all the hard working parents with some much needed relaxation and beauty treats. From short holistic therapy sessions like Reiki to getting nails done or brows threaded, this is another chance to get working from home mums and dads who offer these type of services to expand their business at the same time as helping the school.
Bingo Night – Pretty self explanatory! I could throw some bingo puns at you, but I’ll spare you that.
Wine Tasting Evening – Sipping on a glass of wine whilst chatting to all your fellow parents – What’s not to like? Parents can catch up longer than a fleeting 5 minute ‘how are you?’ in the playground, and those parents that work and don’t ever get to see anyone at the school gate can catch up with everyone too.
Tribute Night – If you’re able to keep outgoing costs down by asking a friend of a friend for their talents or even asking local companies for a donation or reduction in cost then this could be a great money making opportunity as well as a fantastic night for all.
Children’s Yoga / Relaxation sessions – School can be quite full on for children and when they get tired, big emotions tend to come in to play. There are some great organisations such as Relax Kids (other options are available) where they teach children relaxation techniques, how to calm down when they feel angry, upset or anxious, how to deal with ‘worry monsters’, yoga poses, and how to manage big emotions. These can be privately run where you pay the specialist teacher a fee, but could then charge a price per child. These could be great to run throughout the year after school on a monthly basis for different years and classes.
There are so many more things you could do too. Any ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them! Tweet us @donater or Like us on Facebook and send them to us on there!