survival-guide-for-pta-fundraising-committee-chair

Are you nervous about being a PTA Fundraising Committee Chair? Don’t be.  We have some tips and guidelines that will help you meet your group’s financial goals and be a raving success.

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#1. Meet with the officers to determine your financial goals. Having a clear fundraising goal will set the tone for the number and type of fundraisers you should explore.

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#2. Determine the type of fundraiser that is expected. Sometimes a social event like a Spring Carnival, Ice Cream Social or Donuts with Dad can also be a fundraiser. Most PTAs will have a separate chair for these types of events. What you need to know from the officers is the expectation. Should it be one big fundraiser? Are several smaller fundraisers more in tune with your group?

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#3. Now find out what time of the year your fundraiser is usually scheduled for. Timing is everything, so if your biggest fundraiser is in the fall, then your planning and preparation should begin several months in advance. If you are to do several smaller fundraisers, then determine the time frame for each, so you can properly prepare.

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#4. Get some help! You will benefit greatly from a committee of people interested in helping your group make money. Use the help and delegate whenever possible.

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#5. Survey the families at your school. Maybe they are tired of the same candy sale. Maybe they would like one huge fundraiser and do away with all of the smaller ones throughout the year. This survey should of course be done in advance, so you have time to incorporate their suggestions into your plan.

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#6. Select companies to work with to sell everything from wrapping paper to scented pencils. If your group traditionally uses one of these companies, be sure to review the profits over the last few years to make sure that your group is still on a positive earnings trend with this company. If you see a drop in profits, maybe it’s time to look at a different company and a different product. Here is where your survey will come in handy. Most companies will have detailed instructions and checklists for you to follow. This will help to keep you organized and on target.

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#7. Once decisions have been made about the actual fundraiser, get the word out right away. Be sure to let members know that money earned from the fundraiser will go toward student programs and events at your school. You might even want to cite some specific examples. Keeping your families informed about the fundraiser will definitely help boost profits. Use any form of communication you can find: an online communication service like SimplyCircle, newsletters, Facebook, emails, posters around the school, posters around the community, your local public access TV station, verbal announcements at meetings and other school events, tweets, text messages, flyers in the backpacks… you get the idea.

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#8. ALWAYS offer a donation category. Oftentimes a family doesn’t want to buy what you are selling. Offering them an option to just make a donation can work wonders for those who don’t have the time or interest in actually buying or selling what you have.

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#9. Keep accurate records of your orders and donations. You will want to be certain that the right people get the right products. You also want to know from the start what your profit margins are.

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#10. Finally let your families know what your earnings were from this fundraiser. People like to know that their contributions added up to something significant. And be sure to THANK everyone who participated. You need their ongoing financial support so always recognize their contributions.

We hope these tips will help you be successful as a fundraising committee chair.