You've just volunteered with your PTO/PTA to lead a school fundraiser - but you are overwhelmed! Hosting a successful school fundraiser doesn't happen by chance. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Careful planning, realistic goals and detailed execution are important to your success. Here are some steps to becoming the best volunteer for your PTO!
Understand the Resources Needed
Some school fundraisers require more resources than others. Whether the resource you need is skilled people, time, or assets, it is important to make sure you can provide those resources. If you’re a more experienced at event planning, it might be easy to handle school fundraisers such as carnivals, races, auctions, or tournaments. However, if you don't have any computer skills, it might be difficult to handle online shopping carts. When taking on a new role in your PTO or if you have minimal time, start with a school fundraiser that requires lower volunteer hours such as box tops, penny wars, bake sales,spirit wear, school supply kits, or teacher grants. These are also better for those parents that want to help but cannot spend months planning a school fundraiser.
Have a Goal
Before you do anything, work with members of the PTO board and set a fundraising goal for your particular school fundraiser. For example, set a goal for the number of prepackaged school supply kits sold with a school supply fundraiser. Not every school fundraiser is a big money maker but having a goal set in place lets you know what you’re working towards. This number is normally made up by looking at pervious years fundraising needs and the resources you have. Make sure your goal is attainable and keep your eyes focused on it!
Plan & Execute
Your main responsibilities as a PTO Chair is to organize and communicate the school fundraiser. If this sounds overwhelming to you do your best to recruit as much help as possible. Here are some great tips to have a strong plan.
1) Create a committe of people who can help you execute the school fundraiser
2) Set up regular team meetings with your committee
3) Put together a timeline of events with your team and very clearly assign tasks to people.
4) Do you best to hold each person accountable for completing their tasks.
5) Don't panic when road bumps occur. Keep calm and brainstorm solutions with your team.
6) Measure your results against your goal
Evaluating the Fundraiser
Now that your school fundraiser is over evaluate it with your team. Document everything so if you decided to do the fundraiser again, you are not starting from scratch. Here are some questions you can ask your team.
- What went wrong and how do you fix it? How can you improve it?
- What worked really well?
- How can we make more money?
- How can we prevent the issues that we had from occuring again?
- How do we get more people involved?
- How can we do a better job of marketing the school fundraiser?
In the end, pat yourself on the back! Just by stepping out and saying "yes" to your school, you are the hero!