Just how many fundraisers is it ok to have each year for your PTO?
Is there a drawback to having monthly fundraisers?
Is trying to raise as much money as humanly possible during the school year an okay goal to shoot for?
If you’re unsure of the answers to these questions, you could be making a tragic mistake that is costing your PTO or PTA big time!
Read on to learn how avoid fumbling fundraising best practices and continue to flourish with your fundraising efforts!
The Magic Number of Fundraisers
So is there a magic number of fundraiser your PTO / PTA should hold in any given year?
Actually, no, there isn’t one!
Every PTA and PTO is different and the needs and particular situations of the groups wildly vary too.
Some groups have been established for a while and already have money in the bank, while others are just getting started and need to raise some quick money.
Groups hold different types and numbers of events throughout the year, so it’s impossible to give firm number of fundraisers that’ll work across the board.
But there is a good rule of thumb to follow and that’s to hold one fundraiser for every two free events or programs you have in any given school year.
The reasons for this rule are simple: the community and volunteers can’t sustain constant fundraising!
Your PTO doesn’t exist solely to raise money, but to improve the school community by directly supporting students and staff.
Consider the Type of Fundraiser
Not all fundraisers are created equal or even resonate as fundraisers in your community’s mind.
For example, a spirit wear sale can earn money and turn a profit, but parents probably won’t think of that as a fundraiser.
Same with Restaurant Nights.
Because they’re getting such a high value of product in return, parents probably won’t think of these “passive” fund generators as fundraisers per se.
So including a mix of fundraiser types can give some wiggle room on the 2:1 rule.
Avoid Fundraising Burn Out
Constantly bombard your school families with requests for money via more traditional fundraisers, such as catalog sales, cookie dough or gift wrap fundraisers, and they’ll feel like nothing more than piggy banks and will stop participating in pretty much all fundraisers.
And then what’ll you do if your PTA / PTO really needs money for something?
You’ll be stuck!
Avoid that situation entirely by not only spring out your fundraisers, but strategically planning them instead.
Avoid Volunteer Burn Out
Another good reason for the two to one ratio is that the job of fundraising for your PTO or PTA is already a tough one.
You’ll burn through volunteers willing to take on the role if the job is like the never-ending story, with one fundraiser after another.
It’s essential to maintain a healthy workload for volunteers so that they don’t feel like their volunteer role has become an unpaid full time job.
The True Goal of PTO / PTA Fundraising
Circling back to whether or not the goal of PTA / PTO fundraising should be to raise as much money as possible, the answer is a firm no way.
Your PTO / PTA should aim to raise however much money you need to pay for all the programs and events for the year, that is to balance the budget.
When you can demonstrate a balanced budget, with a healthy number of programs and events that have no or minimal out of pocket cost to attendees, you’re proving the value of PTA / PTO fundraising.
Add to this, fundraisers would only be held if you truly need the money. So if you don’t have a good reason for having one, don’t have it!
Otherwise, you’ll turn off parents and lower participation for future fundraisers by playing into the stereotype that PTOs always have their hand out and cement your group’s bad reputation for asking rather than giving.
None of that is good, so heed the 2:1 rule as much as possible.
Resources You’ll Love
If you’re looking for even more tips on the very best ways to handle fundraising for your PTO and PTA, then you’ll want to get a copy of the Fundraising Success Kit, an essential resource for well-run groups
The Fundraising Success Kit is a comprehensive bundle of everything you need as a Fundraising Chair to run a successful school fundraiser for your PTO or PTA.
All the secrets to a stress-free, highly profitable fundraiser are included along with tons of ready to go printable flyers and forms!