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7 Incredible PTO Fundraisers That Work for Every Age and Stage

Certain fundraisers that may appeal to elementary school students may not be as successful with high school students.

Take a talent show fundraiser, for example.  It may attract a large audience of younger children, but high school students may consider it less than cool and choose not to attend, because teenagers, ugh.  So being mindful of what’s attractive for your audience is absolutely imperative!

But there are several fundraisers that work all the time, no matter what age or stage since they hone in on the interests and needs of the audience.  This post will highlight precisely these types of fundraisers!

Set Up an Auction Fundraiser

Auctions are a successful fundraising method that can be used for schools catering to students of all ages due to the versatility of auction items available.

Moreover, incorporating an auction into another fundraising event, such as a carnival or gala, provides PTOs with an additional opportunity to generate massive funds. This approach enables PTOs  to consolidate fundraising efforts and potentially eliminate the need for a separate fundraiser.  Yes, please!

Ask a Crowd for a Donation Towards your PTO’s Goal

Working towards a big fundraising need that requires a good chunk of money and many donors to accomplish, like a class trip, new playground or building addition?  A Crowdfunding campaign may be your ticket to reaching your fundraising goal.  It’s a concept that works well, no matter the age of the students.

The smartest crowdfunding campaigns are really dialed in and specific. They let donors see what they’re giving towards, which is an angle that encourages generous giving. 

In the case of a building addition, set up a campaign to build a classroom and break down the big dollar amount into what’ll physically go into the classroom to fully outfit it.  This also makes it fund for donors to “buy” a piece of the classroom.  Tweak this “buy a piece” concept for whatever you’re raising money for.

Get Specific About What Your PTO Needs

Every school and PTO has different funding needs that pop up during the year, some quite unexpectedly.

For example, the STEM teacher might approach you with an assembly idea for the whole school to enjoy, or the Middle School Student Council might want to organize another school dance, but all other funding sources have been depleted.

This is where the Fund a Need fundraiser comes in. Requesting exactly what you need is a practical approach to fundraising without any fuss. If it’s specific and meets the needs of the school community, many parents will be willing to donate to your cause, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Plan an Event for Your School

Organizing an event gives people something to do to create a winning fundraiser idea every time, and for everybody! 

For younger ages, give parents a chance to get out of the house without their little ones.  For high schoolers, give them a chance to strut their stuff at a Winter Ball or stay safe and sober at an After Prom event.

Alternatively, consider adding a fundraising element to a non-ticketed event.  Even an event like a Talent Show can easily be tweaked into a fundraiser by offering concessions during intermission or a pop up flower stand for audience members to give to show participants.

Add Some Peer Pressure (the Good Kind)

One fundraising method that is suitable for all ages and stages is a Peer to Peer fundraiser. Whether it involves a class competition, an upleveled Penny War, or engaging alumni in a fundraising campaign, this approach to filling the PTO’s bank account is undoubtedly worth considering.

Alumni are frequently an untapped source of potential donors for school fundraisers. Tap into childhood nostalgia to encourage alumni to participate.  This way, they can ensure that today’s students have the same wonderful experience they recall having.

Host a PTO Sponsored- Party for Your School

Offering an opportunity for people to dress up and have a great time together is always a great idea, regardless of the age group of the students (and even their parents!).

If you haven’t tried this type of fundraiser yet, consider organizing a Gala event.

Keep in mind that modern galas don’t necessarily require formal attire, so don’t let traditional dress codes discourage you from trying this fun fundraiser!

Offer Tickets for Events

Do you have a valuable prize that could attract a wide audience, like a car or a trip? Consider running a raffle fundraiser to fully capitalize on its value.

Raffles are flexible by design and can work for all age groups, making them an excellent fundraising option.

However, if raffles are not permitted in your state, consider modifying the concept to a giveaway format.

With a giveaway, you can offer free entries for the item, while also providing the option for people to make a donation on the same page.

Watch this!

Fundraisers that Work for All Ages and Stages: School PTO PTA Fundraising Tips
colorful resources for PTA PTO fundraising

Recommended Resource for All PTO, PTA and Booster Clubs

Ready to dive more into the work of PTO and school fundraising, but wish you could have a plan of action ready at your fingertips?

Time to learn more about the Fundraising Success Kit!

It’s never been easier to hold highly profitable school fundraisers using these customizable strategies and step by step plans that work for every type of parent group, and any type of fundraiser, from a traditional catalog to A-thon Fundraisers and everything in between.

This resource is guidance plus a complete plan walking through the entire process of fundraising for your school, including a publicity plan, templates, forms and a planner kit to help you get outrageously organized in a snap!

Over to You!

Choosing one of these seven different fundraising ideas for every age and stage is a great way to set your PTO up for fundraising success. 

Going beyond the usual fundraisers, like selling cookie dough or magazines, is just what you need to inspire tons of participation in your PTO’s fundraiser, no matter what age group your school covers!

Selecting one of these seven distinct fundraising concepts for every age range is an excellent method to establish your PTO for fundraising achievement.

Happy fundraising!

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