This is a sponsored post. I’ve been compensated by Memberhub to write about my experiences using the platform. All opinions are 100% mine and haven’t been influenced by the sponsorship agreement.
Time to get smart, and I mean really smart about fundraising for your PTO!
This past year has been a time of anything but business as usual and it’s a huge opportunity to embrace a new way of doing things that shouldn’t be missed!
Let’s be honest, the usual way of fundraising for your school hasn’t changed much in years and years and the process is a bit of a hassle.…
First you have to find a company whose products you think would sell well.
Then comes ordering a bunch of fundraising packets which you have to put together before distributing. Hello, paper cuts!
Then you have to wait for the order forms, checks and random amounts of cash to come in.
Next, manually enter in all of the orders to the company’s system and make sure the check or cash amount actually matches the order total. And then follow up with the parents when amounts don’t match.
Because there’s always a few!
Oh my goodness!
That’s all a ton of work.
Just listing out the steps was tiresome!
No wonder it’s hard to find volunteers willing to do all of this busy work!
Time for a fundraising update
The past 15 months has put life as a PTO leader in a new perspective in that we realized how much busy work we were doing, especially with fundraising!
And we’re ready for a change!
One pretty easy, yet life altering change to make is that it’s time we as PTO leaders embrace technology and start using it to our advantage.
The good thing is that our school communities are totally ready for that change because online shopping has exploded since March 2020.
We’re all used to ordering just about everything online!
In fact, your families are going to expect an online ordering and payment option.
Without it, they’ll be disappointed and I’ll bet participation rates will be lower too!
So that’s why I’m recommending dragging your PTO into the present times with your fundraising by getting an online presence set up, stat.
Advantages for PTOs and families, alike
Without an online fundraising presence, your PTO is relying on students to deliver the fundraising packets.
This works pretty well for younger students, but older students very well may toss the packets in the recycling bin before their parents have even have the chance to see them!
An online store gives the opportunity to deliver the information directly to parents and guardians without fundraising packets.
And it draws upon spur of the moment whims to support the school, which almost never happens with the old paper catalogue and order form system.
With an online fundraiser, parents can participate with a few clicks and don’t have to rifle through papers looking for their checkbook.
Fewer steps make it easier for parents to participate, which means more money for your PTO.
A dedicated fundraising site means you’ll always have a place to offer your families a way to support your PTO.
Update your group Facebook Page with a “Shop Now” button to direct visitors to your fundraising site for even more sales.
Add the link to your PTO website and also to the PTO update section in the school e-newsletter for more effective marketing/reminders.
The clickable link lets them shop immediately, when it’s top of mind.
Remember, easy ordering = better fundraising.
And since payment is collected online, there’s no more worrying about bounced checks or bad math either.
So much time saved!
What You’ll Need for Effective Online Fundraising
Ready to get started?
Here’s what you’ll need for online fundraising:
- a secure website with a shopping cart feature.
- a tech savvy volunteer who’s familiar with coding, security requirements and privacy regulations (or be prepared to pay $1500 or more just to get started with a professional website designer).
- another tech savvy volunteer who knows how to set up and run your e-store.
- a budget of a few hundred dollars a year to update and maintain the site (plus an additional $300 or more for professional help if you don’t have a knowledgable volunteer).
Most PTOs don’t have these sorts of funds, time or talent to set up and maintain a website with an online shopping feature to run fundraising.
So what to do?
Before you get completely overwhelmed, take a look at Memberhub.
If you’re not familiar with this awesome platform, it combines several tools PTOs need to establish a presence on the web and run fundraising like a modern group wants to do, all in one place!
The fuss and muss you’d normally have to deal with is replaced with plug and play convenience!
Benefits to PTOs
It’s easy to see why PTOs are loving Memberhub!
First, you don’t have to be tech savvy to use Memberhub.
It’s pretty user friendly and Memberhub offers free training to help you get started!
Memberhub actually eliminates the needs to learn coding, privacy rules or security requirements.
It’s all taken care of for you, so you never have to worry about the tech side of setting up or maintaining a website or e-store.
If something does happen to pop up, simply email the Memberhub support team and they’ll get it taken care of for you right away, for free.
No need to pay for any sort of maintenance.
One other huge plus to using Memberhub is that the store template looks professionally designed, and doesn’t have a DIY feel to it at all, so there won’t be any hesitation about making a purchase on the site.
You can add you own items to the store, like memberships and such and there’s also the flexibility of adding offers from local and national retailers for items your families are already buying with their Givebacks (link) program.
Opt in to showcase offers in your store and when families take action, your PTO gets a percentage of the sale. But unlike traditional PTO fundraisers, you don’t have to handle the money or the merchandise!
If you decide to switch out Giveback offers, it’s super easy as well with a single click!
New offers are added weekly, which keeps your shop fresh and appealing and gives weekly opportunities to promote the new offers!
This part is key for robust fundraising.
Having offers at different price points is definitely the way to go since your school community has a mix of discretionary income levels!
First hand experience
I’ve been using Memberhub for about a year now and it’s made life as a PTO leader a ton easier!
As a Membership Chair, I’ve loved not having to run cash all over town to handle memberships.
I made a digital flyer and then directed everyone to the online store to sign up, which made the annual membership drive easy!
I’ve used it for fundraising too.
Another one of my PTOs ran a birthday sign fundraiser where we offered a birthday sign display rental.
Adding the “product” to our store took less than 5 minutes and I could then move on to the next thing on my to do list!
Adding the Givebacks program to our existing PTO Memberhub store was easy- just a few clicks and the offers were live.
I especially like how the offers are geared towards things your families are probably already spending money on, so it’ll be a no brainer to support your PTO by buying through your PTO!
Over to You
Now’s the time to get your PTO’s online fundraising presence going so you can fundraise the smart way in 2021 and beyond!
There’s a bunch of other features the platform offers that I didn’t even mention…
You’ll love how easy it all is and how the software makes your life as a PTO volunteer easier!
Save yourself a ton of headache and hassle get started with Memberhub right now for absolutely free!
As an effort to help PTOs recoup much of the lost fundraising, family engagement and membership declines that stemmed form the global pandemic, Memberhub is offering $1 million in software access!
But you have to sign up for it now via this special link to take advantage!
Normally access to the platform is $499 a year, but for the 2021-22 school year as part of their “Giveback 2 the Comeback” Campaign, Memberhub is giving away free access with the aim of supporting 2,000 schools and PTOs.
Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this awesome offer and kickstart your group’s return to normal!