The second half of the school year is a trickier time for fundraising compared to the first half.
There’s still 50% of the year left, but at the same time, everyone is looking forward to the end of the school year and is ready to be done already.
Especially after Spring Break, parents have probably already mentally skipped to the next school year, especially if their child is switching schools.
So means they’re less likely to support the current school’s fundraiser, unfortunately. Despite all of this, raising money for your PTO in the Spring is absolutely possible, with the right plan, of course!
Let’s get to the details of developing a foolproof Spring Fundraising plan. Because you absolutely can raise a lot of money in the second half of the year.
And to boot, you absolutely have permission to steal the plan and put it into action!
The Early Bird Wins
Just like everything else, a good plan will save the day!
Ideally, start off the fundraising planning process by setting a goal before school pauses for Winter Break.
Base the dollar goal on any budget shortfalls your PTO has so far and any anticipated for the Spring semester, and what money you’ll need to start off the new school year too.
You’ll need to have a pot of money to dip into until the funds from your Fall fundraiser comes in since PTOs can’t borrow money and have to stay in the black, always.
Fresh and New
Next, come up with a unique concept or product offering for your Spring fundraiser.
In fact, Springtime is the perfect time to try something your group has never done before.
Because everyone is primed for new and fresh since that’s the overarching theme of the season as we exit out the cold Winter months into the warmer and sunnier Spring months.
Lean into this opportunity as hard as you can and try something new that’s sure to catch their attention.
Host an Auction
If your PTO has never done an Auction, Spring is a great time to give one a try. Combine physical item or experiential donations from families, businesses and local merchants, and set up an auction for the items to go to the highest bidder.
The Sneak Attack
Far from advocating that you trick people into spending money to support your PTO, the idea here is to offer a fundraiser that doesn’t seem like a fundraiser at all.
Beyond restaurant nights, concessions at sporting events and movie nights are other that are technically fundraisers.
But at the end of the day, they don’t really read as fundraisers and instead come off as an added feature of the event.
But the biggest downside to add-on fundraising concepts is that the potential income is relatively low, so this is a good concept to raise a little, usually $500 or less per event.
Set Up a (Friendly) Competition
A more profitable fundraiser concept with more earning potential is something like a Peer to Peer fundraiser / competition, where the students are individually or collectively competing for prizes.
This sort of fundraiser isn’t something you see all the time, so your audience will see it as a fresh idea and not instantly as a fundraiser since the students themselves are asking for support.
Adding in the competition element allows you a wide range of incentive and marketing possibilities, since you can offer incentives for students versus students, class versus class, grade versus grade, and if collaborating with other PTOs in your district, even school versus school.
Having a multi-layered approach also opens up the marketing possibilities since you’ll be casting your net to a bigger audience, making it a win-win for everyone.
Timing is Everything
For fundraising campaigns that are primarily asking members of the school community for their support, it is especially important to hold fundraisers before Spring Break. This is true for both product fundraisers and to most event fundraisers as well.
The reality is that parents and kids mostly check out following Spring break because the end of the school year is within sight and they’re ready to be done. Participation from your school community will be lower after Spring Break than for fundraisers held before.
If you have to run a fundraiser after Spring Break, going with a fundraiser that doesn’t seem like a fundraiser, like a dine to donate or event concessions mentioned earlier, can lessen the risk of low participation.
Over to You
Spring and the second half of the school year really is a fantastic time to hold a fundraiser to bring in money.
Not only will a Spring fundraiser set your PTO up for the rest of the school year, but it’ll also flow through to the following school year, giving your group ready access to funds.
The bottom line for Spring fundraising success involves a well timed, fresh and unique fundraising concept!
Hope this post has given you ideas and motivation to pull off a fundraiser or two to meet your needs!