If you're a PTA member and need inspiration for a fundraiser, you should hear about what Jean Joachim did for PS 87 in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Over a ten year period with her PTA, her fundraising efforts reached a total of $1.88 million! That money went towards all sorts of things at the school from buying new textbooks to paying for a new computer lab. She helped turn the PTA into a fundraising machine that rakes in $250,000 each year with various fundraising efforts.
It's a stunning example of fundraising done right, and you can read about Joachim's story on PTO Today. Joachim made a small fortune selling goodie grab bags for $5 apiece. The bags contained items like coupons, snacks, perfume samples, key chains, stickers, and all sorts of other things. The things in your own grab bags should of course be appropriate to the people your selling to, and there are places where you can source the items on the cheap.
The way Joachim did it was by finding people in her PTA who work for big companies and asking them if they had any promotional items like pens or other small branded items that they could part with (and which are actually intended to be given away in the first place). Why not try it? You might get lucky.
So what are other ideas you can develop with your PTA? Here are a few to get you started.
Set up a running event and have your fundraising team look for sponsors. They could run a circuit around the school and earn a donation for every lap, or people could donate a certain amount to make them run a specific number of laps. For example, you could charge $1 per lap. Send out flyers a few weeks before the event takes place and give the run a catchy name.
Does anyone in your PTA like to cook? You could parlay that into a supper fundraiser. The New Douglas PTO in Highland, Illinois hold a Sausage Supper fundraiser every year featuring homemade pork sausages, mashed potatoes, gravy, sauerkraut, and much more. Look for a theme that suits your cooking skills and you'll hit your fundraising goal in a night of feasting that you won't soon forget.
At your next PTA meeting, bring up the idea of holding a fundraiser and see if anyone has their own ideas. Remember to make clear what you're fundraising for, and thrive on the strength of your community to reach your fundraising goal. You might even become the next Jean Joachim!