Your PTA committee’s done all the planning. You’ve found another brochure that you think people will support, and a prize program you’re confident your students will be excited about again. The date had already been set on the calendar because you always have your fundraiser this time of year. This way, your parents shouldn’t be surprised when the student packets come home. It’s almost like you’re on autopilot.
But have you ever stopped to wonder about what your parents think? Many sponsors don’t think twice about what happens outside their school. Their intentions are noble. They just want to help the school. Yet, parents are tired of being inundated by the same brochure fundraisers every year.
One school actually got it. A Texas mom from the school shared a one of a kind PTA fundraising letter that a school used to get around the typical fundraiser solicitation. What made the letter original was that the parents were given 6 check-the-box options to donate money instead. Only this was not your typical donation letter. One option was to donate $15 in lieu of having to bake cupcakes for the bake sale. Or, parents could donate $25 instead of having to hit up neighbors and friends to sell wrapping paper.
The letter was funny, but definitely thought-provoking. If you read the letter, you’ll definitely understand what drove someone to create it in the first place. So how can you get parents to at least tolerate brochure fundraisers again? Well, it may not be easy but here are 2 possible solutions that may at least help.
Announce Your Fundraiser Early
Student fundraising packets have a bad habit of coming home unannounced. There seems to be no good time to receive sales materials. Yet many sponsors feel that parents should expect them because it’s what the school does every year. But that’s making a lot of assumptions.
You should always plan to announce your fundraiser in advance of the kickoff date. Consider using an announcement letter at least a week in advance that explains what you’ll be selling and what the purpose is. It would be ideal if you could arrange to get some exposure at a parent night as well. Many parents are turned off because they’re asked to sell but they don’t know why. By giving them a heads up and a plan, you’re at least giving them something to consider.
Commit to Limiting Your Fundraising
Providing advanced notice about your sale is definitely the right thing to do; however making an actual commitment to limit the number of sales, builds trust. Just think if every group in your area actually cut back on their fundraising. People would probably be more inclined to support them.
How would your parents respond if you let them know up front that your group is committed to surviving on the money made from only one fundraiser, regardless of how much you make?