So You Just Got Appointed PTA Fundraising Chairperson, Now What?
In many cases, it happens so quick most people don’t realize what hit them. That’s right, you’ve just been appointed the fundraising chairperson for your PTA. It starts off innocent enough. You attend a PTA meeting just to keep track of what’s happening in your child’s school, the next thing you know, they appoint you to run the PTA fundraisers for the year. The fact that you’ve never run a fundraiser before is not important. Basically, they’re looking for someone who is organized, trustworthy and a good work ethic.
So now what? Here are a few tips for new PTA (or PTO) fundraising chairs:
Learn the fundraising landscape. The first thing to do is get a lay of the land. Spend a few hours on the internet researching the school fundraising industry and how things work. If the previous years’ fundraising chair is still involved with your group, pick their brains as well.
Learn the lingo. The terminology can sometime be confusing: Direct Sale, Brochure Sale, Kickoffs, Prize Programs, Student Packing, Fundraising Agreements, etc. This may seem overwhelming but it’s really not that complicated. There are many helpful resources (including this fundraising blog) that can help guide you through this process.
Past history is your friend. Find out what has worked well for your group in the past and what has not. Chances are your PTA has been running fundraisers for years, so even if there isn’t anyone left from the prior boards to speak with, there should be a paper trail (fundraising order forms, bank transactions, contracts, etc.) to learn from.
Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s great that you have many new ideas to bring to the table and have ambitious goals. But keep things in perspective. It’s better to run fewer fundraisers very efficiently versus many fundraisers inefficiently.
Recruit volunteers to help you. You can’t go this alone. You need a team of helpful parents to assist you. You’ll find that there are many details that need attention, so you must delegate! You will burn out quickly if you try to do everything yourself so recruit volunteers at every opportunity you get.