A mammoth task

Schools are increasingly turning to PTAs to fund big purchases for the school, but when you’re asked to raise thousands of pounds, where do you begin?


undraising for a ‘big’ project could mean raising anything from £5,000 to £50,000 or more. With a target that’s

considerably larger than what you’re used to, you need to think differently, using a carefully planned approach. For a big project, you’ll rarely get all the money you need from a single source. There are many different options available so think about which will work best for you. l Crowdfunding invites a number of supporters to each contribute a small amount in return for a reward. l Grants involve applying to a funder for a large sum. l Sponsorship means approaching businesses with requests to sponsor elements of your project, often in a mutually beneficial way. l Fundraising events make for a fun and visual way to fundraise and bring together a captive audience. l Passive income keeps funds topped up in the background.

Target You know that you’re fundraising for

a trim trail or a new library, but how much do you need? Check with the school: who’s going to get quotes, and how will the process of finding a supplier work? If the PTA is in charge, make sure there’s a good line of communication with the school at every stage of the process. Start by looking up information on

suppliers’ websites and in brochures to get a broad idea of costs and what’s available. Then pick up the phone to discuss your specific needs. Most suppliers will adjust existing products or can recommend the best

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solutions for your circumstances, often by surveying your site. Get quotes for the work and equipment to obtain your fundraising goal.

Timeframe It takes time to raise a large amount

of money, so consult with the school and suppliers to set a realistic deadline. Ensure it’s short enough for initial donors to benefit from the project. Plan your fundraising strategy alongside your PTA calendar, anticipating how much everything might raise using totals from previous events and activities. This will help you to establish how much extra fundraising is needed to meet your goal. Establish a start date for the

project. Can work commence once you’ve raised some, but not all, of the money? Not only will this mean supporters can see their money

being used, but it will reignite interest and be a visual way to promote it, helping to draw in more sponsors. You do need to be sure you’ll reach your goal, as half- finished projects will be frustrating for everyone involved.

Strategy Big money means exploring lots of

fundraising avenues that tap into a wide range of supporters, ensuring no single group is being exhausted. Survey your parents, governors and the wider community to see what they would be willing to support. Events and passive fundraising schemes are a large element of PTA fundraising, but running too many can overwhelm supporters. Crowdfunding works well in schools that are able to ask parents for contributions, but if

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