Raising Funds through a Fundraising Page
All PTAs will be able to identify with the enormity of the task of trying to raise funds for an expensive project and how this can take many years, if relying solely on funds raised from PTA events and other ad hoc income sources such as the Stamptastic PTA Rewards Scheme.
After several years of fundraising for an all-weather canopy and having to divert some unrestricted funds towards other projects, whilst we were steadily getting close to the funds needed, we were also sensing that some parents were feeling quite negative about the project becoming a reality. This was perfectly understandable, as an infant school children will only be there for a maximum of 3 years and if there is no younger sibling to follow on parents feel they are fundraising for something their family will never benefit from.
Working hard to increase our chances, the PTA continued to apply for grants. In early June we received promising news that one of our applications was being considered by the trustees but to be considered further we needed to provide evidence that we had the balance of funds needed to proceed with the project. At this point we did not and at our next committee meeting we discussed the events planned for the rest of the school term and the likely funds they would raise. It was at this meeting that a suggestion was raised about whether to try crowdfunding as we felt we would still be £1,500 short at the end of the school year.
The PTA were already signed up with easyfundraising and were aware from emails from both easyfundraising and Parentkind that easyfundraising were at the time offering PTAs free upgrades to their new platform which included the ability to create fundraising pages with no fees for hosting the pages, just the credit card processing fees. With cheaper card processing charges than other fundraising pages it was a ‘no brainer’.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover how quick it was to set-up a fundraising page and personalise it with photos and our reason for the fundraising.
We shared details of the fundraising page through the PTA closed facebook group and some parents then shared the link on their own personal facebook pages, which has been lovely as we have raised donations through other relatives and also friends not directly connected to the school and even from people in the local community showing their support. It has been especially lovely to read the comments of support that have been left with most donations.
Within two weeks we were close to reaching 50% of our £1,500 target. The fact that we had recently registered for gift aid meant that any donations from individuals that could make a gift aid declaration were increased by a further 25% which also really helped towards our fundraising.
To date we haven’t made the target through the fundraising page but other fundraising events have enabled us to provide evidence of the balance of funds and we now await an outcome to our grant application with fingers (and everything else) crossed!
We certainly wouldn’t hesitate in trying to raise funds again through a fundraising page - it was well received by parents, quick to set-up and the donations made were paid into the PTA bank account just 7 days after the donation was made. We would definitely recommend that other PTAs embrace this fundraising facility if they are working towards a specific project.
Our top tips for a successful fundraising page are:
- Personalise the page as much as possible with photos and your story behind the fundraising.
- Set a realistic target, so as not to put people off from donating towards it.
- Encourage parents to share the fundraising link with friends and family through social media to increase the opportunities for donations
- Keep parents updated as the amount builds. In the first few days of launching we reported back to the PTA group when we were approaching milestones like almost at the first £100, or can we make it to 15% of our target by the end of the evening? etc which encouraged people to donate and helped us reach and exceed different milestone limits in a short space of time.
- If the PTA is a registered charity, consider registering for gift aid, if not already registered, to maximise the funds that can be raised from the donations.