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Organizing Your PTA/PTO Fundraising Committees

By Angela Costas

Getting ready to fundraise for your school? If so, then your PTA/PTO committee needs to be well organized. It really helps if you have a plan of action to keep everyone motivated and focused on your goal.

Have Focused Committees. You might have committees for each of your programs such as After School Clubs, Book Fair, Carnival, Cultural Arts, Fall Fundraiser and the Computer Lab. The benefit of having many committees means that the role of leadership is divided around the group, so many parents have the opportunity to "step up to the plate." This helps parents get involved and really take charge of what their specialty happens to be. It also means that parents don't get disgruntled, feeling that some parents are "always" in charge of things and other parents aren't selected. Having many different committees also organizes the management of different events and programs and gives each one a specific voice and someone to speak for them to represent all parents. This may be an excellent choice for your school's PTA/PTO organization.

Use the "3 to 1 rule." The California State PTA encourages schools to consider this wise advice: use the 3 to 1 rule when planning the year's activities. For every fundraising project there should be three non-fundraising activities planned. This ratio will help keep events and projects fun for parents, teachers, children and the school "family" at large. This is an excellent ratio to consider with your committees to keep them from getting burned out or feeling overwhelmed. Having them plan one fundraising event for every three other fun school-related projects is an excellent goal.

Keep Values in Mind. Some committees get very focused on "sell, sell, sell" and in this they lose sight of their original goal: helping their children's school. With school fundraising it is key to remember your values, as they are the foundation for why you are fundraising. According to PTA.org, your values will also help you recognize your potential donors and make your fundraising more successful. If you are raising funds for an after school arts program, your donor needs to be concerned with after school programs and creativity and children and perhaps an interest in arts enrichment.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Keep the line of communication open between your committee, the PTA/PTO and the school. Confirm that your goals and projects are aligned with the desires of the school and the PTA/PTO. Communication and "staying friendly" at all times is key.

About the Author: Angela Costas writes for TopSchoolFundraisers.com where parents, students and teachers can find ideas for fundraisers and other school activities. Check out the site now for more information about PTO/PTA Fundraisers and elementary school fundraisers.

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