10 Tips to Throw a Successful School Fundraiser

By Walmart
Student with facepaint

PTA fundraisers are essential to helping schools support student activities inside the classroom and out, build stronger community ties and promote a culture of caring and responsibility among students. As a proud National PTA Sponsor, Walmart Business knows that throwing a successful fundraiser is not possible without the help of the caretakers, teachers and PTA members who volunteer their time to help organize and staff the event.

To help streamline the planning process, here are 10 tips to and organize a fundraiser that is manageable and achieves its goals.

1. Define Your Goal

    It is critical to know what your goals are before starting your fundraiser, including how much money you want to raise and what project or initiative you are fundraising for. Your goal will guide the planning process and help you clearly communicate the event’s purpose to participants and supporters.

    2. Choose Fundraising Activities

    After you define your goal, choose appropriate activities. Some popular options include book fairs, bake sales, car washes, auctions, fun runs and talent shows. Consider the age of your students, the involvement level of parents and what has been successful in the past.

    3. Create an Activity Planning Committee

    Once you’ve decided on the activities and timing, organize a planning committee of enthusiastic and committed volunteers from among PTA members, teachers and students. Assign clear roles and responsibilities to ensure all aspects of the fundraiser are covered, including decorations, refreshments and prizes to create excitement and anticipation among participants.

    4. Purchase Supplies

    Fundraising events and activities need supplies. At Walmart Business, we understand that selecting the right supplies is critical to the success of any fundraiser. Additionally, eligible non-profits and schools can easily shop tax-exempt online and in-store through Walmart Pay in the Walmart Business app. We are committed to helping you purchase the supplies you need so you can focus on creating and running an impactful fundraiser.

    If you’re holding the event at a school, eye-catching decorations will transform the typical gym, cafeteria or auditorium into a festive and inviting space that attracts more attendees and boosts fundraising efforts. Identify the artists among the PTA members, parents and student volunteers and encourage them to let their creativity shine. Be sure to coordinate with school officials to make sure your decorations don’t violate fire codes or other safety policies.

    5. Engage with your School Community

    Engage with your school community early and often about your fundraiser to attract as many participants as possible. Reach out to local businesses for sponsorships or donations. Many are willing to support schools and can offer goods, services or financial support. In return, acknowledge their contributions publicly to encourage future support.

    6. Promote Your Event

    Use multiple channels to promote your event, including social media, school newsletters and local media outlets. Consider translating your event materials if you have a diverse population. The more people know about your fundraiser, the more likely they’ll participate.

    7. Consider Offering Incentives

    Offering incentives is another surefire way to motivate people to participate. The prizes don’t have to be expensive; they can be simple but meaningful rewards. Kids get excited over little prizes!

    8. Leverage Online Fundraising Platforms

    With family members spread far apart, be sure to leverage online fundraising platforms to offer an easy way for family and friends who aren’t local to contribute to your cause.

    9. Make Your Event Inclusive

    To encourage more participation, it is important to consider the needs of participants with disabilities. Simple actions like hiring a sign language interpreter or providing closed captioning on videos can improve the fundraising experience for someone with a disability. If you are hosting an event like a fun run, find ways where students with disabilities can participate as well, such as a shorter course free from obstacles.

    One way Walmart tries to make our stores more inclusive is by offering sensory-friendly hours. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time, where possible, we dim lights, set TV monitors to a static image and turn off the overhead radio.

    Inclusivity includes offering different donation amounts so those with financial limitations can participate. Prioritizing inclusivity in your fundraising planning and execution will ensure that your event is open and welcoming to everyone in your community.

    10. Involve Students!

    It’s important to involve students in the planning, promotion and execution of fundraising events. This helps them build important soft skills like teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

    Whether raising funds for a community project, supporting a local charity, or contributing to global initiatives, school fundraisers can inspire students to become active and empathetic citizens, making a positive difference in the world. Their participation will also make attending the event more appealing to their peers and families.

    Fundraisers Bring School Communities Together

    Your next fundraiser is more than just an opportunity to raise money—it’s a chance to bring together students, teachers, parents and local businesses in a collective effort to support meaningful causes and enhance the educational experience. At Walmart Business, we’re dedicated to empowering PTA organizations by simplifying the supply acquisition process.

    Our goal is to help you stay focused on what truly matters: creating impactful events that foster a culture of caring, responsibility and active citizenship among students. Learn more about all the ways Walmart Business supports PTA events and programs.

    In addition to fundraising, check out the ways Walmart offers additional ways for PTAs to receive support from your communities through our Spark Good offering. Through Spark Good, your PTA can participate in our Round Up or Registry for Good programs. Visit walmart.com/nonprofits to learn more about all the ways Spark Good can support your PTA and to determine your program’s eligibility.

    Walmart is a Proud National PTA Sponsor and is entitled to certain promotional considerations. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement of Walmart is implied.

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