PTO--ideas?

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Old 02-22-2013, 11:30 AM
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PTO--ideas?

My daughter goes to a co-op preschool, all of the parents are very involved and one of the requirements in having your child enrolled is that each family must take on a committee or serve on the board. This year I served on the Art committee. I enjoyed it. Low stress, just making playdough and cutting out shapes and a little gluing of items for the teachers. Next year she will be one of the "big kids" at the school and generally speaking, the parents from this group are the ones who serve on the board. We have a few exceptions to this rule but they are generally families with an older child who has already gone through the school and are aware of how things work.

I'm considering running for the position of Fundraising. I know there is a lot involved in this (part of the requirements for families is a commitment to raise at least $150.00 in fundraising over the course of the school year). The preschool is a private, non profit school not affiliated with any religious groups.

So... here's my dilemna. I don't want to take on the task unless I think I can do a better job at it than the woman who has it this year. I've got some ideas that I think are good but I'm hoping to get suggestions from others to boost my chances of doing a good job.

This year we did spirit nights, selling wrapping paper/gifts, yankee candles, pampered chef, personalized artwork gifts (displaymyart.com) and we have an alumni dinner with a raffle in the works.

Can anyone tell me of fundraisers that worked well for your school or organization? I have a few ideas of my own, as I mentioned, but I'd really like to know what has worked for others. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:40 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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IMO, the best fund raisers my childrens' schools ever did was the grocery cards and gift cards programs. Locally, both Krogers and Remke Markets had a program where you register your cards for your organization (most schools are on it) and the school automatically gets a percentage. Let's face it, everyone grocery shops. If you have something similar in your area, you get the parents to sign up with their cards (that they probably already have), and then you ask them to recruit a couple of relatives like grandparents to sign up also. Benefit: doesn't cost anyone anything they aren't already spending!

Then, there are the gift card programs, where you sell gift cards to various merchants and your school earns a percentage (varies by merchant) from the gift cards sold. My schools had this available all year round where you could order monthly. Most people have no problem finding something on the list that they do monthly, whether it's to a grocery store, a restaurant, etc. With good planning, you can prepay a lot of activities or can purchase gift cards for things you know you will be spending anyway like CVS, grocery, clothing, etc......and the school can make a big push around the holidays. I had my mother-in-law, my aunt, my dad, and us all buying our Christmas gift cards thru them, to the tune of over $1000.

I much prefer programs like this that actually don't cost you any more money (just a bit in time to organize your purchases and keep track) than having to buy junky stuff from fundraisers.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:48 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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We have Cooks Night Out once a month. Local restaurants host and give a percentage of sales to the school. Good for everybody, restaurant gets more business, school gets money, mom/dad doesn't have to cook.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:02 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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They should give you access to see how much money each of those previous fundraisers made. We used to do one like the personalized artwork gifts and it hardly ever made any money. It's really easy for anyone to do those on their own much cheaper through shutterfly
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:07 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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The woman running fundraisers this year has already told me that most of the "sell this item/brand" etc. fundraisers are in place because one or more families approached her about that particular one because it would help them fill the fundraising obligation for their family.

I'm hoping that if I take over the posititon next year I can offer fundraisers that benefit more than one or two families at a time.

I know some of them are popular (like the artwork) and would be considered worth keeping even if they aren't big money makers.

We already do "eat at __________" and we get a percentage of the sales. Around here they're called Spirit Nights. If I do get elected to the post I'm going to run a few during the summer to give familes a leg up on the fundraising. Given that one of the places partnering with us is a frozen yogurt place I think we'd get a better turn out then than we did in January anyhow. Lol
We also just got the go ahead from a local grocery chain approving us for their gift card fundraiser so hopefully that will be an ongoing one we can keep.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm eagerly awaiting more ideas!

Last edited by Lovage2; 02-26-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:25 AM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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We partnered with a local nursery one fall to sell mums. They were beautiful and a great moneymaker.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:25 AM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Plant swaps are good because you don't have to give any money to a third party.

Register your organization for the endorse phone app program, people can get cash back from their purchases and separately donate the points to a nonprofit. I like that because people pocket the profits while donating to you, instead of it costing them to donate.

Have the kids design christmas cards (think of a way to expand the holiday to seasons greetings or new years if it's a nonreligious public school), then use an online site to print/sell the cards to your families. A lot of parents will pay a couple bucks extra to send out cards with their kids' art, especially if you make it easy for them.

If you guys have performances by the kids in the evening, add a coffee/hot chocolate bar to sell beverages.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:32 AM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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PP reminded me of another. Register with amazon for an affiliate link for the school. Send that link to all the families and tell them to arms it to their families. Anytime anyone shops amazon starting from your link you'll get a small percentage. This is a great one to start reminding people about in November before they start their holiday shopping.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:31 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Originally Posted by sar1 View Post
PP reminded me of another. Register with amazon for an affiliate link for the school. Send that link to all the families and tell them to arms it to their families. Anytime anyone shops amazon starting from your link you'll get a small percentage. This is a great one to start reminding people about in November before they start their holiday shopping.
How do you do this? I cannot find anything on website. Thank you
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:33 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Do you have a chuck e cheese near you? Our school just did a fundraiser there, and they get a percentage of the sales from the school. Easy... Or maybe there is another kid friendly place close by for the same thing
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:35 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Originally Posted by anq1212 View Post
How do you do this? I cannot find anything on website. Thank you
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/&tag=afullcup04-20

I haven't gone through the process myself but I know our school was in this program. (And doing my AFC team duty here: To anyone else, PLEASE no affiliate links on AFC. Against the rules. Thanks!)
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:38 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyndibru
IMO, the best fund raisers my childrens' schools ever did was the grocery cards and gift cards programs. Locally, both Krogers and Remke Markets had a program where you register your cards for your organization (most schools are on it) and the school automatically gets a percentage. Let's face it, everyone grocery shops. If you have something similar in your area, you get the parents to sign up with their cards (that they probably already have), and then you ask them to recruit a couple of relatives like grandparents to sign up also. Benefit: doesn't cost anyone anything they aren't already spending!

Then, there are the gift card programs, where you sell gift cards to various merchants and your school earns a percentage (varies by merchant) from the gift cards sold. My schools had this available all year round where you could order monthly. Most people have no problem finding something on the list that they do monthly, whether it's to a grocery store, a restaurant, etc. With good planning, you can prepay a lot of activities or can purchase gift cards for things you know you will be spending anyway like CVS, grocery, clothing, etc......and the school can make a big push around the holidays. I had my mother-in-law, my aunt, my dad, and us all buying our Christmas gift cards thru them, to the tune of over $1000.

I much prefer programs like this that actually don't cost you any more money (just a bit in time to organize your purchases and keep track) than having to buy junky stuff from fundraisers.
I love the idea of linking say your Kroger card to help out your school. Mine would sure benefit!!! Thanks for the great idea :-)
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:40 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakejake
Plant swaps are good because you don't have to give any money to a third party.

Register your organization for the endorse phone app program, people can get cash back from their purchases and separately donate the points to a nonprofit. I like that because people pocket the profits while donating to you, instead of it costing them to donate.

Have the kids design christmas cards (think of a way to expand the holiday to seasons greetings or new years if it's a nonreligious public school), then use an online site to print/sell the cards to your families. A lot of parents will pay a couple bucks extra to send out cards with their kids' art, especially if you make it easy for them.

If you guys have performances by the kids in the evening, add a coffee/hot chocolate bar to sell beverages.
The homemade christmas card idea is a great idea! I would love to use them for family and close friends :-)
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:17 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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These are all great ideas, thanks for helping out and sharing them.
We actually have the amazon link thing already. We have an annual "Your child's artwork on the items of your choice" sale so I don't think the holiday cards would go over too well. We looked into the whole "link your grocery card" deal with Giant and we're not eligible for that program. Instead they've offered us a program where people can buy gift cards to the grocery store through us and we get a commission for every $500 worth of cards sold. We're a school for 3 and 4 yr olds so we don't do any performance or evening activities where we could add a snack/beverage bar
I will definitely look into the plant idea though! Maybe we could even get a couple of parents with green thumbs to start some plants for us so we could sell seedlings next spring too.
Thanks again, great ideas!
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:28 PM

RE: PTO--ideas?

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I forgot about this. I looked into all of the BTFE and grocery store programs for our preschool in MD. Only Harris Teeter lets you link VIC cards for preschools. Most grocery store card programs do not allow preschools. It's not too difficult to get it set up. The hardest part is getting people's store card numbers or convincing them to link their card. You can link more than one school so if they have an elementary student too, make sure they know it can be split. You don't earn a ton of money b/c the number of families linking their cards is so much smaller than for an elementary or high school. But it's still free money.
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