What's trending? 8 of the best PTA Expert chats

31/07/18

Our Facebook community serves as a great reminder of how brilliant PTAs are. We had another look at the rich discussions on our PTA Expert page and picked out the best so you can take away some fresh ideas and words of encouragement.

A big thank you to our Facebook followers for getting involved! If you have a question or success story to share please send your message here.

1. Minimum effort fundraisers

Jenna would like to ask: “What's your best minimum effort fundraiser? I'm looking for some ideas that don't require a huge amount of organisation but are still popular and easy for parents and children to get involved with.”

One example:
Copper challenge. Give each class large jar and kids bring in 1ps and 2ps. Great competition between classes to fill jars. Winning class got to go to local ice cream shop. Raised £1500!!
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2. Taking the PTA plunge

I am shortly looking at taking on [PTA Chair] role, and since agreeing, I have only been met with people saying "Oh my word!! Why have you done that??!" And "are you mad?" And the age old "I wouldn't do that if you paid me!!!" Please can I have some positive feedback to get me excited??

One example:
Build your team and have fun! Use your enthusiasm to get everyone else motivated and on board! It won't all happen immediately but it's really good when you start to see it all come together. Delegate when you need to so it's not all on your shoulders - it's easy to have an "I'll do it cos it's easier" attitude but actually you end up doing everything! Everyone will have strengths and weaknesses and differing personalities, accept each person for who they are and maximise on the strengths!
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3. Break the rules day

Emma is planning to run a Break the rules event “Just wondered what rules other schools broken & prices that have worked well?”

One example:
We do it as a whole school event, give a list of rules they can choose from - coloured hair, nail varnish, crazy socks/tights, bright top, oversized hair accessories or hat but children are only allowed to choose 1 rule to break! Rest of uniform to be worn. £1 donation on gate going into school. Usual earns us £275ish, we have just over 300 children at school.
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4. Small school fundraising

Can you help Roz with some new ideas? “For fundraising at a small primary 275 kids, we already do discos, film club, summer/Christmas fairs, and cake sales, we also do a copper challenge in June, and this is a class event. Would love some ideas that involve little preparation as we have very few PTA members......lots of help from parents at big events, but that’s about it.”

One example:
We do 50p fabulous Fridays - a couple of times a term. 50p stall at the end of the day - selling samosas, or second hand books, or buns. Basically whatever anyone’s willing to do. Quick, and simple is the key. Generates about £100 a term.
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5. Getting more parents involved

We know that this is a hot topic for our members so here are three threads you might like to read:

Emily would like to ask: "Hi currently struggling with getting parents to help out with our PTA, any ideas on how to get more people to join? We are a small school and fundraising is getting harder."
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Kimberley would like some top tips for encouraging new members... "Our PTA only has 7 members. We have sent letters out through the children, given letters out on the school gates, sent messages through the school app and invited parents to meetings and coffee mornings (no one turned up) to try and gain now members. Does anyone have any advice or tips on what works for them?"
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"We are struggling to recruit new members of our committee and also volunteers to help out at events." Pippa would like some top tips on getting new members on board, what recruitment drives have been successful for your PTA?
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6. Smarties for silver

We thought we'd share this brilliant idea again for a quick and easy fundraiser, thanks for your message Gillian! “I recently saw a post on here about 'smarties for silver' our fundraising team recently did this as a fundraiser to buy new books for school library. We handed out 300 tubes of smarties and made a profit of £903. Such an easy fundraiser not a lot of effort needed. Thanks for the idea.”
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7. Reducing plastic waste

Joanne asks: “In light of the increasing awareness of reducing plastic waste does anyone have any alternatives to glow sticks to sell at discos? The children love them but we really feel that we need to change our ways and set a positive example. Especially as our fundraising focus this year is our wildlife area and outdoor learning project!”

Some examples:
You could set up a photo booth and give each child a “prop” in their bag. (We never sold extras but added into cost of ticket do everyone got something.)
How about some glow in dark face paint?

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8. Sponsored bounce

Have you done a sponsored bounce before? Here's how Harold Court PTA made their event a success and raised over £1,000:
“Hire 2 bouncy castles (ours cost £120 total from 9am - 12pm)... have approx. 10 volunteers and get the kids to do a sponsored bounce.
Each class comes down to the hall in turn (give teachers a timetable so they can have the kids ready for the volunteers). Those taking part in the sponsored bounce get to bounce for 1 minute and the volunteers count their bounces and write it on their sponsor forms.
After that minute everyone gets to have 3 mins of bounce time for fun afterwards so no one misses out on the bouncy castle fun!
Forms were handed back to school 2 weeks later with the money. We have a school of 413... I'd say not even half of them were sponsored.... fab profit for little effort.”

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