5 fundraising tips to kickstart the new year

PTAs Fundraising Community
11 December 2023
Feeling a bit wiped out after your winter fair? Here’s how to boost fundraising in the first few months of the year.

December is a busy month in the fundraising calendar, but it can have a knock-on effect for the start of the new year. Parents may not want to spend much or commit to events for the first few months, and your PTA may feel a little burnt out after a busy festive period. 

But there are many ways to boost your fundraising, even if it’s dark and gloomy outside. Here are our top tips to beat the January blues and get those pennies rolling in.

1. Take advantage of unwanted Christmas presents

According to Oxfam, a whopping third of people in the UK put unwanted Christmas presents away in the cupboard, never to be used. Your PTA can help tackle this waste with a gift amnesty raffle.

To inspire people to donate their unwanted gifts, let them know exactly what you’re looking for. We recommend cookbooks, candles, toiletries, chocolates and alcohol (but don’t forget you’ll need a TENs license). Specify that all donations must be unused, unopened and in date. If you receive a selection of higher-priced items, you might want to consider holding a separate raffle, or auctioning them off.

Want some help spreading the word? Download our gift amnesty poster.

2. Hold your events indoors

One of the biggest obstacles to fundraising in winter is the good old British weather, so it’s probably best to host most (if not all) of your activities indoors.

A disco in the school hall is a classic option. To drum up excitement you could pick a theme, such as a particular colour, which is a simple way for everyone to get involved. It makes decorating easy too. 

If you’re feeling ambitious, turn your disco into a costume party. Go all out with a prize for the best costume, snacks and drinks that tie in with the theme, and a face painting area. The possibilities are endless! You could even tie it in with World Book Day on 7th March and ask the children to come as their favourite book characters.

If a disco is too much of a commitment, National Puzzle Day is on 29th January. You could set up a puzzle party after school for the children to enjoy with a little tuck shop.

3. Keeps things nice and simple (and cheap!)

Fundraising events don’t always have to cost the earth to run, or involve weeks of planning – for example, bake sales!

Setting up a Bake Off-style competition provides an added incentive, but if you’re sensing cakes might be the last thing on people’s minds after an indulgent Christmas, you could arrange a healthier alternative. We’re thinking fruit skewers, sugar-free treats or a yoghurt station with help-yourself toppings – whatever you decide, there are so many ways you can get everyone together to enjoy some snacks and top up the funds.

4. Get the community involved

Quiz nights are a big crowd-pleaser and an opportunity to raise lots of money, and if you invite people from outside the school community to join in, it might help you to sell more tables.

There are many pub-style quizzes to be found online, but you could create your own with facts about your local area, or put parents to the test with Are you as smart as a 10-year-old?’ style questions. 

If you’re on a tight budget, approach a local takeaway business to donate food. You could also ask local businesses to donate prizes.

Check out our guide for everything you could need to host a fantastic quiz.

5. Group events together 

Rather than having lots of separate fundraising events, consider planning a few things for the same day. That’s fewer dates for parents to remember, fewer volunteers needed and more fun for the children. Perhaps a raffle bake sale book swap extravaganza is just the thing to get everyone together during the wintry months!

You could also group some awareness days together. For example, International Book Giving Day, Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day all take place in the third week of February. The perfect opportunity for a love-filled, pancake-eating book swap.