Kickstart Your PTA

Donna Hill and Shula Farnie
01 April, 2021 : 10:00
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As things are beginning to open up, here are some quick and easy ideas to help you kickstart your PTA, raise some much needed funds and for those that might still want to wait to hold events, have a look at the tasks you can complete ready for the next school year.

Communication is Key

Firstly ask, how do I communicate with parents? With the current situation meaning PTAs may not be allowed in schools it is harder to communicate with parents that you currently don’t see on a daily basis.

Look at the following options to see if these can help you to reach out to your members.
Email
Create a PTA email address which committee members can access.  This way your members can come straight to you rather than via the school or one particular committee member.

Facebook Page
Easily available on smartphones, tablets and computers.
You can invite members to join but they have to accept the invitation – therefore giving consent to access the page. 
Decide whether you want a private group or a public page.
Have 2/3 people as admins on the page, set posts to be admin approved to control content and learn how to turn comments off when necessary.
Set out a pinned post of the rules of using the page and stick to them.
Make sure all content is PTA related and relevant – any school related issues should be directed to the school, this is not a platform for parents to moan on!
Read our social media guidance.

WhatsApp Groups
Similar to a Facebook page but not as easy to control.
Make sure you get consent to add members to a group – do not add people without them asking to join.
Quick to reach members and for them to reply.
Replies/comments are not admin approved so less control over the content of the group. The person in charge of the group would have to ask members to delete comments if not relevant or appropriate.
Multiple replies to a question can mean having to scroll through lots of entries to collate information, numerous notifications can be annoying!
Set our rules for using the group and stick to them.
Make sure all content is PTA related and relevant – any school related issues should be directed to the school, this is not a platform for parents to moan on!
Read our social media guidance.
We do not recommend using  Whatsapp messages as a way of making committee decisions, as generally written decisions need to be unanimous.


School /PTA Newsletter
Many schools send their newsletters digitally and they reach all parents. Check out our templates here.
You need consent from parents to be sent communications via the school on behalf of the PTA. The school may obtain this when parents join the school or the school update consents.
Paper versions of newsletters sent home in book bags do not require consent and are an easy way to reach parents.
If teachers send home weekly updates ask them to share reminders too, make sure they have consent to reach out to parents on your behalf.
Read our Newsletter guidance.

Word of Mouth
If you tell a parent about an event ask them to share this with other parents that they communicate with….those parents can ask the same of the parents they tell and gradually you reach a larger proportion of your members.

Administration Tasks

You might not feel ready to hold an event at the moment, take this time to make sure all your PTA administrative tasks are up to date so when you are ready to fundraise again all those little jobs are out of the way.

Are your Parentkind Contact details up to date?
The key contact can add and remove members from the account via the My Account area of the website.
To add a member, click on ‘ADD PTA MEMBER’ and enter the details of the new contact.
To remove a member, click on ‘PTA MEMBERS’ and then ‘remove’ contacts that are no longer part of your association.

Update your Charity Trustees if you are Charity Registered.
Your Charity Trustees are your current elected committee members. 
Log in to your online Charity account and remove old trustees and add new ones.
Each trustee should have completed a trustee eligibility declaration form. You don’t need to upload these when updating trustees but you should keep them for due diligence. This should be done after every AGM or if you change committee members during the course of the year.

If you are not yet registered as a Charity why not look at applying.
If you have an annual income of over £5000 you have a legal requirement to register as a charity.
We have a comprehensive guide to help you complete the application process. Separate Guides are available for England and Wales, and for Northern Ireland.
If you do not have an income of over £5000, but you have adopted the Parentkind Model constitution then you can apply under the threshold.
Watch our webinar on Charity Registration.

Have you adopted a constitution or is your current one still fit for purpose?
We have a model constitution available to our members to adopt – updated March 2021. 
If you do not have a current copy of your constitution and you are Charity Registered, the Charity Commission should be able to provide you with a copy.  Give them a call on 0300 066 9197.

Sign up to PTA Events
PTA events is an online ticketing and event platform to help you organise your ticket and product sales, and communicate with your members. 
For more information and to register click here.

Create model policies for your association.
Model Policies help expand on the rules and regulations of your association and provide more detail for your committee to follow. These run alongside your constitution.
We have templates available for you to use and adapt to suit your associations’ needs.
Also think about whether you should have a Code of Conduct or a Social Media Policy

GDPR – make sure you are meeting regulations.
Read our guidance and resources available to help you.
The ICO are the regulatory body for GDPR, you can contact them for further guidance.

Register for Gift Aid
You can register with HMRC for Gift Aid and charitable recognition. You do not need to be Charity Registered to apply.
HMRC have a small charities helpline for further guidance – 0300 123 1073

Make sure your licences are up to date, or apply for them if necessary.
If you are registered with your local authority for a Small Society Lottery licence, this would be for raffles and lotteries, make sure this is up to date with correct contact details for your association. If you require a licence you should contact your local authority.
If you have a film licence with MPLC, these are required to hold a film night. You should ensure they have up to date contact details for your association. Don’t forget Parentkind members receive an exclusive discount.

Non Event Fundraising

Set up Easyfundraising
A great way to get free donations from suppliers when your parents shop online.
Click on the image below for more information.



Register for Your School Lottery
Why not run a school lottery for your parents to participate in. The only lottery organisation dedicated to helping schools raise money. No Fees, no Admin, no Risk. You will require a small society lottery licence from your local authority to run this.
Click on the image below for more information

Set up a Donation Page
Your parents can donate to your association through a variety of donation pages. 
If you are registered with PTA events we have a guide to help you set up a donation page. 
If you are registered with Easyfundraising you can contact them to add a donate button to your cause. Email them on parentkind@easyfundraising.org.uk.

Set up a 100 club
Organising a 100 Club can be a very profitable way for your PTA to raise funds. Read our guidance here, paying attention to any licence requirements for advertising and participation.
A 100 Club is a lottery with a pre-set amount of numbered lottery tickets available e.g. 100 tickets for a 100 Club. This number can vary to suit the size of your school e.g. 200 or 300 tickets for a 200 or 300 Club and so on.

Grant opportunities
Read our information and watch our webinar on Grant Opportunities and Trust Funding. If you are not Charity registered you may be able to apply for Grants if you have Charitable Recognition status from HMRC – check the Grants criteria.
We can offer you 2 months free access to Funds Online, allowing you to search an online database of trusts and foundations – email info@parentkind.org.uk for more details.

Sponsored Events
Why not hold a sponsored event – maybe a sponsored walk or a sponsored read. If the school can help then maybe a sponsored bounce, skip or goals scored event would be fun! We also have posters to help you.
If you are registered for Gift Aid then your association can ask for Gift Aid declarations and make a claim. HMRC have produced a sponsorship form that you can use. 
If you are not yet registered for Gift Aid, you can find more information here. 

Quick and Easy Fundraising Ideas
If you are looking to hold a physical event you need to check that the school are happy for you to use the school premises, check with your local authority for their interpretation of local restrictions and follow current government guidance. You should carry out a risk assessment for any event you hold.

Coin Challenges
Why not hold a 5p challenge or a smarties challenge. 
The 5p challenge is a great fundraiser and can last a few weeks. Provide each class with a labelled 2 litre bottle (a fizzy pop or water bottle, washed and dried out), and ask them to bring in 5p coins to fill it. The class that raises the most wins a prize paid for by the PTA – this might be some resources for the classroom, or maybe a treat for the children. We have a poster to help you advertise the event.
The smarties challenge is where the PTA send each child home with a tube of smarties. The children get to eat the Smarties and you ask them to bring the tube back filled up with loose change, this is usually 20p pieces but you can ask for any loose change to be put in the tubes. Again the class that raises the most can be awarded a prize by the PTA.
You can always include the teachers and staff at the school in these challenges! 

Themed Days
Wear your own clothes, Break the Rules/Make the rules and Crazy Hair days are quick and easy fundraisers. Ask each child to bring in 50p/£1 to participate. Posters are available for each of these.

Competitions
Try a colouring competition, build a Lego model, make a rocket from recyclables or maybe you need a new PTA logo that the children could help design. Our competition time poster can help advertise the event.

Gift Amnesty
You may be looking to hold events in the future but you can ask for donations of new unwanted gifts to be donated to your association. 
You can use these donations for hampers, raffle prizes or gift sales later in the year. 
Remember you will need somewhere to store these donations until required.

Virtual Events 
Virtual Balloon Race
Why not organise a virtual balloon race for your children and parents to participate in. Check out our Suppliers Directory and posters.
Virtual Coffee Morning
Why not hold a virtual coffee morning to raise awareness of your association, brainstorm ideas for future events and have a general catch up with your parents, we even have a poster to advertise this.

Big PTA Events 

Keep an eye out on our newsletters for details of upcoming BIG PTA events. The Big PTA Summer Raffle (subject to licence), The Big PTA Quiz and The Big PTA Christmas Raffle.

We hope that some of these ideas help your PTA to get back into the swing of fundraising, there’s lots of other information in the Advice Hub and PTA Resources areas of the website. Don’t forget you can reach our member support line for any further advice on 0300 123 5460, or email us on info@parentkind.org.uk.

Membership Support Team.


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Donna Hill and Shula Farnie
Membership Adviser at Parentkind

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