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Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

What do successful fundraisers have in common? Find out here as FutureFund breaks down the anatomy of a fundraising campaign that works. Learn what elements to include in your campaign so that you can meet your school group’s goals.

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

Published on September 12, 2023

10 Incredible Parent Engagement Ideas

Improve your PTA’s parent engagement by holding fun events, organizing projects that serve the community, and leveraging technology that makes it easier to communicate and organize! FutureFund is here with 10 ideas to help you get started.
10 Incredible Parent Engagement Ideas

Parent engagement isn’t just a sign that your PTA is encouraging participation from the school community—it’s also vital for running successful fundraisers and other events. Engaged parents are more likely to be informed, supportive, and active in the education of their children. They’re the ones who donate the most, volunteer to help run important initiatives, and create an environment where children learn effectively.

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

At FutureFund, we recognize that volunteers are vital for the success of all PTAs, so we provide specific tools to help you engage the parents in your school community, including:

  • A built-in messaging system with customizable email templates for various parent groups
  • Convenient online volunteer signup options
  • Custom website building tools that let you create a site just for the parents in your community

Below, we share ten innovative ways to supercharge parent engagement within your PTA by making the most of these features and using other creative strategies. Get ready to bring your school community together like never before.

Virtual town hall meeting for PTA

1. Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Virtual Town Halls are a wonderful way to maintain open communication channels with busy parents who can’t always show up to in-person meetings. Imagine a digital assembly where parents sip their evening tea in the comfort of their homes while logging into a virtual meeting. Teachers present updates on curriculum changes, extracurricular opportunities, and school policies. The evening rounds off with a vibrant Q&A session, allowing all parents to feel heard and acknowledged. 

Best Practices:

  • Schedule meetings at convenient times for both parents and teachers.
  • Promote the meeting well in advance via newsletters, social media, and school announcements.
  • Prepare an agenda and distribute it before the meeting.
  • Use an easily accessible virtual platform.
  • Ensure there is a Q&A segment to address parent concerns.

2. Parent Workshops & Seminars

These events encourage parents to learn about current trends in education and are great for encouraging direct participation in your PTA’s activities. Make sure to invite compelling guest speakers, such as child psychologists or tech experts, to ensure that all attendees learn something memorable and valuable.

Best Practices:

  • Identify topics that are relevant to your school community.
  • Invite expert speakers or professionals in the field.
  • Provide takeaway materials such as brochures, slides, or recorded sessions.
  • Promote these workshops through multiple channels.
  • Offer both in-person and virtual attendance options.

3. Online Parent Surveys

Parents who feel that their input is valued are more likely to keep showing up to PTA events and pitching their best ideas. Conducting surveys gives them an easy way to voice their opinions—as long as you make it user friendly and straightforward!

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

Best Practices

  • Use clear and concise questions to get specific feedback.
  • Make the survey easily accessible—you can use FutureFund’s built-in messaging tools to send the survey out to different parent groups, or every parent in your school community!
  • Keep the survey anonymous to encourage honest responses.
  • Share the survey results and action plans with the community.
  • Conduct surveys regularly for continuous improvement.
Parent volunteer giving hi-five to student in after-school program

4. Parent Volunteer Programs

Parents like fun activities just as much as their kids, so why not bring them together to repaint a classroom, organize a bake sale, or mentor students in an after-school program? This provides them with a palpable sense of accomplishment and helps build community—they’ll go home feeling more connected to the place where their children learn and grow every day.

Best Practices

  • Use FutureFund’s easy online sign-up forms to register parents.
  • Provide training sessions for volunteers.
  • Recognize and celebrate volunteer efforts with small tokens of appreciation—FutureFund lets you provide discounts and perks to specific members!
  • Foster a sense of community by organizing volunteer meetups.
  • Update volunteers regularly with news and changes using FutureFund’s custom messaging system.

5. Parent-Teacher Collaboration Platforms

Imagine a secure, easy-to-navigate online platform your PTA can use to sign up parent volunteers, track memberships, and create custom messages to reach the entire school community! FutureFund offers tools that make communicating with parents easier than ever so that you can make them partners in the educational experience you’re creating for students. See more about how FutureFund helps volunteers here.

Best Practices

  • Sign up with FutureFund for free.
  • Offer training sessions for parents to familiarize them with the platform.
  • Keep your account updated with current class activities, assignments, and updates.
  • Facilitate open channels of communication between parents and teachers.
  • Monitor engagement and encourage participation.

6. Interactive School Websites

FutureFund also lets you create a dedicated website for your school to sell merchandise, post important information, and more. This gives parents an easy way to contribute financially to your PTA, learn about upcoming events, and participate in your PTA’s activities—think of it like a 24/7 open house that invites parents to be part of the school community anytime they want!

Best Practices

  • Create your own school site on FutureFund.
  • Keep your website up-to-date with the latest news and events.
  • Upload resources like reading lists, homework schedules, and school forms to make them easily available.
  • Use FutureFund’s built-in ecommerce tools to sell school merch and run successful fundraising campaigns.

7. Social Media Engagement

Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach parents, many of whom are active on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. FutureFund comes with built-in tools to help you share fundraising campaigns across different social media channels, but there are lots of other ways you can reach parents in these places as well!

Best Practices

  • Identify the social media platforms most used by your parent community.
  • Post regular updates, announcements, and highlights.
  • Use images and videos to make content more engaging.
  • Encourage interaction by asking questions or running polls.
  • Keep track of metrics to identify the most effective types of posts.
  • Encourage participation in your fundraising campaigns using FutureFund’s shareable links for social media and email.

8. Community Service Projects

Mobilizing the parents in your school community is easier when everyone is working together towards a meaningful goal. Uniting people behind something noble can be fun, too—like planting trees in the local park or assembling care packages for a nearby shelter. Furthermore, this can lead parents to associate your PTA with worthy causes, which can make them more likely to participate in future projects like fundraising events.

Best Practices

  • Choose projects that are relevant to your school and local community.
  • Promote upcoming projects well in advance.
  • Provide all necessary materials and instructions.
  • Offer opportunities for both students and parents to get involved.
  • Celebrate and share the outcomes of each project.
Family fun night organized by PTA

9. Family Fun Nights & Events

Picture a Friday evening filled with laughter and joy as families come together for a movie night on the school lawn or a themed dance party in the gym. These moments of pure fun forge stronger relationships among families, encourage positive associations with your PTA, and create cherished memories that last a lifetime. FutureFund makes it easy to sell tickets for these events in your school’s ecommerce store, and sign families up by uploading waivers or permission slips (see our FAQ below).

Best Practices

  • Choose activities that are fun for all age groups.
  • Consider cultural and dietary needs for food and refreshments.
  • Use these events as opportunities to share important school news or accomplishments.
  • Involve local businesses as sponsors or contributors.
  • Capture the moments with photos and share them on social media.

10. Reading & Learning Challenges

Whether it’s a “Read-A-Thon” where families log their reading hours, or a “Math-A-Thon” competition where parents and kids solve puzzles together, these challenges offer a rewarding and exciting experience for the whole school community. Not only do they promote educational development, but they also provide a platform for parents to actively participate in their children’s learning journey. They can also be excellent fundraising opportunities for PTAs! Learn how to create an “A-Thon” fundraiser with FutureFund here.

Best Practices

  • Announce challenges well in advance to allow for ample preparation time.
  • Use both offline and online platforms like FutureFund to track participation and progress.
  • Offer enticing rewards like certificates or small gifts to keep motivation high.
  • Incorporate a wide variety of subjects and interests to ensure there’s something for everyone.
  • Celebrate the results with a special ceremony or event, giving parents and children the chance to share their experiences and achievements.

By adopting these methods, your PTA can create an environment that not only fosters educational excellence but also builds a strong, supportive, and engaged community. The key is to be proactive, open, and inclusive when planning and leading activities.

After all, it takes a village to raise a child—and a vibrant PTA to create a thriving school community. Get started with FutureFund today to access tools that make parent engagement easier than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions about Using FutureFund for Parent Engagement

What Parent Engagement Tools Does FutureFund Have?

FutureFund reduces unnecessary paperwork and automates key administrative tasks so that your parent volunteers can do more meaningful work in less time. Key features include:

  • Volunteer Sign-Up: Make it easier for volunteers to sign-up by uploading all the forms they need to your account—so they can spend less time on paperwork.
  • Online Directory: Track all your members across different levels and store their contact information in a secure database that’s easy for your admins to navigate and edit.
  • Messaging System: Keep the people who need to know in the loop with customizable messaging tools that make it easy to reach your whole organization or specific audiences.
  • Parent Site: Provide useful resources to parents by creating a dedicated hub for them—plus use it to provide your members with discounts and other perks!

How Much Does FutureFund Cost?

FutureFund is 100% free for schools! When you sell merchandise or other items through your online store, purchasers pay a platform fee of 4.9% + $0.30 per transaction—this covers the cost of credit card processing and maintaining the platform. Check and cash payments are always free.

Where Can I Upload Waivers & Permission Slips for Parents?

FutureFund lets you add waivers or permission slips to individual fundraising campaigns. You can customize these documents for any trip or event you’re planning—just go to Store > Campaigns > View > Design and click “Upload” in the “Attachments” portion of the screen.

Uploading waivers and permission slips for FutureFund campaign

Where Can I Get the Shareable Link for My Campaign?

Sharing a campaign you created with FutureFund is easy! Just go to Store > Campaigns > View > Design > Share. You’ll get a link and a QR code that parents can scan to go straight to the page for your campaign!

Using FutureFund to share link for campaign with parents via social media

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