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Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Top Fundraising Tools for Schools

Using the right tools to run your fundraisers is vital for their success. Here’s a list of the best fundraising tools for schools and PTAs, including FutureFund and several others that we consider valuable.

Published on March 3, 2023

How to Run a Membership Campaign

What should you do to make your PTA or PTO’s next membership campaign succeed? Learn all about setting up and executing a membership campaign here, with help from the Future Fund team.
How to Run a Membership Campaign

PTAs, PTOs, and volunteers across the country power their fundraising campaigns with FutureFund. 100% of all funds raised go directly to your school!

See how FutureFund works or book a demo to see how it can work for you.

Summary of Key Points:

  • Membership campaigns are designed to build a stable source of funding for PTAs or PTOs by acquiring and retaining new members for your organization.
  • Successful membership campaigns have four stages: planning & preparation, promotion & awareness, event organization & execution, and member registration & management.
  • To keep your membership campaign compliant with applicable laws and regulations, you’ll need to make sure your organization keeps accurate financial records, safeguards personal information for new and existing members, and more. Future Fund can help you stay compliant and make your campaign more efficient with built-in reporting tools, a member management system, and more.

Establishing and growing your PTA or PTO’s membership base is a key part of secure funds for your school and community. Membership campaigns are an excellent way to build this stable source of funding, while also engaging your community and increasing awareness about your organization’s mission.

However, running a successful membership campaign can be challenging—so the Future Fund is here to give you a few essential tips for success! Our online platform has helped countless PTAs and PTOs run successful membership campaigns with customizable marketing materials, a seamless payment process, and more. Read on as we walk you through the steps to launch and run a successful membership campaign.

What Is a Membership Campaign?

A membership campaign is a strategic effort to attract new members to your organization and retain current ones so that you have a reliable base of support. Membership campaigns typically have three goals:

  • Raise awareness
  • Build relationships
  • Drive growth
Email icon over laptop to symbolize outreach for membership campaign

Membership Campaigns Can Involve:

  • Direct mail or email outreach to potential and existing members
  • Social media and digital advertising campaigns
  • In-person events, such as membership drives and open houses
  • Targeted promotions, such as member referral programs and early-bird registration discounts
  • Collaboration with partner organizations or community groups
  • Volunteer-led outreach, such as phone banks or canvassing

Often, the most successful membership campaigns involve combining several of the approaches above—for example, your PTA or PTO might partner with a local business to support an in-person membership drive, then use an email outreach campaign and social media support to make people aware in advance. You should also sell memberships online to make joining your organization easy and accessible.

How Do Membership Campaigns Work?

To make your membership campaign succeed, you’ll need to set effective goals, share it with the community, use the right tools to collect data from new members who sign up, and more. Here’s a quick-start guide for building and running these campaigns in Future Fund:

Creating Your Campaign

Log into Future Fund, then click the “Store” tab on the left side of the screen. You’ll see a screen with insights about all your current campaigns:

Dashboard for Future Fund platform

From here, select the “Campaigns” tab and then click “Create Campaign” in the top-right corner:

List of campaigns created with Future Fund platform

Now you’ll see a list of options. Name your campaign and enter a description, then select “Membership” from the drop-down menu that says “Type”. Choose where the funds you collect during the campaign will go in the drop-down menu marked “Fund”.

Campaign Management window for Future Fund Membership Campaign

Once you’ve done that, choose the type of membership your campaign is for under “Membership Type”. Standard membership campaigns let you register whole families, parents, students, a parent and a student, or individuals.

Click “Create Campaign” at the bottom of the screen. This window will close automatically and your new membership campaign will be displayed on the “Campaigns” page.

Editing Your Campaign

Click the “View” button to the right of your campaign to see its dashboard, then click the “Design” button near the top of the page. Your screen should now look like this:

Sample Membership Campaign created in Future Fund

You can use this screen to upload an image for your campaign and see how it will look on your school’s online store. Click the “Edit” button in the “Settings” section to change your campaign’s details.

Campaign Management screen for Future Fund Membership Campaign

Ticking “Sell in the online store” makes your campaign publicly visible. You need to check this box if you want people to be able to sign up as members. Tick “Display this campaign in the store front” if you want to feature the membership campaign on your store’s front page.

Use the options in the “Campaign Availability” section to control when your membership campaign starts and ends. You can also make it unavailable if you reach your membership limit before the designated end date.

Under “Advanced Options”, you’ll be able to make donations by new members tax deductible. You’ll also be able to choose a style of membership card to send new members, and select a form for them to complete as part of the sign-up process.

Membership campaigns can be linked to videos on YouTube or Vimeo as well. Once you’ve filled out all these sections, click “Update Campaign” to save your changes and close this window.

Promoting & Monitoring Your Membership Campaign

Once your campaign is running, you can use Future Fund to help share it with potential new members. Do this by clicking the “Share” button on your Campaign’s page to get a link and QR code you can send out via email and social media.

Share screen for Membership Campaign created in Future Fund

Once people start signing up for membership, click the “Orders” button to see how many new members have joined:

Orders screen showing members signed up during Future Fund Membership Campaign

Reporting On Your Campaign’s Success

Once your membership campaign is over, you can use Future Fund to create reports showing the results. Do this by going back to the “Store” tab and clicking the “Reports” button.

Reports screen for Future Fund

Use this screen to generate a summary of your campaign or other types of reports for more specific purposes. This will help you keep accurate records of the members you acquired on each campaign, and the amounts you raised so you can remain tax compliant and keep your books balanced.

PTA members looking at privacy policy to symbolize compliance

Via Adobe Stock.

Your PTA or PTO needs to be aware of the following legal issues when planning and executing any membership campaign:

  • Data & Privacy Compliance: different federal and state laws will apply to your organization when collecting and storing personal information from members. Future Fund is built to be compliant with privacy laws across the US.
  • Transparency: providing required information about how funds raised will be used and maintaining accurate financial records (Future Fund can help with this).
  • Vetting Members & Volunteers: following local and state guidelines for volunteer background checks and screening, if required in your area.
  • Financial Reporting & Tax Compliance: assuming your membership drive also collects revenue from items or services sold at in-person or online events, you’ll have to ensure that all required taxes are accounted for and that you keep accurate financial records.

Being aware of the laws that apply to your PTA or PTOs membership drives can help you avoid the penalties that come with noncompliance, which could impact future fundraising efforts. If you are unsure of the specific laws and rules you must follow, we recommend consulting with a legal professional.

Putting Your Membership Campaign in Motion with Future Fund

Setting clear goals for your membership campaign and building an organized strategy to achieve them will set you up to grow your PTA or PTO reliably. From there, it’s just a matter of using tools that help you promote and run your campaign while remaining in compliance with applicable regulations and laws.

Use the information above to carry out your next campaign and create a broad base of support for future activities that benefit your school. For more information on how our platform can help you gain members or manage your organization’s activities, get started with Future Fund for free here.

How to run a membership campaign pinterest asset

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