Published on March 1, 2023

How to Run a Pledge Campaign

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

  • Pledge campaigns differ from other fundraising campaigns by focusing on activities that students participate directly in. These campaigns are excellent ways to encourage families and friends of students to make donations.
  • Successful pledge campaigns should focus on an event participants can watch (“A-Thon” style events like Walk-A-Thons are great ideas). They’ll also need to be carefully planned, promoted, and run—so that donations can be collected properly and accurate reports can be generated.
  • Pledge campaigns need to follow the same rules and regulations as other types of fundraisers to ensure compliance (although you won’t have to worry about restrictions on selling goods, since that’s not how you’ll be raising funds). Future Fund’s platform is designed for easy compliance, and also provides financial reporting and donation collecting tools.

A pledge campaign is a special way to raise funds for your PTA or PTO by encouraging supporters to donate money in support of students who participate in activities or events. These campaigns are particularly effective at encouraging each participating student’s family members and friends to donate, since they’ll be invested in watching the student succeed!

Pledge campaigns can be powerful, but they can also take a lot of careful planning to set up and execute properly. We built Future Fund to help streamline the process with automatic registration, donation management tools, and more—so in this blog, we’ll share what we’ve learned about successful pledge campaigns and show you what it takes to run one.

What Is a Pledge Campaign?

Pledge campaigns differ from other types of fundraising campaigns because they focus on supporting students and celebrating their accomplishments. The most effective pledge campaigns usually involve students participating in events that supporters can witness directly—at Future Fund, we call these types of events “A-Thons”.

Examples of “A-Thons” for Pledge Campaigns Include:

Read More About A-Thon Campaigns Here

Having an event that people can witness makes your pledge campaign exciting and gives it a sense of urgency that can compel people to donate if they’re on the fence, or encourage them to donate more than they might otherwise.

Student with award after successful pledge campaign

Via Adobe Stock.

How Do Pledge Campaigns Work?

Every pledge campaign requires diligent planning, effective promotion, a way to collect and organize pledges during the event itself, and compliance tools for accurate reporting afterward. Here’s how you can run a successful pledge campaign with Future Fund:

Creating Your Campaign

Log into Future Fund, then click the tab marked “Store” on the left of the screen. Here you can see key details about current campaigns.

Dashboard for FutureFund platform

Now click the “Campaigns” tab and go to “Create Campaign” in the top-right:

chart of all campaign in the futurefund backend

This brings up the Campaign Management window with a list of options. Name your campaign and enter a description, then select “Pledge A Thon” from the first drop-down menu. Use the next drop-down menu to choose the account the funds you collect will go into.

new campaign creating in futurefund backend

Once you’ve done that, you can fill in the different amounts donors can pledge during the campaign and write an email template participants will be able to customize and send when trying to recruit pledges.

When you’re done, click the “Create Campaign” button. This window will now close and your pledge campaign will show up on the “Campaigns” page.

Editing Your Campaign Details

Click the “View” button for your campaign to see its dashboard, then click the “Design” button at the top of the page. You’ll see a screen where you can change the details of this specific campaign.

campaign summary in the backend of futurefund

Here, you’ll be able to upload an image for your campaign and see a preview of what it will look like on your school’s online store. To change the details of this campaign, click the “Edit” button in the “Settings” section of the screen.

campaign management tool

Ticking “Make pledge available for sale” makes your campaign publicly visible. You’ll only want to check the box underneath that one if links have been shared for a campaign that’s sold out or no longer running.

You can also use this window to make pledges to your campaign tax deductible or attach a video via YouTube or Vimeo.

Promoting & Sharing Your Pledge Campaign

Sharing your pledge campaign is essential to its success, which is why Future Fund has built-in tools to make this easy. 

Click the “Share” button on your Campaign’s page and you’ll get a link that can be sent out to sign up participants (every participant who signs up will get their own unique link that they can use to collect donations during the campaign).

pledge sign up link in the backend of Futurefund

Once people start signing up for your campaign, click the “Participants” button for a list of everyone who’s collecting pledged donations and how much they’ve raised.

table of all sign ups in the backend of Futurefund

Reporting On Your Campaign’s Success

After your pledge campaign ends, Future Fund can create reports summarizing the results. Just go back to the “Store” tab and click “Reports” near the top of the screen.

store report sections in the backend of Futurefund

Selecting “Campaign Summary” from the drop-down menu will give you an overview of how well your pledge campaign did—making it easier to plan successful campaigns in the future and follow compliance regulations pertaining to your PTA or PTO.

PTA meeting with parents asking questions about compliance matters

Via Adobe Stock.

PTAs and PTOs need to be compliant with the same laws and regulations as all other fundraising campaigns. Make sure you are aware of your organization’s obligations in the following areas:

  • Tax Exempt Status: while your PTA or PTO may be a tax-exempt organization, you’ll still need to follow all applicable reporting requirements and abide by restrictions on political activities.
  • Compliance with State and Local Laws: these might include charity registration requirements, consumer protection laws, and advertising and marketing restrictions.
  • Liability and Insurance: you’ll need to make sure potential legal liabilities are covered for any events you hold on or off campus and make sure you have proper insurance coverage.
  • Data Privacy and Security: your organization must follow all applicable data privacy and security laws when collecting, storing, and using personal data from students participating in the pledge campaign or the donors who support them.

If you aren’t sure what specific laws or rules apply to your upcoming pledge campaign, we strongly recommend that you seek legal counsel. Future Fund is designed to make compliance easier by keeping all collected personal data secure and generating accurate financial reports, so this is one way to avoid potential legal issues.

Powering Up Your Pledge Campaign with Future Fund

Once you’ve decided on the kind of event or activity your pledge campaign will be based on and planned the event, you just need to put the word to your school and community—then make sure you can collect, track, and report the results! To learn more about how we can help you with promoting and implementing your campaign, get started with Future Fund here. Together, we’ll help you set up your pledge campaign for success.

How to run a pledge campaign

Use FutureFund for Free

See what other parents and schools are saying about us!

Recent Posts

10 Exciting Back to School Fundraiser Ideas

10 Exciting Back to School Fundraiser Ideas

Sell school supplies, hold a welcome-back breakfast, and more with FutureFund’s powerful fundraising tools. We’ll show you 10 ideas that are perfect for the start of the school year and give you tips on running them effectively with our platform.

What Your PTA Treasurer Report Should Include (& How to Format It)

What Your PTA Treasurer Report Should Include (& How to Format It)

How can you make the best possible treasurer report for your PTA, what should you put in it, and how can you format it effectively? Find out here with help from the FutureFund team and benefit from our years of experience helping PTAs streamline their financial duties.

The Ultimate PTA Treasurer Report Template

The Ultimate PTA Treasurer Report Template

Make your next PTA treasurer report a breeze with this ready-made template! We include fields for income, expenses, and more—along with helpful information on tools you can use to calculate these amounts in less time.

Guide: How to Raise Funds for Field Trips Using FutureFund

Guide: How to Raise Funds for Field Trips Using FutureFund

Fundraising for your upcoming class field trip doesn’t have to be hard. Use FutureFund’s ready-made campaigns, built-in payment processing, ecommerce features, and more to raise the money you’ll need to give your students an off-campus experience they’ll never forget.

Related Posts

10 Exciting Back to School Fundraiser Ideas

10 Exciting Back to School Fundraiser Ideas

Sell school supplies, hold a welcome-back breakfast, and more with FutureFund’s powerful fundraising tools. We’ll show you 10 ideas that are perfect for the start of the school year and give you tips on running them effectively with our platform.

read more