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4 things to do this spring to plan for back-to-school fundraising

May 29, 2024

4 things to do this spring to plan for back-to-school fundraising

Summer has a way of flying by every year. Blink and you’ll miss it kind of speed. Really, it seems like as soon as the school year finishes, the back to school sales are starting. That’s why the best thing you can do this spring is start laying the groundwork for your fall fundraising.

You know what those few weeks right before school starts are like. The mad scramble to get everything done doesn’t leave room for much else. But, doing these four things now will make future you thank present you a thousand times over.

Plan ahead #1: Work on your budget

Spring is the perfect time to get out your calculator and start your budget planning. Your budget holds the keys to understanding how much you’ll need to raise to accomplish your goals for the school year. 

Knowing your number will not only give you a head start on planning the best back to school fundraiser, but it will also help you map out other fundraisers for the year.

When you’re planning your budget, think about:

  • What the most recent budget was compared to the actual spend
  • How many events/activities do you plan to have for the year
  • How much expenses will increase over the previous year
  • A realistic projection of how much you’ll raise from all sources

Plan ahead #2: Set membership goals

There’s one thing that sets successful school-based organizations like PTAs, PTOs, and booster clubs apart from the pack, and it’s having a large and engaged membership. Getting the school and local community to become members of your organization is what will help fuel not only your budget, but also excitement for all of the fun and enriching events and activities you want to run throughout the year.

By taking time in the spring to map out your membership goals, you'll go into your fall membership drive knowing what you need to do to meet your numbers.

As you set your membership goals, consider:

  • How past membership drives have performed and if you’ll do anything differently 
  • What reasonable, realistic, and reachable goals look like
  • What resources you already have that you can use to reach your goals and what you may need
  • The key components of your membership campaign and how it will drive signups 

Plan ahead #3: Secure sponsorships

Going into fall knowing how much you've brought in from sponsorships will make it clearer how much your back-to-school fundraiser needs to generate. Give local businesses, organizations, and community members an easy way to get involved with your school through sponsorship packages that allow them to show their support while promoting their brand. 

Finding sponsors is easier than you think. In fact, lots of your supporters may have businesses or are leaders of companies that would love to show their support by partnering with you. Show the value sponsorship can provide and talk about the impact their support will have on the school.

Make sponsorship of your organization a no-brainer by: 

  • Offering sponsorship packages for different financial levels to fit various budgets
  • Designing multiple sponsorship packages with appealing perks like featuring sponsor logos on your website, in emails and social media posts, and on spirit wear
  • Being open to creating custom packages to suit a potential sponsor’s unique needs

Plan ahead #4: Get spirit wear sorted

When the school year kicks off, you want to have spirit wear ready to go, not waiting to be sorted out. That’s why spring is the perfect time to pick:

  • A vendor to fulfill your spirit wear
  • Perfect designs to print on your spirit wear
  • An assortment of different spirit wear items to offer

Getting students and the wider school community involved in creating and choosing designs for your spirit wear is a great way to pump up the excitement factor. Just make sure you lock down your design with plenty of time to either get your order printed and delivered or get everything set up in your store in time for open ordering.

Spring into action

Putting these pieces of your foundation in place before this school year ends means you’ll kick off the new year ready for your back-to-school fundraiser and to focus your energy and attention on the tons of other things on your to do list. Just a little work in the spring goes a long way for fall and you’ll be so glad you took the time to plan ahead.