Fundraising is the method of raising money to finance PTA programs and projects.
The fundraising project must support the goals of PTA and be related to the educational, charitable and philanthropic purposes as a tax-exempt organization. When planning the year’s activities, PTAs should use the 3-to-1 Rule: There should be at least three non-fundraising programs aimed at helping parents or children or advocating for school improvements, for every one fundraiser.
The California State PTA Toolkit provides guidelines and best practices for fundraising.
What types of fundraising activities do PTAs typically engage in?
PTAs engage in a wide variety of fundraising activities from the more traditional merchandise sales to creative Jog-a-Thons and Reading Rallies. Many PTAs are also utilizing online platforms as a way to further enhance fundraising efforts.
How do PTA’s typically use funds that they raise? What are the most common uses for those funds?
Each local PTA is encouraged to assess its needs annually and to develop a program plan that provides for their unique concerns. Many PTAs fund academic enrichment programs, such as field trips or after-school art, drama, music, math and reading programs. Many PTAs also fund events and activities that promote family engagement at school, to strengthen home and school relationships. Other PTAs support heath programs, safety and physical education.
Due to devastating cuts to the state budget in recent years, PTAs were increasingly filling the gaps and helping to fund basics such as classroom supplies and equipment as well as librarians and school nurses.
What type of oversight is in place to protect funds raised by PTAs?
California State PTA provides guidance, support and training in board fiduciary duties and governance. PTA financial safeguards include: the requirement for a minimum of two people to handle and account for money received; two signatures required for payment authorization; two signatures on checks; regular reporting of income, expenses and budgets; semiannual financial reviews; regular reporting and reconciliation of bank statements; and tracking of source documents including receipts, invoices, bills, deposits, etc. PTA councils and districts also provide support and oversight for local units.