PTA fundraising activities are carried out by a committee whose chairman is an appointed or elected member of the executive board. The committee may include the treasurer, the publicity chairman, the room representative coordinator, the principal, a faculty member, the president (ex officio) and others appointed by the president. PTA fundraising activities are carried out by a committee whose chairman is an appointed or elected member of the executive board. The committee may include the treasurer, the publicity chairman, the room representative coordinator, the principal, a faculty member, the president (ex officio) and others appointed by the president.
The major responsibility of the fundraising committee is to raise the amount needed to meet the proposed unit budget. The unit share of per capita dues is usually insufficient to meet all organizational expenses including but not limited to: insurance, postage, mileage, duplicating costs, paper, telephone, publications (newsletters and fliers), hospitality, representation at state convention, Honorary Service Awards, student aid, reimbursement of chairmen’s out-of-pocket expenses and attendance at other workshops by various unit chairmen.
One fundraising event may generate enough income to meet all costs, but if a PTA association votes to fund a special project in addition to meeting budgeted expenses, an additional event may be necessary. It also may be necessary to raise funds for an emergency or other urgent need. Special assessments and frequent solicitation of contributions from members are unwise. They are irritating to many, and may embarrass and drive away those who cannot afford them. In addition, special assessments place an emphasis on money that is out of proportion to its importance in PTA work.
PTA funds are raised and used for purposes approved by the association in advance of any fundraising event. No contract may be signed nor expense incurred without advance association approval of the event. This approval must be recorded in the minutes. Contracts should be signed by two elected officers, one of whom must be the president.
Please read the contract carefully prior to signing. Do not sign any contract that makes the PTA responsible for all injury and damages, or when there is a Hold Harmless Agreement with the other party. PTA MUST NOT sign a Hold Harmless Agreement (PTA Use of School Facilities, Budgeting). (Signing such a contract naming the PTA responsible may increase PTA’s liability and the amount PTA might have to pay, if a claim occurs.)
If there are questions about a contract, please have the California State PTA insurance broker review it prior to signing. Call the California State PTA office (916.440.1985) to obtain the number of the insurance broker.
What to Do
- Study and become familiar with the PTA Noncommercial Policy and with any instructions given by the council or district PTA.
- Become familiar with state and local requirements for fundraising projects:
- School district policy on use of school grounds, equipment and food services;
- Local permits needed for charitable solicitations or sales;
- State and local laws regulating games of chance (Legal Raffles for PTA, Operation of Bingo Games and Poker Nights);
- Local regulations for public gatherings (e.g., fire, curfew, traffic, food sales, health and safety).
- Plan activities to be within the standards and qualifications of PTA’s general liability insurance. Refer to the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide that is updated and mailed annually to unit presidents. If you have any questions or concerns about the event contact the California State PTA insurance broker. Never sign a Hold Harmless Agreement on behalf of the PTA (PTA Use of School Facilities, Hold Harmless Agreement). If the PTA is asked to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement for any reason, the PTA should contact the California State PTA insurance broker. When directed by the insurance broker to sign the “Facilities Use Permit Addendum” for events held on public school campuses, locate the form in the Toolkit, Forms. Contact information for the California State PTA insurance broker can be obtained from the California State PTA office.
- Hold committee meetings early in the PTA year for pre-planning before presenting recommendations to the executive board and association. Evaluate all proposed activities to ensure that they will
- comply with all laws, school regulations, health and safety requirements;
- be inexpensive, involve many members and be fun;
- respect religious and ethnic groups in the community;
- not exploit children;
- not burden school staff;
- not compete with nor detract from the school lunch and nutrition program;
- not involve commercial or advertising obligations;
- not conflict with other PTA, school or community events;
- create goodwill for PTA in the community.
- Remember: plans for any proposed fundraising project must be presented to the association for approval and must be recorded in the minutes. Any bills connected with the event will be paid from the gross income. Only the net profit belongs to the PTA, and it must be spent for the purpose(s) for which it was raised.
- If needed, a small amount of funds approved by the executive board (not exceeding the amount authorized in the bylaws/standing rules) may be advanced for deposits or other supply expenses before the event.
- If a detailed outline of the fundraising chairman’s responsibilities is not included in the procedure book, make one for the successor. Assign specific tasks to members of the committee (subcommittee chairmen), such as invitations, publicity, tickets, food, work schedule, telephone calling, entertainment, equipment, games, first aid, clean up, etc. Recruit additional help or solicit donated materials by circulating questionnaire(s) to members. Do NOT use children to sell door-to-door. Do NOT exploit children to raise funds.
- Clear date(s) with the school and community calendars, reserve needed facilities and local equipment and obtain any required permits well in advance of the event.
- Make firm arrangements with concessionaires. Be absolutely sure any concessionaire is fully covered by his own liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation. Have concessionaire sign a Hold Harmless Agreement, Budgeting, found in the California State PTA Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide and the California State PTA Toolkit, Forms. The unit should obtain a copy of the concessionaire’s certificate of insurance. Contact the district PTA or PTA insurance broker if you have any questions.
- Make arrangements with the PTA’s bank for a night bank deposit. If money cannot be deposited in the bank immediately, establish advance arrangements with the school principal to use the school safe. It is recommended the PTA purchase a small safe or lock box to place inside of the school safe Prior to placing money in the school safe, two PTA executive board members must count it. The principal may require that a school representative verify the documentation.
- It is essential that at least two persons count money together and complete a Cash Verification Form. Funds should never be handled by one person alone. It is unfair for any individual to be required to have the sole responsibility for PTA funds or to be expected to prove that the total of monies received is correct. Money should be counted at the event by the chairman and the treasurer or financial secretary. The treasurer (or financial secretary) should issue a receipt for all money received and deposit the funds in a PTA bank account. Itemized bills, sales slips, etc., are given to the treasurer for payment by check, and the final accounting report is given to the association and filed for audit. Pay everything by check; NEVER USE CASH.
Some Suggested Fundraising Activities*
After-school Treats Gift Wrap Sales
Art and Craft Activities Hobby Show
Auction/Silent Auction I.D. Bracelets
Book Fairs Salvage, Recycling
Calendar Sales School Pictures, Family
Family Candy Sales Portraits, Silhouettes
Cookbook Sales Science Fairs
Snack Food at Games Dances
T-shirt, Sweatshirt Fashion Shows
Jacket, etc. Sales Talent, Variety Show
*Check with the school district to see if policy requires school district approval of all fundraisers or places any restrictions on fundraisers.
Refer to the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide before engaging in any activity.
After the event, hold committee meeting to evaluate event, collect written reports from subcommittee chairmen and prepare report for association and procedure book.
The name “PTA” is not to become an article of commerce or to be traded upon by others to promote their goods and services.
When selling a commercial product, the following disclaimer must be included in all publicity:
“This is a PTA fundraiser. Distribution of this information does not imply endorsement by PTA.”