As a member of a school PTA, you know that securing additional funding to enhance your school’s activities, provide rewards for students, or even offer essential services can be a real struggle at times.

Parent-teacher associations play an important role in their schools by facilitating conversations, providing volunteers for events, and serving as the frontline for fundraising!

Your PTA’s members are busy parents and teachers. That means your fundraising ideas need to be relatively easy, quick, and creative. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top 25 picks for the best (easy and creative) PTA fundraising ideas.

These ideas can easily be adapted for any school or grade level. All your fundraising team needs to do is take a creative view of any new ideas. You’ll be brainstorming your next fundraising breakthrough in no time!

In a hurry? Check out our top PTA fundraising idea now! Funds2Orgs can help your school raise more support than ever.

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Shoe drive fundraisers are the perfect PTA fundraising idea for groups of all sizes.

Our Top PTA Fundraising Idea

Shoe drive fundraisers are an easy and effective PTA fundraising choice.1. Shoe Drive Fundraisers

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Shoe drive fundraisers are an extremely effective choice for PTAs and schools of all sizes! They’re a fast and easy way to raise money, plus they’ll engage the community too.

Why shoes? There are a few reasons shoe drive fundraisers are a reliable choice for school fundraising:

    • Kids are constantly outgrowing their shoes!
    • Parents appreciate the chance to declutter and support your PTA.
    • Everyone in your community has a pair or two that they never wear.
    • Donating gently worn, used and new shoes is an easy way to repurpose footwear, a difficult-to-upcycle item.
    • Shoe drive fundraisers often provide a lesson in small-scale global philanthropy!

Here at Funds2Orgs, we can take care of your shoe drive fundraiser from start to finish! We’ll help you raise more than ever in a unique, engaging, and (most importantly) easy way. You simply contact Funds2Orgs, set the time-frame and goals for your fundraiser, receive your free fundraising materials, then start collecting shoes!

Best of all, there are no out-of-pocket costs for your PTA or school. This explainer video can provide more information:

Shoe drive fundraisers are a particularly great choice for school or PTA fundraising because it’s so easy to combine them with other fundraising events and campaigns!

Once you start your shoe drive fundraiser, just be sure to remind your students, teachers, and parents to bring their used shoes to every event, sports game, and meeting. You’ll reach your goal in no time!

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Read through our other favorite PTA fundraising ideas!

Other Easy PTA Fundraising Ideas


Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are a smart fundraising idea for any PTA.2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

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Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are an excellent way to get your whole community engaged with your PTA’s fundraising — digitally!

Top volunteers in your PTA will host their own campaign pages, which they then promote to their friends, family, and coworkers on social media. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns also make great additions to any major fundraising events you might be planning. Create an online campaign to lead up to your fall festival, for instance.

Check out Qgiv’s guide to the best peer-to-peer fundraising platforms for more information about these campaigns and the kinds of resources available.


A creative movie night is a great PTA fundraising idea for your school.3. Drive-in Movie Party

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Does your school have a large paved blacktop or open field? Borrow some projection equipment for a night, choose an age-appropriate movie or two to screen, pop some corn, and create your own retro drive-in movie theater!

Go all-in on the retro theme for maximum effect. Plenty of schools and PTAs offer movie nights to their students and families, but a themed party like this will kick it up a notch!

Charge for admission, speaker rental, and concessions. Or ask attendees to bring a few pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes in exchange for a ticket!


4. Quiz Bowl Challenge

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Everyone loves a good trivia night! Promote your event, collect trivia questions, organize them into categories, and recruit a volunteer to serve as the Alex Trebek for the night.

Have teams pay a sign-up fee when they register, charge admission at the door, or simply sell concessions to participants and audience members. Think of a fun twist for the competition like kids vs. parents or kids vs. teachers.

Incorporate other fundraising elements into your trivia night, like a community supper, raffle, or school auction. Just be sure to offer great prizes for the night’s winners!


Text-to-give tools are a smart investment that can boost all your future PTA fundraising ideas.5. Text-to-Give Campaign

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Text-to-give donation platforms have quickly become an important way that organizations of all sizes raise funds and engage their supporters. Your PTA can do the same!

A great text-to-give service is a strong investment in your fundraising abilities since it’s easy to ask event attendees to pull out their smartphones and make a fast donation. Imagine if half the spectators at your school’s biggest game of the year made a text-to-give donation!

Check out this comprehensive text-to-give guide from Snowball for more information and ideas about how to incorporate this valuable tool into your PTA’s fundraising strategies.


Matching gifts are an easy way your PTA can boost its fundraising efforts year-round!6. Matching Gift Drive

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Matching gifts are an extremely underutilized form of fundraising! The parents of your school’s students likely work at companies that offer corporate philanthropy programs. These programs will often match eligible financial donations that their employees make.

This means you can effectively double the impact of their donations by simply asking your supporters to check their employers’ matching gift programs!

You can hold a standalone matching gift drive or easily incorporate it into your other fundraising activities and campaigns, both on and offline.


Inviting parents to share and sell their crafts is a new twist on an old PTA fundraising idea.7. Parents Craft and Hobby Fair

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Craft fairs are a classic, community-based fundraising event, but here’s a twist that’s sure to get parents more excited. Plan and host an event that lets parents show off their hobbies and crafts.

More and more, adults enjoy using their free time pursuing productive hobbies, like art, woodworking, gardening, ceramics, and more. Some of the parents at your school might even have their own online stores where they offer their crafts for sale.

Why not invite them to share their crafts with the community? Set up booths then sell tickets, refreshments, or request a small percentage of any proceeds earned during the event. Events like these are a great opportunity to promote your shoe drive fundraiser, too!


8. Photo Sales

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This is an excellent strategy for PTA groups of all sizes, particularly as an elementary school PTA fundraiser. Parents of young students will love the chance to purchase candid photos of their children!

Rent one or two nice, professional-grade digital cameras for an extended period, then assign PTA volunteers to attend school events and take photos. Field day, graduation ceremonies, and plays are all great examples. Next, offer digital or printed copies of the pictures to the parents of the students in the photos for a reasonable price.

Parents are used to purchasing yearly school portraits, but high-quality candid photos from school events are sure to catch their attention!


9. Percentage Night

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Get in touch with a local family-friendly restaurant to organize a special percentage fundraiser! This can be an especially easy PTA fundraising idea since many restaurant chains already have percentage fundraising programs in place to partner with local schools.

Be sure to get creative, too! Offer your students special rewards or tickets to boost attendance and the effectiveness of your percentage fundraiser.

For example, you might get permission to sell ice cream and dessert at a booth in the parking lot, or you can give out coupons for the restaurant in exchange for pairs of shoes for your shoe drive fundraiser!


A fall festival is a classic PTA fundraising choice that can engage the whole community!10. Fall Festival

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Fall festivals are another classic event for elementary school PTA fundraising. What better way to celebrate the start of autumn and the beginning of a new school year than a fun festival for the whole community?

Solicit in-kind donations of equipment and concessions, and take your time planning the entire event. Fall festivals can easily be scaled larger or smaller based on the resources and time at your disposal, but a festival with tons of activities will attract more donors!

You might sell tickets to the festival, refreshments, or crafts. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate other fundraising elements. Promote your shoe drive fundraiser, hold a rummage sale, sell raffle tickets, and take photos!


11. Perfect Donation Forms

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This PTA fundraising idea might be a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that you need to offer your supporters an easy way to make donations even when you’re not hosting a fundraising event! Simply offering an online outlet can go a long way to boost donations, since many parents might be unable to attend your events but still want to support your PTA.

That’s where online donation forms come in. A perfect donation form or page is easy to include on your website, social media page, or email newsletter. Promote it wherever your members and supporters regularly go to check for updates from your PTA.

There are a few best practices for donation form design that you should follow. Check out Donately’s custom donation pages for examples of strong design.


12. Crowdfunding Campaign

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Here’s another easy way to boost online donations to your school’s PTA: conduct an online crowdfunding campaign! These campaigns work especially well when targeted towards a very specific project or goal.

For example, create a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for your upcoming fall festival! Promote it to your community, and raise some support to help you hold a more exciting event with more activities to engage more donors than ever. Other examples might include raising funds for a new mural or welcome sign for the school, or other specific projects.

If you hold a crowdfunding campaign, be sure to explore all the alternative platforms out there. Some are designed specifically to meet the needs of school or community-based groups.


Raise money for your PTA by holding a t-shirt design contest!13. T-Shirt Design Contest

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T-shirts are a school fundraising staple and for a good reason! Everyone loves receiving a t-shirt. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, great for building school spirit, and easy to promote.

Get the whole school (and parents) excited for your t-shirt sale by holding a design contest. Students can submit and vote on their favorite designs for the kids shirt, then parents can do the same for adult sizes.

Find a printing service that offers flexible options and includes no order minimums on custom t-shirts, then start promoting your contest!


14. Direct Mail Campaign

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Never underestimate the power of a letter, postcard, or invitation! Donors enjoy being reminded that you value their support, especially when you take the time and effort to do so through a direct mail campaign.

Generate a mailing list from your donors and email recipients, then write the perfect donation solicitation message. Communication is the goal here, whether that’s to ask for donations or explain new initiatives.

For example, you could send letters welcoming the parents of new students to the community, inviting them to pledge their support or join your PTA. You could send a special holiday or summertime postcard. Or you might send invitations to your fundraising events or explanations for your fundraising drives.


Hosting a board game tournament for kids and parents is an easy PTA fundraising idea.15. Board Game Tournament

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Organizing a board game tournament for your students and parents is an incredibly easy way to hold a relaxed, cost-effective fundraising event.

Gather some board games, choose an evening and location, like the school cafeteria, then promote your event. Be sure to offer exciting prizes for all the winners!

You can charge attendees a small registration fee, or ask a local pizza restaurant for in-kind donations and sell concessions instead. Board game tournaments are effective low-cost fundraising events because parents will appreciate the chance to take their kids out for inexpensive entertainment and support your PTA.


A themed auction night is fun PTA fundraising idea that will excite everyone!16. Fancy Auction Night

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Help your school host its own faux-fancy gala and auction night! Kids and parents will have a blast dressing to the nines and placing bids on unique prizes.

Research school auction software and start planning your fancy night with a unique theme in mind. “The Roaring Twenties” or “Mad Men Sixties” could be great themes to get parents excited. Solicit in-kind donations of items or services from local businesses to auction at your event.

The kinds of items you procure should reflect the expectations of your school’s parents, so be careful not to shoot too high or low. Consider making it a silent auction if parents might feel more comfortable with that style of event. What matters most is that auctions, no matter how serious or tongue-in-cheek, are special and worthy of a fun themed party.


17. School Picnic

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Spring and early summer are the perfect times to organize a school picnic PTA fundraiser, maybe even on the last day of school before summer vacation begins!

Work with your school to organize a special picnic event for students and parents, to be held on school grounds or in a nearby public park. Plan some additional activities, too, like kite-flying contests, photo booths, or potato sack races.

There are a few ways to raise funds with a picnic. Your PTA can sell pack lunches that you make yourselves, or you can solicit in-kind donations of food from a local restaurant to sell to your picnic attendees. This is a great opportunity to promote your fundraising drives, too!


18. Parents’ Night Out

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Hosting a parents’ night is a classic PTA fundraising event. Depending on your resources and fundraising goals, you can make your parents’ party as elaborate or as simple as you want.

For instance, you can organize a very cost-effective networking or community mixer for parents to be hosted in your school cafeteria. Ask a local restaurant for donations of food and drink to sell, or simply ask attendees to make donations using a giving kiosk.

For an even more engaging parents’ party, partner with a local restaurant or bar to host your event and share a percentage of the night’s profits. Busy parents will especially enjoy this opportunity to support their PTA if you offer childcare back at the school, maybe by hosting a kids’ movie night at the same time.


19. Neighborhood Tour of Homes

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Here’s a unique PTA fundraising idea: host a themed neighborhood tour! Parents will be excited to get to know other each other, learn more about their neighbors, and support their local PTA.

Take your time planning and promoting this event. Ask for volunteers who want to invite tour guests to their homes or gardens, then organize a route. Pick a theme, like “Holiday Light Extravaganza,” “Spookiest Halloween Displays,” or “Springtime Garden Showcase.”

Raise money by charging for tickets, route maps, and refreshments, then be sure to let attendees vote on their favorite entrants in the neighborhood tour. Offer a fantastic donated prize to the top winners to ensure parents will be excited to volunteer!


Use your school’s field day as a springboard for new PTA fundraising ideas!20. Field Day Olympics

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Field days are a classic event for schools around the country, and they’re also a perfect opportunity for some PTA fundraising, too!

Work with your school to organize additional competitions and activities for your students and their parents to participate in. Then promote your Olympics and ask teams of students and their parents to register to compete for the gold, silver, and bronze medals!

Think of some other creative ways to raise money during field day, like refreshments, pack lunches, photo sales, or equipment rentals. This is a great opportunity to ask for donations of used shoes in exchange for free concessions, too.


21. Discount Card Fundraiser

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Discount cards and coupon books are among the most effective and reliable fundraising ideas out there! Plus, they allow you to capitalize on the important partnerships and relationships that your school has across the community.

Get in touch with popular local businesses and ask them to create special offers to be featured in your fundraising card or coupons. Businesses are often eager to get involved since a successful fundraiser represents a major source of advertising for them. Once you’ve compiled plenty of great offers, start promoting and selling your coupon books!

Services exist to create and print fundraising coupon books for you, but be sure to try your hand at it first! Your PTA will need to cover printing costs, but the excitement that a great discount card generates (for the whole community, not just parents) easily makes the effort worthwhile.


Your PTA can fundraise by baking and selling holiday pies to parents!22. Holiday Pie Sale

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Parents know all too well how stressful the holidays can be! They’ll be grateful for any opportunity to save themselves time or stress, particularly if they can support your PTA in the process.

Have members of your PTA volunteer to bake plenty of classic holiday treats, like pumpkin and pecan pies, then host a special bake sale event for parents. Offer them frozen pies that they can easily reheat just in time for their holiday dinners.

Promote your pie sale on your newsletters and with printed materials (like order forms) sent home with students. Create special offers, too! For example, one donation to your shoe drive fundraiser in exchange for a 10% off coupon.


23. Straw Draw Fundraiser

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The straw draw is a classic PTA fundraising idea that works wonderfully with other fundraising events and strategies. Here’s how it works: print a special prize certificate, roll it up, and insert it into the bottom of a plastic straw. Fill a large container with other plastic straws, then jumble them all up.

Charge students a small fee to pull one straw and test their luck! The prize might be a donated gift card, a free ice cream party, or anything else that’s sure to get students excited.

These fundraisers work great with other events and drives. For instance, offer one free straw draw in exchange for a pair of donated shoes, or feature a straw draw booth at your next fall festival!


A lip sync contest is a fun and easy PTA fundraising idea, too!24. Lip Sync Contest

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Host your own special twist on the classic karaoke night while tapping into the popularity of lip sync competition tv shows and viral videos!

Plan your event similarly to how you would a talent show, with concessions, speakers, and seating. Open up registration to students and parents, recruit some guest judges, gather prizes for winners, and prepare for the big night.

You might ask registrants to list a song they’d like to perform, so you can approve it and prepare the music ahead of time, or you might feature a themed twist to the competition. For instance, choose songs from just the 60s, 70s, or 80s, then let registrants sign up to perform one. Themes make it easy to include best costume or celebrity impersonation prizes, too!


25. Guessing Game Challenge

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Here’s another easy classic PTA fundraising idea: the guessing game. The traditional version of this game involves marbles or beans in a jar. Students then pay a small fee to enter their guesses, and at the end of the fundraiser, the closest guess receives a prize.

These fundraisers are a great low-cost option for PTAs of all sizes. Create a guessing game challenge for your school cafeteria, front office, or for individual classrooms.

Get creative and involve parents, too! Offer an exciting prize for adults and feature a guessing game at your next festival, holiday party, raffle night, or sports game! You might be surprised how excited parents will be to take part in simple, straightforward fundraisers like these.

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Our 45+ Favorite School Fundraising Ideas

Check out our comprehensive list of the best school fundraising ideas!

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