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School Fundraising: Shop Local & Fundraise Too

Updated: May 26, 2023

There is a lot of talk about shopping locally during the holiday time. This is especially true during a pandemic where many small businesses face challenges. This year, while shopping, consider asking if the businesses you support would consider supporting your school.

Sign that says open in front of business.
Open Shop Sign

School Fundraising: What to ask for?

Here are the most common items to ask for when school fundraising:

  • Item Donation. If it is a toy store, ask for a toy. If you have a salon, ask for a shampoo/conditioner combo. Whatever the store carries, they may have some extra goods set aside for donation. These items can be auctioned off in an online (or in-person) auction for your school.

  • Gift Card. Whether a $5 card for coffee or a $50 card for a retail location, gift cards are valuable and popular. No matter the amount, it can be auctioned off at a school auction or used to support local families in need.

  • Discount Code. Your local business may want to offer a discount code - e.g., 10% off any purchase with the code. You can then offer that code to PTA members only, encouraging people to join your PTA. You can also offer it to anyone who volunteers or donates.

  • Percent of Proceeds. You can ask a local business to donate a percentage of their proceeds on a certain day to your school. The most common percentage is 10%, but I have seen it range from 5%-20%. It is also typical to do all proceeds in a single day, but I have also seen it over a longer period or only a percentage of the sales where the customer asks for the proceeds to be donated. You can work with your local business on the format.

How to ask?

  • In Person, While Shopping. The best results are usually obtained when asking while shopping at the business. It shows your support, and the business is more willing to support you. Ask for the manager, share 2-3 sentences about your organization, and ask whether they are willing to support you. You can mention the four types of support (above) and see what they are willing to do.

  • In Writing or by Phone. You should address any communications to a manager. Here is a template you can use for making the ask.

Dear Store Manager,
  I am a ABC School PTA member and customer of your store that is writing to ask for your support of our local schools. The ABC School PTA supports and advocate for children in our school and families in our community. We could not enrich the children's educational experience without the generosity of businesses like yours. 

We hope that you will consider supporting our school by sending a gift card of any amount to [insert address]. All gift cards will be used to support a local family in need or raise money at our school auction. If you prefer, we are also open to designating a day where we ask people to visit your store and you donate a portion of the sales to our PTA. If you are interested in this, please call me at 555-555-5555. 

We hope we can count on you for your support and I look forward to my next visit to your store.

Thank you for your consideration,
PTA Parent

These are just a few tips you can use during this holiday season: Happy holidays, and best of luck with your PTA fundraising.



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