If you’re a member of the PTO, PTA, or another school fundraising group, it’s important to keep local businesses in mind when planning an event. If you haven’t requested support from them before, don’t worry. We’ll get you on the right track. If you have, give yourself a pat on the back! Businesses in your community can be important partners as you strive to reach your goals.
Regardless if you are working alone or with a team, you’ll want to make a plan first. This includes compiling a list of goals, deciding on which businesses to contact, preparing letter/email drafts and phone scripts, and delegating tasks. If you want businesses to take your school fundraising program seriously, you need to be organized and professional. You also should keep good records of all of your activities (on paper or online, your choice). Chances are you’ll want some notes to refer to down the road!
OK, now that you’re prepared, it’s time to contact those businesses! Keep an open mind about the ways they can help you. Depending on what your event is, businesses can be beneficial in a variety of ways: making a donation of cash, supplies, or prizes; purchasing products like baked goods, crafts, or spirit wear merchandise
; or even volunteering. There’s a good chance that many of the area businesses have employees who either know someone who attends the school, attended the school themselves, or realize supporting the school is good publicity. Most will be aware of these benefits, but a friendly reminder isn’t a bad idea.
Your mother probably taught you to say “thank you,” and you have likely passed that same lesson on to your kids. So, don’t forget this important part of the process! Be sure to recognize businesses for supporting your school by sending them a “thank you” note, noting their contributions on social media or the school newsletter, or a combination. Your appreciation and public recognition will make the businesses more likely to support you with your next school fundraising program!