The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is the heart of a school and key to many of the events and extra-curricular activities that take place there.

Without funds, a PTO can’t pay for many of these activities, and schools cannot engage parents and students in the school community.

Luckily, most PTOs are fantastic at fundraising. Utilizing the same organizational skills they use to hold proms and sporting events, most PTOs are a veritable powerhouse of funding know-how. But PTO members should never get complacent about fundraising; good fundraising is always about maximizing the funds raised from any event, so PTOs need to get their marketing hats on if they want to excel.

Classful is an innovative online fundraising platform that can be used to advertise and collect funds from donors for PTOs and other school organizations across the US. Let’s see how forward-thinking PTOs can raise funds for their schools and use Classful to take their fundraising efforts online and maximize the amount of money raised for PTO-organized events and activities.

Education resources


What can PTO funds be used for?

PTO funds are an important source of funding for most schools across the US, and funds raised by the PTO go towards a huge range of activities and extras within a school. PTOs are usually in charge of organizing school-wide events, including dances, proms, movie nights, and even sporting events, and all of these are often primarily funded with PTO money. Decorations, food, and entertainment will all need to be paid for from PTO funds, and these costs can add up.

As well as this, PTO money often goes towards more run-of-the-mill expenses, including office supplies and printing costs associated with running the PTO and advertising PTO events. While these costs might seem unnecessary, there’s no point in organizing a school dance if you don’t have any flyers or posters to let people know about it. PTOs might also be responsible for funding meetings, family nights, memorials, and of course, the fundraisers themselves.

How to raise funds for your PTO

Due to the sheer amount of things that PTOs have to fund throughout the year, it’s no surprise that PTOs are always in need of more funding. Most PTOs will host numerous fundraisers throughout the year, often with a specific purpose: don’t be afraid to communicate the cause of your fundraisers. Students keen to attend the prom might be more likely to buy something from a yard sale if they know the proceeds are going towards funding their prom.

Some great ways to raise money for your PTO include:

  • Raffles. Make your raffle prizes more exciting and create custom raffle packages for ‘date night’ or ‘movie night.’
  • Auctions. Be creative with your items up for an auction; if any of your students study beauty courses, why not auction off a pedicure?
  • Penny Wars. Install empty jars into each classroom and hold a competition to see which class can fill theirs with donations the fastest.
  • Yard sales. Everyone loves a bargain, and yard sales are a great way to raise more funds for the PTO coffer.
  • Bake-sales. A classic fundraising idea, hold a bake sale for the PTO or make it more interesting with a unique bake sale theme.
  • Sponsored runs. Encourage sporty teachers to get their running shoes on for a sponsored 5k or organize a sponsored walk for students.
  • Quirky events. Whether you’re hosting a sponsored ice bucket challenge or selling tickets to throw cream pies at teachers, be creative.

This is just a small selection of events that can be organized to raise funds for the PTO. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with new and interesting fundraising ideas every year; with the number of fundraisers that most PTOs have to hold throughout the calendar year, it’s easy for students to get bored of the same old events. Mix it up, and no harm is done if something doesn’t work.

Raising PTO funds with Classful

PTOs shouldn’t need to stick to tried and tested routes for fundraising year in and year out. By taking your fundraisers online, you can hugely increase your fundraiser’s reach, potentially opening a fundraiser up for people from the other side of the world to donate. Raising money from ticket sales and physical collections is just one small segment of the pie; by collecting money online, PTOs can appeal to students’ extended families and friends, who may want to chip in to help the cause.

Using online platforms to raise money also makes online marketing simple, creating a single link that can be shared across school and PTO social media pages. Don’t just be satisfied with traditional paper marketing like flyers and posters; get the word out online and reach a whole new audience. PTOs can start this process with online platforms like Classful.

Classful is an online fundraising platform just for schools. We help hundreds of teachers, parents, and students to organize and collect funds and donations for events and causes around the US every year. List your event online, share your fundraiser’s page across social media, and watch the donations roll in. Using Classful is quick and simple, and donating to Classful is even simpler, which makes it the perfect platform for making your fundraisers more accessible.

Classful is designed for teachers and schools who want to take their fundraising online and make an impact. Sign up to Classful today and make your PTO fundraisers successful without breaking a sweat.