Fundraising through Lockdown – PTA Case Study

Fundraising this year has been hard. Parentkind estimate their member PTAs may have lost as much as £44.7m of their expected income this year with the cancellation of discos, summer fayres and other staple events of the PTA calendar.

As it looks like local lockdowns and restrictions will be with us for some time, we know many PTAs are wondering how they can keep funds coming in for their school through the winter and into 2021. We spoke to some PTAs who have used the move online as an opportunity to keep raising.  As the number of people shopping online this year soared, these PTAs have been making the most of easyfundraising and collecting donations when parents and staff shop online.

We asked them to tell their lockdown stories and offer their advice and top tips on making easyfundraising work for your PTA too.

Lubbesthorpe PTA

How did the coronavirus crisis affect your fundraising?

The crisis put a halt to all our fundraising activities. We recognised the increased financial pressure on families and didn’t want to push too hard. Since returning in September we are working to find new and fun ways of raising money.

What things did you do to keep fundraising going during lockdown?

We continued to promote easyfundraising as it was a way we could raise money at no extra costs to families.  It’s easy to do and you don’t have to worry about Covid or social distancing! Now more than ever we need this contact free/non-event fundraising.

How much have you raised with easyfundraising?

£551

How did you do it?

We posted regularly on our Facebook page and in our parent Whatsapp groups. We also shared our posts onto local community groups to help reach a wider audience and we have had some success by reaching out that way.

We used the really handy ready-made posts and marketing items that easyfundraising provide, including some Covid-19 specific promotional material which helped us to put into words how this was affecting our PTA.

We did have some new members sign up and we find regular promoting also reminds those parents that haven’t been active for a while to visit the site again. They are always keen to hear how we are doing.

Top tip?

Promotion, promotion and more promotion! Reach out to the wider community, you may be surprised! You can also use it for many of the PTA puchases so you can earn a bit back from the money you do have to spend.

The welcome call to get you started is great and the wide range of promotional material too is fantastic.

There are also a number of companies that will donate just for signing up to a free trial. You can raise £5 or more just by doing these so it’s easy way to raise funds quickly.

Register your PTA with easyfundraising

Friends of Holywell School

How did the coronavirus crisis affect your fundraising?

The coronavirus crisis affected our fundraising efforts massively! We had a few events planned that we had to cancel. We had already bought big chocolate eggs for all children in the school for our annual Easter trail and we had to take those back to the shop. We had also started preparations for our own summer music festival, Holywell Rocks! for a 4th consecutive year and its cancellation meant missing out on potentially a huge amount of funds raised, as well an amazing community event.

What things did you do to keep fundraising going during lockdown?

We didn’t really do anything apart from promoting easyfundraising. We considered a few ideas, but in the end, we were just so overwhelmed with home learning, working from home and all the uncertainty that we didn’t really manage to get anything off the ground at all during the summer term.

easyfundraising has really been a lifeline for our PTA during lockdown and looks like it will continue to be very useful.

How much have you raised with easyfundraising?

£239

How did you do it?

We reminded parents in the weekly newsletter, always making the point of thanking our supporters and telling them how much they had raised and what the money was being used for. We explained how the crisis was affecting our ability to raise funds and how easy it was for all of us to support the school at no cost whatsoever, as we were all probably going to do more shopping online anyway!

The response from parents was really good, considering we are a very small school. For example, one supporter made a very big purchase which really boosted our donations, and we are so grateful that they chose to support us in this way.

Top tip?

Keep banging the drum and reminding people to use it, as well as showing appreciation for the support received. Include the referral link in all your promotional messages so you can get an extra £5 every time a new supporter raises £5. Keep track of special promotions and publicise them amongst your supporters. 

Register your PTA with easyfundraising

Friends of Bishop Chavasse School Association

How did the coronavirus crisis affect your fundraising?

Sadly, a great deal. Our school is only 4 years old so this was really the first full year of fundraising and we had also just got charity status! We had to cancel discos, coffee mornings and the biggest thing was our summer fair, which was such a shame.

What things did you do to keep fundraising going during lockdown?

We did very little fundraising because everything completely shut down, it was just a matter of ticking over so easyfundraising was pushed instead.

Now the school has reopened we are on a mission to raise funds for our outdoor space. it certainly isn’t the same hence why easyfundraising has been so good.

How much have you raised with easyfundraising?

£113

How did you do it?

We placed info about easyfundraising on our Facebook page and on our WhatsApp groups. This helped word spread and that was our main link to everyone.

We specifically mentioned how our fundraising was being affected by lockdown and told parents easyfundraising was a way they could keep supporting the school.

The take up from parents slow up take at first but it is growing now. I think lockdown was such a tricky and worrying time for everyone involved we didn’t want to over-force.

It is so easy though! It’s an effective easy way to encourage parents to raise money, without them being made to feel they are having to give a lot. 

Top tip?

Spread the word and encourage parents how simple it is to do. Explain it fully and sell it for the great idea it is. 

Register your PTA with easyfundraising

Friends of Hollybush School

How did the coronavirus crisis affect your fundraising?

With everything going on we made a decision not to focus on fundraising much during the lockdown period – both our chair & deputy, as well as having children in the school also work there so it was a bit much trying to keep on top of all the rigorous rules that were being imposed when the school opened its doors again to some pupils after half term. The school was also organising food parcels for some local families who were struggling.

Our summer Fair which would have been one of our bigger fundraising events was obviously cancelled this year, & the Christmas fair will be too.

What things did you do to keep fundraising going during lockdown?

Whilst the pandemic put a halt on all events for the time being, we found other ways to fundraise – online balloon race, the 100 club, Christmas raffle – and all the time we’re still pushing easyfundraising & emphasising how it costs the parents nothing. It’s really easy to set up & promote using the links provided on the website.

How much have you raised with easyfundraising?

£300

How did you do it?

We communicated with parents mainly via our Facebook group page, & also the ‘Bush Telegraph’ email newsletter.

At the start of lockdown, we sent out a note on Facebook to thank everyone and let parents know all events were on hold and encouraged people to continue to use easyfundraising.

Top tip?

One of the best tips is to activate the Donation Reminder. It’s so easy to go online to shop for something & completely forget to go through easyfundraising first!

Register your PTA with easyfundraising