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Fundraising Ideas for Schools, PTA, PTO and PTSA

Parents participating in school fundraisers can contribute to the growth and development of schools and their learners. There are lots of school fundraising ideas for PTAs,  PTOs, and even PTSAs. For the sake of this article, we’ll be using PTA/PTO to refer to these groups.

School fundraising ideas for PTAs/PTOs

Dog Walking

Dog walking is a good school fundraising idea that’s divided into two types. With the first type, you can walk dogs for homeowners in your school’s neighborhood in exchange for donations for the PTA/PTO. The second type of dog walking combines dog walking and walk-a-thons. You can host a traditional walk-a-thon with a twist by requesting participants to come with their pups. You can host a dog walk-a-thon at your school’s track. When hosting dog walk-a-thons, make adequate preparations so that the event is safe and fun for all attendees.

On dog walking events, print affordable and attractive brochures with donation limits. Take the utmost care when placing donation amounts on your flyers to avoid discouraging high-profile donors.

Encourage more significant donations by awarding prizes to individuals who contribute more money. Also, offer additional prizes to students who raise money at certain levels ($100, $200, etc.) to encourage even more fundraising and some healthy competition. Maybe make the prizes dog-related for even more fun! Draw more crowds by printing and distributing brochures to attract dog-owners from throughout the community.

Get the brochures out there in the community and to everyone on your mailing list. Distribute the flyers aggressively to pet supply stores, markets, places of worship, health clubs, and other areas as you deem fit.

Make the dog walking event fun for all participants to make it memorable so they will tell all their friends. You can bet that this will be a social media hit – everyone loves to post pictures of people and their dogs!

You may want to sell advertising slots on dog walk-a-thons so that you gain more money from business owners.

Jelly Bean/Candy Count

Jelly bean count fundraisers are perfect PTA/PTO and parent fundraising ideas. They are simple to plan and simple to hold, at least after you count out all those jelly beans…

First, you will need jelly beans, a jar, and a central location like the school library to place the jar.

Next, fill that jar with jelly beans and note how many jelly beans’ are inside the jarThen have participants guess the number of jelly beans inside the jar and ask them to make donations in exchange for a guess.

After an agreed time, review all the guesses and reveal the winner(s). You get to retain the donations, and the winner(s) take the jar of jelly beans. Up the ante by awarding a prize in addition to the jelly bean jar. Gift certificates donated by local businesses make great prizes. You can apply this school fundraising idea with other countable items instead of jelly beans too so use your imagination.

Dance Marathon

As a PTA/PTO, you can stage a dance marathon school fundraiser for students.

Participants in this fundraiser sign up to dance and secure donors who agree to donate money based on how long a dancer lasts. For instance, a donor can pay $20 for every hour danced.

will need to formulate rules for what constitutes continuous dancing, and you can invite the whole school community to come and watch the dance marathon. To get extra money, sell concessions to the people who watch the dance marathon.

Fundraising ideas


The idea of staging a concert can be a big school fundraiser if adequately planned. A concert is a high-risk and high-reward idea. To produce a successful concert for your school fundraising, you will need the right venue, event performers, proper equipment, run concert promotions, and decorate the venue, among other necessities. 

You must know the concert audience and plan for them accordingly. A concert for elementary learners should be different from that of high school or college students.

Pay You to "Not Bother Me" Fundraiser

Most parents and family members are usually bombarded with continuous requests to buy candles, wrapping paper, cookie dough, among others, every school year. However, you can decide to break this monotonous pattern by giving parents another alternative.
Parents can donate money instead of participating in any future school fundraising events. This is a great way for busy families short on time to support their schools.

Try the pay-you-not-to-bother-me school fundraising idea by setting up an online donation page, such as those provided in the LeanStream Needs Gallery, with set amounts and cheeky descriptions beside them.

Online Garage Sale Fundraiser

As the saying goes-one person’s trash can be another’s treasure. You can also collect new and used items from your community members and create a virtual treasure trove for your upcoming PTA/PTO school fundraising campaign.

There are two ways you can conduct an online garage sale. First, you can take pictures of all the items you are selling and include them on your school fundraising page (The LeanStream Marketplace is a perfect place for this!) and social media accounts. You can handle all the transactions there.

Secondly, you can host a live stream with 360-degree views of every product on sale and sell the items on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Walk-a-Thon or 5K

Walk-a-thons and 5Ks are popular PTA/PTO school fundraising ideas, which can be be modified for the digital era. Virtual races are similar to in-person marathons. You can still charge a participation or entry fee and sell race merchandise.

With virtual walk-a-thons, runners compete on their own, track their activity time, and send you their outcomes online. A great method to entice your community to participate in virtual walk-a-thons is by hosting a live stream of your PTA/PTO team (or better yet, a student team) running on the virtual marathon day.

Netflix Watch Party

Use this idea in case a field trip to the movies is too expensive, not convenient or not possible. A Netflix watch party is the ideal low-cost PTA/PTO school fundraiser.

Utilize a free tool called Netflix Party to host family movie nights or TV show marathons Before the main event, create an event page with the movie description, the movie duration, and rating, and charge an admission fee for all who watch (you can use the LeanStream Marketplace or Event feature for this!).

Netflix Party has a chat feature, which you can use to challenge viewers with trivia questions in reward for a small prize. You can also include a door prize ticket with every party admission and announce the winner at the end of the watch party.


LeanStream is next generation fundraising for next generation schools, PTAs/PTOs, boosters, teachers, athletic programs and the rest of the school family. Whether you use the LeanStream platform to fundraise for your schools or choose to fundraise in other ways, stay safe, have fun and live generously!