Considering it’s just a group of parents getting together for the good of the school, the PTA has managed to build itself a surprisingly fearsome reputation. Here are a few tips to winning the PTA.
Can you bake organic rye muffins while breastfeeding twins and running a digital start-up? No? Then you are not welcome. You’ll find no end of articles and even books about the queen bees of the PTA and how evil they are. In truth, the secret to winning at the PTA is simply turning up, being nice and putting forward some decent fundraising ideas.
- Suggest fundraising ideas that you get something out of yourself. Abel & Cole runs a scheme whereby it sells schools fruit and veg at cost price and lets them keep the profit. Amazon, John Lewis and Apple also run fundraising schemes.
- Raffles are easy profit. All prizes are donated, which makes printing tickets the only outlay. Hot tip: send books of tickets home in envelopes marked with the child’s name. Parents will then assume that you’re monitoring who sells what and make an extra effort to get rid of theirs.
- Cake sales might be a cliché, but everyone loves them and they’re basically free money for the school. Have an easy, cheap recipe up your sleeve that you can knock out when your turn comes around. There’s no need to break the mould with this one – brownies, banana bread and Victoria sponges are always a winner. NB: It’s socially acceptable to buy cakes these days, but you have to accept that you will be judged as a bit passive-aggressive (having demonstrated that you are too busy to bake).
- Big dos like the summer fair raise lots of money and are also bonding exercises that bring the school community closer together.
- Make sure there’s plenty of booze at all events. It’s an easy money-spinner, parents love it and the more they’ve drunk, the more they spend…
- Have a thick skin. After any fundraising event, everyone will tell you how you could have done it better, and no one will ever thank you.