Behind every successful school membership or sponsorship drive, there must be creative ways to capture the attention and interest of potential volunteers and financial sponsors. To encourage parents to join, many school PTO and PTA groups hold an annual membership drive, often coinciding with the start of the school year and in many cases, back to school night or meet the teacher night. This theme works great when hosting a membership drive at an school ice cream social fundraiser!
We here at TidyLady Printables, LOVE themes for all events (think teacher appreciation week themes) and holding a membership drive is no different! Themes are a great way to quickly snag the attention of onlookers and passer-bys. How do you do this effectively? Read on to learn more!
First of All Let's Recap the Importance of a Sponsorship or Membership Drive. Why Have One in the First Place?
A membership drive can help your school PTO organization or PTA group build a broad base of financial supporters and volunteers that are willing and committed to helping throughout the school year.
At back-to-school events, it is helpful to have extroverted volunteers who are willing to ask people to join the PTA and can clearly explain the membership benefits as well as what the PTO does and where the money goes. Many parents, grandparents and teachers and others attend these events so it's a great place to setup a table or booth display to get the word out! This can help ensure the success of your membership drive and help raise funds for your group to last the all school year.
Why is it important to Have a Theme?
To put it in the most simplistic way, themes = parties and parties = fun! You want potential volunteers, parents and sponsors to associate the school PTA or PTO group with FUN!!! Because it is fun and very rewarding to be a part of! Having a theme that is bright, cheerful and easily relatable is a visual way to easily communicate this
For example, our ice cream theme membership display kit fits all this criteria. Ice cream is a fun treat that captures the attention of kids and adults alike. It's bright, associated with parties and ice cream socials and something that is different and unexpected at a back to school event when everything is pencils, apples and fall. A big banner with a large ice cream cone makes almost anyone do a double-take, we guarantee it!
Themes also bring about the feeling of cohesiveness and organization. Everything is thought out, put together in a visually pleasing way and matches, which makes your group seem like it is on top of their game.
This is HUGE when trying to recruit volunteers and financial sponsors to join your cause. People want to feel confident that their time and money is being put to good use. Making your school PTO or PTA group seem as friendly, organized, fun and well-planned as possible will help to achieve these goals and people may be more open to joining or donating!
What items should you include on your display table or booth?
Our ice cream theme school membership and sponsorship drive kit has been painstakingly thought out and planned to make sure all the details are covered, so you can make the most of your school PTO or PTA display table or booth!
We even have tips on how you can continue using these items through-out the school year to continuously attract and recruit more sponsors and volunteers beyond back to school night!
When setting up your display, it's important to think "attention grabbing" and include bright colors and imagery. You can use simple items from the dollar store such as table cloths, tissue paper, wrapping paper, confetti, balloons and other small props to add color to your display. You will also want to make sure to have a jar with lots of pens and you can include colorful pen toppers to those as well - and to ensure people don't walk away with them! Here are some other items that are essential to include!
A perfect way to capture the eyes of people walking by, is our ice cream theme "HERE'S THE SCOOP, WE NEED YOU" school volunteer recruitment sign. It is designed specifically with a large ice cream cone. People will wonder... "what is going on over there?" when they see it hanging up and be drawn like a magnet to come check it out. Once they are standing in front of you at your display table, you can start talking to them about all the great benefits of joining or donating!
It's a fact that in today's busy world not everyone has extra time. Maybe a potential parent volunteer has kids at two different schools and needs to rush out quick during your back to school night to head out to a different location, but wants to learn more about joining the school PTO or PTA group and doesn't have time to chat. Offer him or her an easily solution by providing a QR code they can snap quick which leads them to your organization's website where they can find all the information including the group's mission statement, why their help is important, how to donate, how to sign up to volunteer, important dates and more.
Pro Tip: Printing this in the flyer size and using it as a binder cover and displaying doubles as both a cheap, sturdy frame as well as a place to store extra paperwork (such as welcome letters and handouts.) It also serves as a place to collect and store membership and sponsorship forms. A practical and easy way to stay organized during your back to school membership drive!
These are absolutely essential to include! If you have an interested person, get them to sign up by providing financial commitments and contact information so you can follow up with them. No membership drive is complete without having tons of these forms printed on multiple clipboards to have ready for people to fill out. Make sure to have lots of pens at your table too!
What feels obvious to you and your group members, may not be so obvious to others who aren't a part of it (yet!) It may seem like common sense that your school PTO or PTA group exists to provide betterment and enrichment to the overall academic and social atmosphere of the school, but not everyone knows this. Being transparent and very detailed about EXACTLY what your group does, why it's important, what is spends money on specifically, goals for the upcoming school year, mission statements and more will make people feel more comfortable spending their dollars and time contributing to your organization.
When a person commits and gives something to your group, be it time or money, by filling out a membership or sponsorship form, you will want to give something back in return. Think of it as a gesture to cement the deal and feels official to your new school volunteer or sponsor. You can achieve this with a meaningful, personalized and well written welcome letter full of great information that they can access at anytime. Our template is perfect for this, providing an outline of ways you can connect right away from the start - a photo and custom message from the PTO or PTA president, your organization's mission statement, school year goals, important contacts, dates and more!
6. Name Tags
An excellent way to help promote an outgoing approachable demeanor, these cute matching ice cream theme name tags let potential donors and sponsors know who they need to talk to about joining. Make your display atmosphere more casual and fun while giving people valuable information that's easy to read such as group member's names, role in the organization as well as how long they've been a part of it.
These name tag templates are available only with the purchase of the ice cream theme recruitment set. You only need to edit and print on full sheet labels (also called sticker paper) and voila, you have instant name tags! An easy way to have all members of the group coordinate and a much cheaper option that ordering matching t-shirts!!
7. A Guessing Jar or Raffle Prize Basket
This is a fun incentive to get people both looking at your table as well as interacting with it. A jar of candies, who can pass that by? Offer a way for people to get curious and participate. Have them either guess how many candies or enter to win something (such as a themed raffle basket) our bonus template is great for communicating exactly what you'd like so you can get as much attention as possible at your table!
PRO TIP: You can have the raffle or candy guess winner announced at the first PTO meeting of the year and they must be present to win! Doing this will hopefully increase attendance!
A great way to motivate potential financial donors and sponsors, is our ice cream theme "HERE'S THE SCOOP, WE NEED YOU" school donations fundraiser goal thermometer poster is exactly the right tool to accomplish just this! This visually tool is an amazing way to help people visually see that their individual contributions matter towards the overall big picture goal. Color the goal poster with marker or crayons, otherwise you can laminate and use dry erase markers to use every year during donation and membership drives!
Pro Tip: If you're running out of room on your display table this poster can be displayed loud and proud on a standing easel next to the table! It's out of the way, yet easy to access when you need to color it some more after receiving donations!
How to keep using these items (ie: get your full money's worth) out of this set even after the initial back to school night membership drive is over?
Not every potential volunteer or financial donor will be present at your back to school night membership drive. That's why it's important to stay in front of people during the entire school year too! There are many easy ways you can continue to get volunteers and financial support with this ice cream recruitment kit, and you don't even have to be present to do it, here's how:
1. Make sure you have BOTH membership and sponsorship forms available at your school office, in a downloadable format online on your school website, and at every event (such as school dances, fundraisers and festivals) that your PTO or PTA group sponsors during the school year. Our templates allow you to edit and download as a pdf so you can include them as downloadable files for people to access at anytime from your website!
2. Hang the QR Code Poster on bulletin boards at your school, as well as your local library and community center. If there is a popular coffee shop or restaurant hangout nearby ask if you can advertise there as well!
QR codes are amazing for busy parents, teachers and other potential volunteers, members and donors. Maybe they are interested but don't have time to read all the information right then and there. They can quickly snap the code and save in their phone to review later. This will up your chances of someone actually taking action to join your organization instead of simply walking past, reading, thinking about becoming interested and then forgetting to do anything about it.
3. Put all the welcome packet information onto your website so anyone can access it at any point - including by scanning the QR Code. This includes a photo and mission statement from the president, fundraising goals, organization's mission statement, important meeting dates, upcoming school events and more
4. If your fundraising goal hasn't been reached during the back to school membership drive, afterwards you can hang the goal thermometer poster in the school office, school cafeteria or school entryway where there is a lot of visitor foot traffic. Maybe they weren't able to donate right away, and now they can. Maybe you only have a couple hundred dollars left to go and they feel motivated that they can really help now! Either way you want to stay in the front of the minds of potential donors and using this tool to visually motivate is a great way to do just that!
Back-to-School Night Membership Drive Dos and Don’ts
Do Make sure your table is visually appealing, organized and includes bright colors and imagery - picking a fun recruitment drive theme set is great for this!
Don't sit down at the table, standing up and being at eye-level with people passing by will make you feel more approachable and engaging
Do have your most positive, extroverted and engaging group members talk up the PTO and explain the benefits of joining.
Don’t forget to include all the important components of a school PTO or PTA membership drive display table. This includes hanging a poster or banner, including a QR Code, an informational sign and clipboards with membership forms and sponsorship forms
Do make sure group members are easy to locate, wearing matching name tags is a great way to accomplish this!