Here are 20 theme ideas to make your PTO / PTA fundraising event a success!
Hosting a themed fundraiser for your PTO / PTA is a much better way to boost your donations than simply asking for cash. If you want to put on a memorable event for people that also benefits your school, we’ve compiled a list of 20 unique event ideas, from weekend nights out to food-focused parties. Let this year see your biggest fundraising success ever!
Fuel Your Inner Competitor
Competition brings out the best in people... and their wallets!
A bingo night event is a great option because almost anybody can play. It’s also an easy event to put on – pick up some pizzas and prizes, and you’re all set! You can add additional fundraising opportunities by doing a raffle during the event, too.
Related product: “Bingo Night” printable flyer set with ticket
Bowling is another classic choice that attendees are sure to love. An added bonus of bowling events is that most bowling alleys are used to planning and hosting events, so the logistics involved are usually minimal. A great, easy option for your next PTO fundraiser.
Related product: “Bowling Fundraiser” event flyer
Penny Wars are another great option that require little planning. In fact, all you really need are jars for every classroom and some custom signage to announce the competition and encourage participation. The icing on the cake is that Penny Wars don’t leave you with any big event to organize, and people who are short on time and easily contribute.
Related product: “We Declare a Penny War” event flyer
Book a night on the weekend to hold your event, and give people the opportunity to make fond memories!
This is hands down one of the most popular events among adults. Everybody has a blast gathering around the craps table, and card sharks love a blackjack game or poker tournament. Casino nights are always well attended and are great fundraising opportunities for your PTO/PTA.
Related product: “Casino Night” flyer ticket set
Family Game Night
This is a more kid-friendly twist on a Casino Night, insofar as the games are generally more appropriate for all ages. But that doesn’t mean adults can’t still have fun, especially if unlimited pizza is included in the ticket price!
Related product: “Family Game Night” flyer
Parents Night Out
This is another option focused on the grownups, and who doesn’t look forward to a night to themselves every now and again? Parents Night Out raises money by providing care for the little ones for an evening. Events generally charge less than parents normally pay for a sitter, so it’s a no brainer!
Related product: “Parents Night Out” flyer
Family Movie Night
Who doesn’t like movie night? There are lots of fundraising options here, too, including charging for tickets and selling baked goods or other yummy treats – popcorn is free, of course! Remind people that it’s a BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) event to make things easy.
Related product: “Movie Night” flyer
If you’re hoping to empty peoples’ wallets for a good cause, it’s a smart idea to fill their bellies!
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
This has been a fundraising staple for decades and decades. The staying power is owed to the all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs, warm breadsticks or garlic bread, and homemade desserts that usually accompany the festivities.
Related product: “Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser” flyer and ticket set
This one’s for the early birds! Nothing brings people running in the morning like the smell of pancakes fresh off the griddle. Bonus points if the scents of coffee and bacon are in the air, too. The fundraising is simple here, as tickets are for an all-you-can-eat breakfast.
Related product: “Pancake Breakfast” flyer and ticket set
Take the fun outside with a big BBQ event. Let people purchase tickets to get their grilled food, drinks, and ice cream. There are plenty of options to layer on more fun and fundraising opportunities, including music, raffles, or yard games.
Related product: “BBQ Grill Out” flyer and ticket set
Bake sales are great tradition for both building community and letting the amateur bakers in the PTO show off their skills. Plus, everybody loves a cookie! These events are great at enabling everybody who would like to contribute to take part, and they’re easy from a planning and logistics perspective.
Related product: “School Bake Sale” flyer
Here’s an opportunity to settle whose chili recipe is really the best in show. This combines the atmosphere of a summer BBQ – the live music, all-you-can-eat, raffles and door prizes – with the competition of the cookoff. It’s a crowd pleasure to be sure!
Related product: “Chili Cookoff” flyer and ticket set
It’s not every day you come face-to-face with a pig looking for a kiss! Read on for that and more experience ideas that will leave an impression.
The best part about this option is the flexibility and ability to make it whatever you want. Food or ice cream trucks? Sure! Bounce house? Yep! Pony rides? Why not? There are also a ton of fundraising options, from tickets to food sales to raffles and more.
Related product: “Carnival” flyer
Kiss a Pig
If you’re going for a truly unique experience, there aren’t many that will top raising money by asking people to pay to smooch a swine. While this might not be the most intuitive fundraising idea, it works! People will be doubled over laughing at their family and friends while working up the courage to plant one on the pampered piggy themselves.
Related product: “Kiss a Pig” Fundraiser Flyer
Touch a Truck
If smooching a swine isn’t your thing, then focus on something that all toddlers agree is awesome – trucks! Coordinating with local police, fire departments, or construction companies can produce results that not only raises funds, but also makes a bunch of kiddos’ days.
Related product: “Touch a Truck” Fundraiser Flyer
A run/walk event is a great way to build togetherness and a spirit of support within your school community. There are a bunch of fun themes for these events, too, including glow runs, color runs, and fun runs. Make it your own!
Related product: “Fun Run” flyer
For the younger members of the racing crowd, trike-a-thon are such fun events – the kids have a blast and it’s the cutest thing to watch! Like other events in this list, there are plenty of opportunities to raise money outside of the registrations, including raffles, food, and more.
Related product: “Trike-a-thon” Fundraiser Flyer
Let people feel like they got something from donating to your PTO / PTA – don’t let them walk away empty handed!
Student Art Show/Art Fair
These events not only raise money through ticket sales, but give young, aspiring artists a chance to show off their skills and makes some sales for a good cause. It’s always great to see all the neat works of art that students create on display!
Related product: “Art Fair” flyer
Something about putting on an auction event just feels fancy and fun! You can get creative about what you’re auctioning – solicit donations from parents, local businesses, and other members of the community. This is a great way to raise money for your PTO / PTA!
Related product: “Auction” invitation
School Garage Sale
If fancy auctions aren’t your thing, you can keep it low-key with a garage sale-style event. By soliciting donations from the school community, you enable everybody to participate, and under-used items in their house can be sold to a new home to benefit the PTO. Win, win!
Related product: “Rummage / Garage Sale” flyer