Take the amount you’re likely to spend online in the next month or so and multiply it by the number of parents at your school. If your PTA could earn 3-4% without having to ask parents for donations or to attend events, just think how much you might make.
Once the PTA has registered with its chosen site, parents sign up, select the PTA as their nominated charity and shop with their favourite online retailers as usual. There are no hidden charges for using affiliate schemes, either for parents or the PTA, and all prices, offers, terms and delivery details remain the same as shopping directly. Some larger schemes offer a ‘donation reminder’ – a browser extension that prompts users to claim cashback when shopping online. A free mobile app may also be available for users who shop on their devices.
The biggest challenge is spreading the word and encouraging supporters to get on board. Send details out when you register and promote your scheme at key times throughout the year.
The UK’s biggest charity shopping site, easyfundraising says it has ‘raised over £42million for over 180,000 charities and good causes (and counting!)’. The well-organised site connects to over 7,400 shops and websites. Download a donation reminder or app and sign up to do your weekly supermarket shop, or generate more significant donations by booking a holiday or starting an ISA. Marketing material is provided to help get those all-important signups.
A charity with a mission to encourage supporters and businesses to make giving a ‘lifestyle behaviour choice for supporters, not a financial one’. TheGivingMachine’s Shop&Give features more than 2,600 registered retailers. Once the PTA has signed up as a cause, supporters can get a donation back on numerous sites, from eBay to Ticketmaster. It also offers a GivingLottery, where for £1 a week, causes can win up to £25,000.
Give as you Live
Give as you Live’s vision is to ‘set the industry standard for innovative charity fundraising in the UK’. The service helps more than 40,000 charities. Give as you Live works with more than 6,000 stores and brands, including insurance and utilities comparison sites, and switching services. PTAs can benefit from more significant donations by encouraging parents to book holidays through travel partners such as Booking.com.
Book recommendation site LoveReading and its sidekick LoveReading4Kids exist to change lives. It does this by encouraging literacy and through an affiliate shopping scheme. Buy a book through the site and LoveReading4Kids will donate a remarkable 25 per cent to the school of your choice (or 15 per cent for an ebook). In addition, when the school creates a wish list of books, anyone can buy them and get a 25 per cent donation to the school. LoveReading believes the PTA plays a critical part in getting the school community behind the initiative.
My School Fund
Launched in 2020, My School Fund works in association with public sector buying organisation ESPO and Sainsbury’s (and, by extension, its subsidiary, Argos). It offers benefits to both shoppers and schools. Of the eligible spends, one per cent goes directly to the school, rather than the PTA, and two per cent goes to back to the individual.
‘We practise what we preach!’
I got a £25 donation for the PTA by switching my car insurance, which saved me over £100 – I tell people about that one a lot.
Fairfields PTFA have used easyfundraising for longer than the five years I’ve been at the school. I believe it was chosen because it was the scheme most recommended by other PTAs on Facebook. When promoting easyfundraising, we send examples of purchases that can earn us a lot of money. We make posters with Canva Pro and videos using Videoleap. We promote via our Instagram and Facebook channels, which filter down to the class WhatsApp groups. Easyfundraising has a handy chart so we can see who is raising the most money. One year, our parents got quite competitive. It was very lighthearted but definitely helped with our donations.
Early in the year, we ask people booking holidays to check if their preferred travel provider is on the app. Then two or three other times, we focus on the big donations from insurance companies, broadband providers, mobile phone companies and price comparison sites.
The bigger donations make an instant difference, but the small regular ones add up too, if you can get enough people to remember. We’re getting there, but even I sometimes forget to go to the app before heading to Just Eat for my local takeaway. We also order all our PTFA stock and stationery via easyfundraising – you have to practise what you preach!
Angela Holtam, co-chair and treasurer, Fairfields PTFA , Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire (470 pupils)