Healthy Fundraising Options

PTA fundraisers support our key policy efforts, which include health and nutrition. PTA has an important role to play in reversing the negative trend of poor eating habits and low levels of physical activity among students, and as we encourage healthier lifestyles, it is important that our message is consistent and meaningful.

In 2012, nutrition guidelines for school meals were updated for the first time in decades - an important step - and something PTAs and parents have been advocating for decades. As schools make these improvements in the cafeteria, it is important that parents and PTAs lead by example in the choices we make at school - including fundraising.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of establishing nutrition guidelines for all foods sold in school - including fundraising that is sold directly to students, on the school campus, and during the traditional school day. While these guidelines will not go into effect this school year, PTAs should begin to take a look at the fundraising activities that occur during the school year, including items sold in vending machines and school stores. As the USDA finalizes these guidelines, information and technical assistance will be made available at PTA.org.

National PTA encourages all PTAs to adopt healthy fundraising strategies when developing their fundraising plans. School fundraising activities should support healthy lifestyles, and, when possible, PTAs should encourage nonfood and physical activity fundraisers.

Examples of healthy fundraising options include:

Fire Up Your Feet

National PTA has partnered with Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Kaiser Permanente on Fire Up Your Feet, a new physical activity program that encourages families to walk more to and from school - and in daily life - while keeping track of their steps and raising money for their PTA or school. Fire UP Your Feet provides the opportunity for families to get active and spend more quality time together, all while helping out their PTAs and schools.

How does Fire Up Your Feet work?

  • PTAs register for Fire Up Your Feet online and recruit families to participate.
  • Participants build a family page. Recruiting sponsors (e.g., friends and family) via an online donation form is optional.
  • Parents and children walk together and share valuable conversation and learning experiences all while building positive behaviors and a love for physical activity.
  • Families, if desired, raise money for their PTAs. For those who opt to fundraise, 75% of the funds collected go directly to their local PTA to support other healthy lifestyle initiatives, while the other 25% goes toward national efforts to support more safe routes to school.
  • PTAs celebrate success!

Other Fundraising Ideas

  • Sell fruit (citrus or other in-season fruit), gift wrap, or other items rather than candy or baked goods for school fund raisers.
  • Invite chefs from local restaurants to host healthy cooking classes for families. Charge for admission.
  • For class "spirit" and other competitions, provide healthy rewards (extra recess) or nonfood items instead of candy, doughnuts and pizza parties.
  • Sell bottled water and healthy treats instead of candy and soda at PTA events.
  • Sponsor a bike-a-thon, walk-a-thon, or 5K walk/run.
  • Host a school-wide dance.
  • Organize a crew to wash cars, rake leaves or shovel snow for neighborhood families, for a small fee or donation to the PTA.
  • Plan a parent - teacher basketball game and sell tickets.
  • Organize a before or afterschool walking, biking, running, or skating club for students, teachers and families.
  • Host a book fair, auction or raffle.
  • Create and sell a healthy cookbook, created from recipes submitted by your PTA members and food service providers.