PTA fundraising is as much a part of school as report cards, tests and text books. As much as some people would like to think their school district could handle all expenses for elementary schools, the fact of the matter is they just can not. Thankfully faithful PTA members and parents in general do support school PTA fundraising projects!

Choosing the right PTA fundraiser, though, is not an easy task. The dynamics of committee oriented PTA's and PTO's make quick decisions difficult. The PTA fundraising chairperson would typically interview companies that might help the school. That person narrows down the options and then quite often invites representatives from the fundraising company to a PTA meeting to present its product.

The school principal, and PTA president, vice president and other officers usually sit in on those presentations. After hearing from the potential vendors, they vote on the best PTA fundraiser for their school. If there is no disagreement, this process can be painless. Quite often, though, there are differing opinions and feelings can be hurt.

Since raising money for schools through PTA fundraising is so important, we would like to address what we believe are the top 3 PTA fundraising ideas.

Cookie Dough Fundraisers: Cookie dough and PTA fundraising committees have become fast friends over the years. Why? The most active PTA's and PTO's are those in elementary schools. After elementary school, participation in PTA's begins to diminish. In elementary school, though, it is a safe bet that most students enjoy eating freshly baked cookies. So selling tubs of cookie dough makes sense. The great thing for many PTA's is that cookie dough is a pre-sell fundraiser, meaning you pre-sell using free order forms and collect your money as you sell. That means you don't need any money upfront. It is not uncommon for large PTA cookie dough fundraisers to raise $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more in profit!

Custom Discount Fundraising Cards: If a PTA fundraising group wants a great annual event, it should consider this option. Local merchants are signed up to advertise on a discount card custom designed for the PTA or school. Typically 8 to 14 merchants will make buy one get one free type offers to advertise on the back of the cards at no expense. The offers are good for one year. The PTA sells the valuable cards for $10 and can pay as little as $1 each ($9 profit!), depending on how many cards its buys. The great thing about selling custom discount cards is that officers of the PTA can choose the local merchants that go on the cards, making them even more valuable. Most PTA's that choose this option quite often make it an annual fundraiser.