Donations can be sought from individuals or corporations. They may be either cash or in-kind (donations of products or services).
Direct donation drives can be a time-efficient and cost-effective way to raise the additional funds your PTA needs. Offering a single, direct fundraiser may work well in communities that are experiencing "giving fatigue" from too many events.
- Highlight your fundraising goal and suggested amount or a range of donation options per donor.
- Be specific about what the funds will be used for (e.g., PTA parent engagement programs, library books, playground equipment, drug prevention activities, school dances, etc.).
- Provide an incentive by listing donors on the PTA website according to their giving levels (e.g., platinum, gold, silver, bronze).
- Make it easy by offering an online giving option.
- Double your impact by asking families to explore whether their employers will match donations.
- Review Tax Receipt Requirements for 501(c)(3) organizations receiving donations.
PTAs receive individual donations in the form of memberships or direct donation drives. When designing your membership form, be sure to include an option on your membership form for families to donate an additional amount of their choosing to support families who can't afford membership and other PTA programs.
A special provision in the tax code makes 501(c)(3) organizations exempt from paying federal income taxes on income from corporate sponsorship, as long as the benefits that are given back to the corporate sponsor fall within IRS guidelines. There is no limit to the amount of corporate sponsorship income that can be received by a 501(c)(3) organization.
Note: Sponsorship money or in-kind donations cannot be solicited nor accepted from companies that manufacture products or take public positions inconsistent with National PTA's positions and resolutions (e.g., alcohol, gaming, adult content, tobacco or firearm companies).
Sponsorship is different from endorsement, in which a PTA endorses the products or services of a for-profit entity. Endorsement activities are not appropriate for PTA participation, based on PTA's noncommercial policy.
In return for sponsorship, your PTA should thank the sponsor for its contribution in writing, as well as publicly on your PTA website, newsletter or social media. You can also thank sponsors on posters, banners, event programs, or other promotional media. The written acknowledgment should be limited to an expression of thanks and may include general, factual information about the sponsor. The acknowledgment should not make a qualitative judgment regarding the sponsor or its product and it cannot appear as though PTA is instructing or recommending people buy a sponsor's products or services. Otherwise, the sponsorship payment may be subject to federal income tax.
Corporate sponsorship means that a for-profit company provides cash, products or expertise to a PTA, usually in return for public acknowledgment. Sponsorship can be linked to specific events, programs, activities or publications.