Event Resources

Categorizing Calendar Activities

Not every event or activity should be a fundraiser! It is when all events or activities related to PTA attempt to make money that parents tend to view PTA as only "that group that constantly asks me for money." Be sure you are balanced in your approach between fundraisers, events, and services.

A good rule of thumb: For every ONE fundraiser, there should be TWO events or services on your calendar.




Activities where the sole purpose is making money.Activities where the sole purpose is bringing the school community together. These may make money, break even, or lose money -- but money is not the point.Places PTA spends money that benefits the school community as a whole. These are purely spending money -- no income is made.
  • Read-A-Thon
  • Walk-A-Thon
  • Fun Run
  • Product Sales
  • Silent Auction
  • Raffles
  • Book Fairs
  • Restaurant Nights Out
  • Back-to-School
  • Movie Night
  • Bingo Night
  • Carnival
  • Math Night
  • Literacy Night
  • Dances
  • Family Days
  • Class Parties
  • Payment for Field Trip Buses
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Graduations
  • Funds Classroom Supplies
  • Speakers
Decisions are made by asking the following questions:
  • What can we do to bring in the most money this year?
  • What is our fundraising goal?
  • What will this money be used for after it has been raised?
Decisions are made by asking the following questions:
  • What can we do to get the highest number of families to the event?
  • Transportation, cost of event, night of the week, time of day, etc.
Decisions are made by asking the following questions:
  • What financial needs can we support through PTA funds?

Some events or activities may be hard to categorize (yearbooks, school directories, spirit wear). In those cases, ask yourself “what is the MAIN PURPOSE of this?” If it is to make money, it is a fundraiser.  If you would do it anyway, even if it didn’t make (or even lost) money, it is an event or service.

Bingo and Raffle Events

Bingo night and raffles are activities many PTA’s enjoy as part of their “family fun” evenings and can be a great source of fundraising dollars! The Minnesota Gambling Control Board has guidelines for how exempt organizations may and may not spend gambling funds, as well as an application for an annual exempt permit.

Click here for the link to the MN Gambling Control Board Website.

Movie Nights

Movie nights are one of the many events hosted by PTA’s in their efforts to gather families together each school year. If your school does not already own a movie license to share with your PTA, selling “movie tickets” or snacks might be a good way to offset the cost of the license.

Click here for more information about hosting a movie night and movie copyrights and licensing.

Managing Food Events

Definition of a School Concession stand:

Is your teacher conference dinner something you need to be concerned about? Read on the regulations surrounding food handling for your “potluck” meals: