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School fundraising ideas – Boost your budget by text

April 9, 2021, 16:40 GMT+1
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  • William Makower explains how schools can make the most out of easy-to-set-up text raffles...
School fundraising ideas – Boost your budget by text

Lockdowns and home-schooling have led many primary schools and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA’s) to review their fundraising in order to raise much needed funds to support their school communities.

Through digital fundraising, PTA’s have explored innovative ways to engage the school community, from virtual events to online auctions and text raffles, they have had to be ever more creative in the way they plan fundraising campaigns.


Over the festive season, digital fundraising really came into its own, with 62 text raffles run by 52 schools through DONATE’s text raffles service, raising a total of £28,567.

Many of these schools ran seasonal fundraisers in a bid to create a festive feeling throughout the school community, whilst physical events such as Christmas Fairs and so on were prohibited.

Raffle tickets can vary from £1 to £30 and can be used all year round to bring together the school community. Winners are selected at random and contacted by phone or text.

Text raffles allow participation from anywhere in the UK, therefore relatives and supporters from across the country can easily participate by sending a one word text to the service.

We’ve put together five ideas to inspire your own text raffle with ease:

  • Theme your event. Whether it’s a Summer Fete or Father’s Day favourites, a seasonal hook will open up the possibilities and creativity.
  • Secure your amazing prizes. Work with the school community and local businesses to garner some special lots.
  • Choose your keywords, the easier to text the better. Use short keywords like BOOK and HOLIDAY to ensure ease of texting in.
  • Share, share and share again! Once live, push on social media, emails and newsletters. Gain exposure by pushing your raffle across multiple mediums. If you’ve worked with local businesses to secure the prizes, ask them to promote the raffle too.
  • Host an event to celebrate the end of the text raffle, with the winner being announced via a Facebook Live. This will make the raffle feel like a real interactive event that all can be involved in.

Schools like The Friary in Staffordshire recently took to text raffles to raise funds, with parents texting in their £5 raffle entries raising a total of £1,175.

The funds were vital to the school, according to Ms Hearn, assistant head teacher at The Friary, as they allowed the PTA to “continue to provide extra support for the school with resources and events to directly impact the children’s learning experience.”


Ms Hearn added: “We started to use text raffles to support the school during lockdown and have been amazed by the support we’ve received from the school community. The £1,175 raised will go a long way toward helping to support the school at this tough time.”

Similarly, Abbey Road School HSA in Nottingham recently raised £1,222, providing excellent support and resources for the children’s education.

Josi Hollis, Chair at Abbey Road School HSA said: “The £1,122 raised this year will go towards providing new and exciting technology to enthuse and engage the children in the classroom.”

Whether it’s to fundraise for more laptops to support learning from home, garden space to increase learning about the natural environment, or for extra-curricular activities to boost children’s wellbeing, text raffles provide an easy way to fundraise in order to enhance children’s learning experiences without the hassle of cash-handling.

For more information and to set up a text raffle using DONATE, visit

DONATE is a charity itself, so transaction costs are kept to an absolute minimum to ensure your PTA raises as much as possible.

William Makower is Founder Trustee at National Funding Scheme, DONATE.