Advertising Thru Pta? Good/bad Idea!

Business By Moofiebonbon Updated 3 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm by littlecake

Moofiebonbon Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 14

Hello everyone. I have an idea that I would like some feedback on.
I was recently racking my old brain on advertisement as well as sales. I really do not have a whole lot to invest so I was thinking of ways to both advertise and drum up sales in an inexpensive way.
Soâ¦.
Has anyone ever tried advertising through their childrenâs school PTA? I was thinking if I were to offer a commission incentive to the PTA based on sales achieved through their advertisements of me, I would give them a percentage of every sale. Of course I would provide all of the information, âBrochuresâ to hand out and I would set up a website for easy viewing.

Their part is very simple; let parents know that a portion of the proceeds from all desserts and cakes ordered from me will raise money for their group. When placing an order, all the customer has to do is mention that they either are members of the âsuch and suchâ PTA or would like their order credited as a âsuch and suchâ PTA Order! I will keep a log of all orders and I will pay their group based on this log.


I feel like it is a good idea; however, I may be missing something and will appreciate any feedback!

Thanks so much!

13 replies
costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 5:35pm
post #2 of 14

You'd probably have to check with the PTA to see if they're allowed to do this. The National PTA has a lot of restrictions about promoting groups that aren't officially PTA affiliated, so they might not be able to do this kind of thing. I'm assuming that you're licensed and insured, otherwise you might as well kiss this idea goodbye right now. You might be able to find some PTA memebrs who are willing to skirt around the regulations (Lord knows I've been in some that do that, it depends on who's running the show that year), but I have a feeling that this isn't something that they'd do if they're actually following the Natl. PTA bylaws.

It's about their insurance as well as having some parent whose business isn't being promoted start complaining about why they chose you and not them to help sell your stuff.

You might have better luck if you're at a private school, but if this is for a public school I doubt it would work.

Moofiebonbon Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 7:00pm
post #3 of 14

Thanks for the input. Yes, I am licensed and insured. I get what you are saying, but I guess I was thinking more like what makes the promotion of my cakes (with a commission/fundraiser to the PTA) different from the PTA doing a candy sale or book sales. They are being offered an ongoing fundraiser.
It has been so many years since I was in the PTA (my babies are all grown up) that I cannot remember all the rules, so you may very well be correct about business promotion. I know that we were always looking for different, feasible ways to earn money for our group. I guess I will have to call the local PTA President and talk it over with her.
Thank you for pointing this out, as I said I thought I could be missing something.

justsnda Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 7:04pm
post #4 of 14

My daughters PTA is doing a silent auction fundraiser that I am going to donated a cake and gift certificate to. It is a cheap way to get my name out there and hopefully generate some business. You should see if they do anything like that if you can't do your original plan.

Texas_Rose Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 7:16pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsnda

My daughters PTA is doing a silent auction fundraiser that I am going to donated a cake and gift certificate to. It is a cheap way to get my name out there and hopefully generate some business. You should see if they do anything like that if you can't do your original plan.




That's what I was going to suggest. Our school does that and they print the business names and phone numbers of all of the people who donate to the auction in the information packet that they send home with every child. So if you did that for your local elementary, middle and high school, that could be a ton of advertising coming from three free cakes...I would recommend a gift certificate for the auction rather than an actual cake, because most people won't need a cake right that minute.

Another thing that might not be too expensive as a way of advertising is to buy space on the back of church bulletins. I don't know if all churches do it, but the Catholic churches I've been to always have the back page of the bulletin full of little square ads and a lot of people will order from a fellow parishioner before a random stranger from the phone book icon_biggrin.gif

brincess_b Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 7:16pm
post #6 of 14

it sounds like you dont have a website at all? thats the ultimate tool. if theres no website to look at pictures, prices etc then people arent so likely to make the effort to contact you. theres a lot of posts on here about creating good ones.
the PTA sounds good tho - thats a lot of families with a lot of occasions, if its allowed.
xx

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:02pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moofiebonbon

Thanks for the input. Yes, I am licensed and insured. I get what you are saying, but I guess I was thinking more like what makes the promotion of my cakes (with a commission/fundraiser to the PTA) different from the PTA doing a candy sale or book sales. They are being offered an ongoing fundraiser.
.




The groups that do the fundraisers usually have an ongoing relationship with the school or the PTA, or are national fundraising groups that the school seeks out. I'm trying to remember from when I was involved with the PTA from hell, but there was a big stink about them trying to run a business open house where they would rent booths to people during the school's PTA nights. For some reason they didn't do it, I think that it was because of the National bylaws. If it had anything to do with that particular group, though, it might have been because the president wasn't happy about which people were trying to pay for booths (Let's just say that she wasn't the most welcoming person.)

Now I'm curious, I'll go look it up!

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:20pm
post #8 of 14

You'll probably just have to call the PTA President to see what they think about it, because this is all I found:


d. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, trustees, officers, or other private persons except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered, and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof.
e. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (i) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) 2 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Soooo...depending on how they'd structure something where you'd be earning money from directly selling things, they could lose their tax-exempt status.

One thing I thought of while writing this was that my daughter's school does a pizza night, where a percentage of each pizza sold at a local restaurant every Tuesday goes to the school. Other schools do the same thing with other restaurants around here...If you went to the school principal and offered them something like what you were talking about, that might work. It's just the PTA tax-exempt status that probably makes it tricky to deal directly with them. (IF they follow the rules, and I don't know if the group you'd be dealing with would care one way or another!) But check with the PTA president, since they might have something in place with local restaurants and would know how to structure it so that they don't mess up their IRS standing.

sweet-thing Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:28pm
post #9 of 14

At my children's school they have a few parents who have asked for similar things. The problems we had with doing it were: 1)many parents have businesses and we can't possibly do this for all of them. How do we choose without upsetting others? 2) we are only allowed a certain number of fundraisers per year. Parents are overwhelmed by all the stuff that comes home from our kids. 3) As someone else mentioned, there is a liability issue.

We do a vendors fair once a year. Anyone can rent a booth for $25 and set up during our school carnival. The PTO makes it VERY clear that we have no affiliation with any vendor and are not endorsing anyone.

Having said all that, every school is different and you won't know unless you ask.

icon_smile.gif

sweetcakes Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 3:52am
post #10 of 14

i just buy a 1/4 page ad in the school directory that the PTA heads up.

costumeczar Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 1:23pm
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakes

i just buy a 1/4 page ad in the school directory that the PTA heads up.




My son's school wasn't even able to sell ads in the directory this past year (I know, because I did the directory. Never volunteer to do the directory!). The county had a new rule about sending advertising home with kids, and they told us that if we sold advertising, the directories would have to be distributed at school, and wouldn't be able to be sent home with the kids. So sometimes it's not just the PTA, it's school and county rules...

sew4children Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 1:39pm
post #12 of 14

Why do you have to work with the PTA? Work with the principal of the school and be a "partner" to their school. I donate cupcakes every month to be given to their "students of the month." I donate supplies on occasion and go into the school a lot to demonstrate skills, have fun and promote baking. I have donated cookie baskets for auctions. I always speak on career day. In exchange, I am given a booth at their festivals, am the first one called on teacher work days to supply food (I cater, too) and when they have dinners at school for the parents, I get the call. I also offer it to the school that 10% of sales go to them if someone mentions them when they order. It's up to the school to promote if they want the percentage. I notify them of what my dessert of the month is and they market it for me. It is definitely a win-win situation and I don't have to worry about the legalities of the PTA organization.

sweetcakes Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 1:57pm
post #13 of 14

the directories would have to be distributed at school, and wouldn't be able to be sent home with the kids.[/quote]

yes, thats what our school does, you have to pick them up at a certain time, i wondered why my son hasn't been bringing them home over the years.

littlecake Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm
post #14 of 14

when i opened, i just took half sheets to every teachers lounge in town, with a price list attached...and if i remember, we did the school mascot on top.

teachers know a lot of peeps...it really helped...the phone started ringing right away.

just a thought...

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%