Many schools lament the fact that they struggle to engage parents with either their Parent Teacher Association or their school fundraising activities.

There are nearly always a range of factors at play here. People lead busy lives and the working day for many can be far too long to allow for some people to get involved with school activities.

Add to this many people’s reluctance to attend meetings – for fear that you might end up on a committee! – and it starts to be very difficult for schools to engage with their parents pta fundraiser ideas. Is this the fault of the parents, the schools or the parents who do get involved? Who knows.

What certainly doesn’t help is some school communications. Do you, like me get those school letters coming back in your child’s homework bag. You know the ones……..They are usually following a template from an event many years previously. The school or PTA secretary simply changing the date each year. They often incorporate a funny looking font and also nearly always include some lame clip art and weird default border.

The worst thing is however the use of coloured paper. Why oh why do schools do this? Reds blues, greens you can spot a letter from the PTA a mile off!

And what do these letters say to you? That it’s all a bit old-fashioned. A bit naff. A bit………”well I’m not sure I want to go to that school barbecue!”

Ask yourself a question do businesses and companies advertise using these techniques? Of course they don’t – if they looked that bad they would go bust.

The silly thing is that with even the simplest computer system it is easy to produce great letters, posters and flyers that really have a bit of zip…… and, are far more likely to encourage participation. It doesn’t take too long and you really don’t need a degree in graphic design…and I speak as someone with all the design skills of a splat on the windscreen.

Here are some golden rules:

  • Centre your text.
  • Use one modern sans serif font such as arial or helvetica.
  • Write a nice big bold headline.
  • Don’t use clip art – try to use a small photo (that will print reasonably well).
  • Keep your text simple.
  • Bullet points help break up text and allow people to quickly see what is going on. We live in a world where people scan information (which is why many web pages use bullets).
  • Provide some nice friendly information (but don’t write a novel or try to include every detail).
  • Keep dates, times and place bold and clear.
  • Print on white paper.