The Party Book: Easy Year-Round School Fundraising

Want to get in on one of the hottest trends in school fundraising? It’s called The Party Book, and with OneCause, it’s incredibly easy to set up.

If you’re familiar with the sign-up parties typically sold at fundraising events, then you’ve got the idea – minus the costly gala! Here’s how it works:

  1. Ask school parents and community organizations to host or donate to a small special event, such as a wine tasting for 12 or a self-defense class for six.
  2. Using a OneCause Giving Center website, create a Party Book (or sign-up party) website where donors can purchase experiences throughout the year.
  3. Since you have 365 days to fundraise with OneCause, update your Party Book regularly so donors come back and purchase multiple times.

The Party Book is truly a win-win for everyone: members of the school community have fun while getting to know each other better and the school receives 100% of the proceeds from the parties. These virtual fundraisers simplify fundraising and allow the school to extend its fundraising capabilities well beyond just one night of the year.

The trick to any great school or PTA fundraising ideas is generating increased engagement. Building stronger relationships between your school and its community is essential to creating year-round support. That’s where parties come in.

Here are a few of our favorite school party ideas from OneCause clients:

  1. End-of-the-Year Carnival
  2. Gourmet Cooking Night
  3. Parents-Only Night
  4. Mom’s Margarita Night
  5. Holiday Craft Day

Let’s dive in:

End-of-Year Carnival

Before students pack up their books and head home for the summer, your school can host an end-of-year carnival that allows students to bid each other farewell and generate some extra summer cash for your school.

The types of games and activities you host at your carnival will largely depend on your budget and the age range of your students (while they might enjoy it, first-graders should not be trusted with throwing pies!). Think about including:

  • Inflatable obstacle courses
  • Face painting
  • Petting zoo
  • [Temporary] tattoo parlor
  • Touch-a-truck
  • Hulla hoop contest
  • Ring toss
  • Fish bowl
  • Tug of war
  • Lollipop tree
  • Duck pond

You can charge an admission fee or charge a certain amount per game or activity to raise money. You could also sell concessions, t-shirts, water bottles, or other products!

Gourmet Cooking Night

A gourmet cooking night could be just the right event to take your school fundraising to the next level! Reach out to local professional chefs or cooking schools and see if they would be interested in an evening out for couples to learn how to make a gourmet meal.

In this fundraising idea, everyone participates in the kitchen, learns to pair wine with each course, and sits down in an intimate setting to enjoy amazing food. It’s just what you need to bring the community together!

Parents-Only Night

A parents-only night can be the perfect sign-up party to offer at your school auction fundraiser. No matter what the age of your school’s demographic is, we’re sure that there are plenty of parents in your audience who would really enjoy a night off!

When planning this one, you’ll want to pack it chock-full of treats and activities that parents only get to enjoy when the kids aren’t around. For example, you could request that everyone brings one bottle of liquor (at a certain price point) and a mixer and have a DIY cocktail hour.

Or, you could opt for more luxurious events such as

  • Romantic dinner at a 5 star restaurant
  • Two-night stay in a hotel in the area
  • Local cooking classes
  • Day at the golf course
  • Wine tasting adventures
  • Private tennis or golf lessons
  • Couple massages
  • Group dinner party

In any case, the parents should be able to really let down their hair and have a great time. Parents need a chance to relax, connect, and have FUN!

To make this fundraising item even more appealing, see if a couple of your teachers or parent volunteers will offer to watch the kids while their parents enjoy the party.

Mom’s Margarita Night

This school sing-up party idea is a no brainer! Give moms the chance to unwind and connect with one another in the perfect Mom’s Margarita Night!

The night should be full of all the essentials:

  • Mexican food
  • Chips & salsa
  • Margaritas
  • Salsa music

If you really want to wow your donors, ask a local dance instructor to teach moms how to salsa dance! This unique experience will pair perfectly with dinner and drinks.

Holiday Craft Day

Get the kids involved in the fundraising! Ask a family to host a craft day at their home by setting up different stations where parents and children can craft together.

Think about including these activities:

  • Cookie decorating
  • Creating ornaments
  • Drinking hot chocolate
  • Even a surprise visit from Santa!

The kids will have fun and so will you!


Party Books are a great way for people to build bonds, have fun, and support your cause. But they aren’t just for being social. Schools are generating thousands of extra dollars by fundraising online outside of their annual auctions and galas. Join the wave of online fundraising and bring Party Books to your school!

A school party is the perfect way to foster relationships with your community. With the right fundraising tools on your side, you can be sure those bolstered relationships will translate to increased support!


Wrapping Up