How to collect more PTA donations with a PTA payment system

Like a lot of volunteer-run organizations, innovating your predecessor’s existing process may not always be at the top of your list. But when lack of innovation gets in the way of total funds raised, community satisfaction, safety and general efficiency, it’s worth exploring— especially when moving to an online PTA payment system can be done in minutes.

Why innovate

While the goal of every PTA is to connect home, school and community to enrich children’s learning experience, this typically is achieved by:

  • Promoting parent and community participation and involvement
  • Providing funding and volunteer support for academic, enrichment and community events and activities

This is no small feat. It requires forethought, creativity, planning, reliable volunteers and —in this day and age —to do it well, it requires technology. 

Time and time again, PTAs have proven that when they accept online payments, participation numbers go through the roof and funds raised increase by double-digit percentages. If your PTA payment system still consists of collecting payments, forms, waivers, signups and registrations using clunky technology—or worse yet, paper forms and checks—you have a massive opportunity waiting at your doorstep.

It’s time to innovate if your PTA payment system if you’re experiencing:

Low participation

If your event and campaign numbers are lower than you’d like (both in number of people attending and dollars raised), there’s a reason for it and it’s probably related to the need to optimize how you promote activities and collect payments.

Community complaints

Let’s face it, people are used to convenience. And when it’s not offered, you’ll hear about it, often in the form of questions and comments such as: “Can we pay online?” or “Can I pay with a credit card for points?” or “I don’t have a checkbook, is there another way?”

Poor payment tracking and oversight

When you receive payments without always knowing exactly who it’s from or what it’s for, that’s not a PTA payment system- that’s a problem.

Concerns about fraud

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Who has the funds from the Fun Run?” or “How much did we collect?”…that’s a red flag. Bags of cash and checks (with highly confidential information on them) stored in precarious locations (someone’s car, glovebox, or home) with single-human oversight? This is a no-no and screams “future fraud problem”, which is NOT worth the risk. 

Wasted volunteer time

Are your PTA volunteers spending unnecessary time and resources on data entry, trips to the bank, and manual tracking, when there are more value-add tasks to be done? 

Insufficient year-over-year handoff

If incoming volunteers taking over an event or key role are given very little to go on from previous volunteers, or if they’re handed an archaic binder, there’s room for improvement.
Cheddar Up Review

“We used Cheddar Up to collect for a district-wide event. We were able to set up a Cheddar Up page in literally minutes and the vast majority of people chose to pay online. It saved our volunteers so much time!

No longer did they have to run around town picking up checks or worry about misplacing something. Not only was the administration of the event easier, but having access to instant, always-there data and information at our fingertips was something volunteers weren’t used to and LOVED.”

Christina Hidek, Greenview Upper Elementary PTA, South Euclid, Ohio

Benefits of moving to an online PTA payment system

In a COVID and post-COVID world, almost everyone is forced to go digital. Why should your PTA be any different? Fortunately, there are a lot of benefits for all parties that make it a smart move.
Benefits for PTAs
Benefits for the Community
Share a simple link for payment...anywhere!
Easy online payment (no app or account needed)
Track online, offline and POS payments + forms all in one spot
Multiple payment methods (including low, flat $0.59 fee option)
No transaction fees
Pay from anywhere and on the go
Flexible enough to handle anything—events, fundraisers, enrichment, teacher gifts and more
One, consistent payment platform for all events, fundraisers, etc.
Automatic digital receipts and reminders
Receive detailed email receipts for all payments
Benefits for PTAs
Share a simple link for payment...anywhere!
Track online, offline and POS payments + forms all in one spot
No transaction fees
Flexible enough to handle anything—events, fundraisers, enrichment, teacher gifts and more
Automatic digital receipts and reminders.
Benefits for the Community
Easy online payment (no app or account needed)
Multiple payment methods (including low, flat $0.59 fee option)
Pay from anywhere and on the go
One consistent payment platform for all events, fundraisers, etc.
Receive detailed email receipts for all payments

Why moving online increases participation and $ collected

This is a legit question. We’ve touched on it above, but it’s worth spelling out. And the answer is simple. You’ll collect more—and increase participation—by moving to an online PTA payment system for two main reasons:


It will make YOUR PTA better marketers!

“Huh?”, you might ask. It’s true. If you now have a simple link to share that allows people to sign up, contribute, donate, fill out the waiver, etc., the logistical challenge of actually marketing your “thing” becomes vastly easier….and, very importantly, you can promote it further in advance. This is key, because people don’t read, which means, you have to hit them over the head with whatever it is you’re promoting several times. The earlier you begin doing that…the better.

Let’s take a fall festival scheduled for September 30, for example. You can (and probably should!) start promoting that at least a month in advance. Promote it via a stand-alone email, put it in the footer of every e-blast, include it in a weekly e-newsletter, promote it on the school website, promote it on social media (over and over and over again). You get the picture. More promotion, means more participation.

Online PTA payment systems are easy for the masses

If your “thing” requires people to fill out a paper form and write a check—bam, you’re blocking about 50% of potential participants right out of the gate. Younger parents may not even have a checkbook, and those who do, rarely carry it with them. The steps required to fill out a paper form and check and physically get it somewhere are numerous. Why put that obstacle in front of your community?

Moving to an online PTA payment system means people can pay on the soccer sidelines, in the grocery store line…from anywhere. And that’s the kind of flexibility your community needs. Worried about alienating folks who prefer writing checks? Toggle on our cash/check payment method to keep all of your tracking in one place, while still allowing people to write that check if they must.

Example PTA Collection

Example HOA Collection
HOA Item with Form

How to get your PTA payment system started

Looking to learn more and create an online collection page for your PTA? Believe us when we say that moving to an online PTA payment system is easy. You can be online within the next 30 minutes. Here’s what to do:

Watch this quick “how it works” video to get acclimated.

Check out these example PTA online collection pages

Create a Cheddar Up account (it’s free, so it’s zero commitment).

Start creating a collection. Need help along the way? Tap into our How-To Video Library. Be sure to check out this article highlighting 14 ways to move your PTA online, a great way to get started. 

Not up for reading? No problem!

Check out our video library that will guide you every step of the way. Or contact Cheddar Up Support to help you set up your PTA collection.

Fun fact:  Several of our Customer Success Managers have led their PTAs in the past (they get it!).

Ready to move to an online PTA payment system?

Delight your community with Cheddar Up’s online payments, forms and tracking.

Collect for FREE

Whether you’re collecting dues and fees, fundraising, managing an event, creating a sign up, or selling something online or in-person, you can do it with a Cheddar Up collection.

You’ll want to ask your group’s organizer for a link. For privacy reasons, it’s not possible to search for this on Cheddar Up.

Learn more about paying on Cheddar Up

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