We are in an industry where you have to work hard consistently to build your school over time. It’s about establishing your reputation and identity in the community and getting to know your 3-mile radius.
If you can teach a great martial arts class, you can generate new student enrollments, promote your reputation in the community, and create a great deal of positive goodwill.
Consequently, being a part of your local school system is vital to your business’s growth. It’s about real social networking—especially in a digitally-driven world—to create relationships with prospective families and students.
You may think to yourself, “I tried to be involved with the school, but they will not let me in.”
Well, yes—if you simply go running in with flyers or guest passes to give to all the students without building relationships first, that’s a problem. Every other business that provides instruction to kids (gymnastics, dance, tutoring) would be there every day.
Forging a partnership with your local Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is a great way to create trust with your local school system. Mostly all public and private schools have PTA-like organizations.
One of the association’s main initiatives is fundraising to pay for activities such as field trips, movie nights, and parties. They typically raise funds by selling candy, candles, cookie dough, and gift wrapping paper.
Have you ever been in charge of a candy fundraiser? It’s chaos. Kids and parents sell the candy, some end up losing the money; you end up tracking the inventory. When it ends, the school only may raise a hundred or so dollars.
Situations like these offer unique opportunities for you to build relationships with community influencers and to demonstrate that your martial arts school values community involvement. Use the five steps below to create a fundraising program for your local PTA that also gains exposure for your school.
5 Steps to Creating & Running a Martial Arts PTA Fundraiser
1. Post a flyer in your school describing your PTA fundraiser.
Post a flyer either on your community board, near your front desk, or another visible area that provides a brief description of what you do for PTAs. For example:
Our school is committed to helping local schools raise thousands of dollars for the PTA. We have a great painless fundraiser program for our local schools.
2. Ask parents if they are members of the PTA for local elementary schools.
Network with the parents of your students to find out if they are involved in the local PTA. Even if you only teach adults, someone will know a person in the community who can help you.
3. Propose a four-week, afterschool fundraiser program to the PTA.
Propose a simple, four-week program that fits in your existing class schedule. Each child pays $40 for the four-week class, of which the PTA keeps 100% of the funds. The math works well as a pitch: 20 kids, for example, paying $40 each equals $800 of profit for the PTA. Use event registration software to track sign-ups and revenue.
4. Have your fundraising students break boards at the end of the seminar.
This is a great way to build a sense of achievement for the new students. Invite PTA members to your event and encourage them to take photos and videos to share on social media. Having PTA members physically present at your school is an additional opportunity to create real-life social proof of the value you give to the community.
5. Give your fundraising students a certificate of completion and a guest pass to your school.
Along with hosting your board breaking event, give certificates of completion that include a guest pass for a free month of classes. If you teach a great class, you’ll find that hard selling isn’t necessary. You’ll notice that people will call your school, wanting to be a part of your program.
Using PTA Fundraisers for Growth
This PTA fundraiser will become a major pillar of your martial arts marketing program. More importantly, it will help you to be of service in your community in a way that positions you as a philanthropist.
Regardless, we should be contributing positively to our local community. As a by-product, positive action will help your reputation and your enrollments.
Think of all the marketing activities you have done. Get active and get out there to do something to improve your school.
About the author: Korbett Miller has been teaching at his martial arts school in Kirkland, WA for the last 17 years. Korbett actively trains in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He received his black belt from the legendary Saulo and Xande Ribeiro and won the Brown Belt Senior II World Championships in Jiu Jitsu. He is most proud of his three daughters and the marriage to his wife, Elise. Korbett can be reached at email@example.com.