Book Review: A Mom’s Guide To School Fundraising by Sarah Barrett

A Mom's Guide To School Fundraising

All schools, both private and public, rely on parent volunteers to help raise money to fund essential projects. The tuition at private schools doesn’t cover the cost of educating a student, so additional funds are raised for programs and financial aid.  Public schools have been hit by budget cuts and rely on parent volunteers to raise much-needed funds for programs, staff and other necessities. So, no matter where your kids attend school, you can be certain your help will be needed with fundraising. If you’re planning to join a fundraising committee or chair a big event, this book is an excellent resource.  A Mom’s Guide To School Fundraising is a wonderful gem that can be used as your guide for how to successfully raise money for your kid’s school.


Sarah Barrett’s book offers an overview of the many different possibilities for school fundraising and how to plan and run these events/programs.  Sarah’s been a PTA co-chair, raising thousands for her daughters’ schools. In the process, she’s written a go-to book that will help you go beyond the bake sale and take school fundraising to the next level. Importantly, this book talks about how to raise money for your type of school by analyzing what parents at your school will buy and what types of fundraising events they will–and won’t–support. A disconnect between what a school’s parent community will support and what a fundraising committee plans can spell failure, resulting in low event attendance and volunteer hours and money lost.


What I love about this book is how Sarah uses her years of experience to explain a wide array of fundraising events, how to decide on the right event for your school (yes, she gives sample solicitation letters), how to plan and structure these events and how to manage your way to the day after the event when you’re exhausted and happy, counting up the money your committee has raised.


A Mom’s Guide To Fundraising covers:

  • How to raise money by planning events tailored for your school
  • Event promotion within your parent community
  • Creating a fun, motivated committee of volunteers
  • Who and how to ask for donations
  • Types of fundraising events from Auctions and Party Books to Walk-A-Thons, Carnivals, Holiday Boutiques, Golf Tournaments, Potlucks and Book Fairs.
  • Detailed information about big and small fundraising events targeted for your school community
  • Tons of tips about how to get creative with fundraising for your school
  • Resources you can use to operate your event
  • Which event will provide big returns on investment


When I co-chaired our former school’s auction, it was a big, successful event and endless hours of hard work. When it was over, I left a huge binder filled with all my notes and work product with for the next co-chairs. Fundraising shouldn’t require reinventing the proverbial wheel, but too often when one group of volunteers is finished, the new group has to start over. This book will help you prevent that waste of precious time.


Best of all, this book is like sitting down to brainstorm with Sarah and leaving the meeting with pages filled with great ideas. If you’re planning to help your school, private or public raise money, this book is a valuable resource for you and your volunteer colleagues. If you’ve been raising money at your school for a few years and you’re out of ideas, get this book for inspiration!


If you’re working on a school auction, Sarah’s also written the Auction Success Kit, available on her website for $59.99.


To buy a copy of The Mom’s Guide To School Fundraising, visit The book retails for $14.99.


Sarah Barrett has been fundraising for her daughters’ public school since 2008.  In school years, that’s a lifetime! She’s been part of a team that has helped raise over $500,000 for our neighborhood school every year! Sarah’s success is a repeatable plan, which she turned into a book in 2013. Sarah has an M.A. in Education from Pepperdine University. She lives in Studio City with her husband and two daughters, who attend the local public school. Since 2006, Sarah has owned SarahBear’s Cards and Creations. Check out her blog at


This post was not sponsored or compensated. I received a copy of the book for review. 

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