It's that time of year again and you're starting to panic. School has begun, and that means it’s time to get the PTA back up and running!
You're at the kitchen table with your notepad and pen trying to get into full planning mode. Meanwhile, the kids are running around like their hair is on fire when they need to be settled down to start their homework...it's too much!
But don't worry, below are some tips to ensure that PTA planning doesn’t become a contributor to all of the chaos that surrounds you!
Let’s get you on your way to having an amazing PTA comeback this year!
As a PTA member, you know how important it is to keep your fellow parents informed and involved. But it's hard to get people excited about the same old fundraising ideas like raffles or bake sales. And even if they do participate, there's no guarantee that they'll buy tickets or bring in donations.
So what can you do to draw in volunteers and get them excited!
Tip #1: Make it easy for parents to find you and know what you do.
I bet if you ask your school’s receptionist how many times a week she gets asked questions like ‘Who is the PTA Rep for Miss Palmer’s class?’ or ‘How do I sign-up for the PTA?’ she will kindly let you know, it feels like a million times in a day, especially in September!
So take my advice when I say that you want to have, readily available, a way for parents to easily get in touch with the PTA from day 1 of the school year. It may seem silly, but the majority may not even know whether the school’s organisation exists or what it even does!
Here’s a few suggestions:
- Have an easy-to identify email address that they can reach out to on the school’s website/newsletters.
- Ask your school if they can include a PTA flyer with helpful information in their new joiner welcome packs.
- Have a PTA stand up after school during the first week to grab the attention of new parents.
Tip #2: Connect everyone so they can get to know other parents in their class
I get it. You know you need to connect with other parents in your child's class but how do you go about doing that without feeling awkward?
I don't know about you, but I've been feeling a little out of touch with my fellow parents. Now that the summer's over and we’re all getting back to the swing of things it might be time for an intervention!
There are lots of great reasons for joining the PTA, but if we’re honest we’ll admit that a lot join because it's a good way to make friends with other parents!
Tip # 3: Make it easy for them to know what's coming up and how to buy tickets
It's hard to plan events, sell tickets, receive donations and bring fundraising to a new level when you're using paper- based sign-up sheets and clipboards.
Make it convenient by having one central place where they can go to see what's coming up and be able to purchase tickets (online is the most convenient!).
Tip # 4: Make it easy for volunteers to see how they can help
When planning your events try your best to break down what needs to be done into manageable tasks that parents can easily choose from.
You want to make it simple for parents to volunteer by giving them the ability to select from a list of tasks. This way they can pick what’s best suited for their own skills and schedules.
This eliminates the need of sending out that blanket email saying "email the office if you'd like to help" to which you get 0 response!
They will run in the opposite direction if they don’t know exactly what they’re getting themselves into when they volunteer to help out at this year’s Christmas Fair. You know what I’m talking about!
So make the tasks detailed, including what they will do and for how long.
Tip #5: Be the opposite of cliquey
Cliques are no longer the cool thing to join so avoid giving off an intimidating vibe.
The key is being welcoming and making everyone feel comfortable.
When you make joining the PTA welcoming, not only will people be more inclined to join but they'll also enjoy their time with other members. Cliques are so yesteryear! The key is always being kind and inclusive.
Tip # 6: Be mindful of GDPR
You want to make sure it's easy for parents to join your mailing list, but also to take themselves off if they feel overwhelmed with the emails or are simply no longer interested!
The truth is that compliance with the GDPR has never been more important. If you don't know how or what to do, it's time to learn!
You don't want to make other parents’ sensitive data accessible with a sloppy approach towards GDPR compliance.
Let's make this year the best PTA experience yet. Whether you're new to your role as PTA Chair or are looking for ways to improve on last year, these tips can help. Now is the time to create an easy-to-follow plan for the year that will attract volunteers and provide them with all they need in one place.
The simple truth is running a PTA and planning events can be a lot of work, especially when you have to balance the needs of all the people in your PTA. That's why we created PlanSocial - an easy-to-use web app for all your PTA needs that makes it easier than ever to manage your PTA with minimal hassle!
PlanSocial provides online payment and community hubs for schools and PTAs. List events and volunteer opportunities, sell tickets and collect online donations, connect parents directly with others in their kids’ classes to build a strong community spirit. Create a hub for your school community in 2 minutes.