The first step is the hardest.
I mean, it’s a big deal. Just ask Neil Armstrong, he had to broadcast his first steps to the whole world.
The first steps in your PTO presidency is a big feat (pun intended) also, so you should make sure you do it right. You don’t want to walk blindly into this; you want to know what you’re doing and show your PTO team and your representative parents that you are the right person for the job, that you are about to hold the greatest presidency that your school has ever seen.
So, let’s plan this step!
Like any great organization that helps people, it can’t be done alone. Building a strong team around you is absolutely essential for running the best PTO. Of course, you’ll need to appoint the necessary members to your leadership team, but the trick is in appointing some specialized roles that can turn your traditional PTO into a donation-generating machine!
Here is our list of officer roles and responsibilities that will guide you towards an effective and easy PTO presidency:
Maybe you’re the president, or maybe you’re a member of your PTO’s executive board. Either way, it’s important to know the key items that a president has to be on the hook for.
A PTO president can be the easiest or the hardest role of an officer — that discretion rests solely on their communication. The most vital responsibility of a PTO president is to motivate your officers. You want your officers to be the PTO’s biggest cheerleaders. They should be expressing loud and clear what your PTO has done, is doing, and wants to get done. The President should use Facebook to reach out to teachers and parents and make it clear that the organization’s goal is to never leave anyone out of the loop.
The role of your VP can be tailored to your specific needs or can be clearly defined by your PTO’s bylaws. Do you have an all-star right-hand teammate that wears many hats? Maybe it’s time you gave that person a title. Often, your Vice President is in charge of scheduling and organizing PTO committees. Your Vice President is your go-to heavy lifter.
Your PTO Secretary is your scribe. This is a meticulous role, so be sure your Secretary is very well organized and has an eye for detail. The Secretary will be scheduling your PTO’s routine meetings, recording the minutes of those meetings, and documenting membership data. The Secretary is often also responsible for corresponding with members and potential members about upcoming meetings, events and volunteer opportunities.
The Treasurer is your financial guru. They should be comfortable with numbers and well organized. Also, this role requires a lot of computer time tracking deposits and payments, so make sure that the Treasurer you choose is familiar with financial software like Quickbooks, MYOB or Xero.
This is the skeleton of your PTO, and sure, with them, your PTO can be a success. But if you really want to run a legendary PTO you’re going to need to elect a group of people who want to push the envelope and take risks by bringing new and innovative ideas to the table. One way to know that your PTO is making positive changes is by setting up great committees with those goals in mind. An easy step in this direction is to create positions that are solely focused on events. You need positions that have eyes set on nothing other than throwing incredible fundraisers and generating large donations for your students and children.
Enter: The Fundraising Chair.
The Fundraising Chair is your ticket to top-tier school support. They oversee all fundraising activities for the PTO. This means planning, organizing and volunteer recruitment. Your Fundraising Chair will work with parents, students, school staff and the local community to plan and implement incredible fundraising events.
Arguably, your Fundraising Chairperson is one of the most vital players in ensuring the financial future of your PTO. For example, your Treasurer’s job can be entirely defined and supported by the funds your Fundraising Chair brings in.
These events include things like carnivals, mother-son kickball tournaments, walk-a-thons and the ringer of all big donations: silent auctions. In order to orchestrate these events, this chair can organize sub-committees and even work closely with local businesses to gain services, donations and big-ticket donated items.
Running successful fundraising events is one of the most important roles of a PTO, so the fundraising chair has a lot on its plate. That’s why it is essential they form committees for special events utilizing other board members and key volunteers from the school, community and local businesses.
Fundraisers are supposed to be fun, filled with life and energy. Or else they don’t work. So make sure that you select a chairperson that is communicative, has a positive spirit and is a great motivator. With their eyes strictly on generating donations to your PTO, the fundraising chair is your ticket to pulling in the most money that your school’s PTO has ever seen.
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