PTOs and PTAs across the country face a similar challenge — attracting new members and keeping them involved. Without parents, the organizations don’t exist. So what can you do to increase your PTO or PTA membership? Give these things a try:
Sure, you’d love to have parents knocking on your door asking to join. But you won’t always be that lucky. Your starting point when addressing PTO or PTA membership should be to simply invite the parents who aren’t currently members to join the group. You never know; there could be parents out there who either don’t know about your organization or others who just need to be sold on the idea of joining. You won’t know unless you ask!
Being part of a PTO or PTA means sacrificing some time and money. However, you don’t want membership to be a burden. You will have trouble attracting new members and run the risk of losing current members if participation is costly and takes up too much time. Keep membership dues and additional costs as low as possible.
Fundraising is one area that has the potential to take up a lot of time. Some people enjoy it, but many others dread fundraising season. You will do your organization a big favor if you can do fewer fundraisers. Instead, explore options that will be profitable and require little work — a spirit wear program for example.
Ensuring members will have plenty of free time and will be able to keep more money in their pockets will make your organization more appealing.
Parents are busy people, so it’s important to be flexible whenever possible. Adjust meeting times and locations to accommodate as many people as possible, and switch them up once in awhile so that everybody can stay involved. Potential members will be more likely to join if they know you’re willing to work with them once they commit.
People don’t want to be involved with unorganized groups. It is essential that there is a high level of communication between members. Whether it’s by phone, email, newsletter, social media or word of mouth, keep everybody in the loop with everything that is going on. You will have better luck increasing your PTO or PTA membership if your prospective members know they won’t be left in the dark.
The best way to attract new members is to be an organization that has fun. Parents want to help out their children’s school, and it’s a great bonus if they get to have a good time in the process. Make sure part of your annual programming includes plenty of enjoyable parent-child activities, as well as some adult-only outings to keep members engaged and reward them for their hard work.