9 Mistakes to avoid when running your PTA

PTA Meeting - 9 Mistakes to Avoid1. Assuming all parents are alike
Not all parents will be motivated by the same things – if you are finding people are shying away from taking part you may need to change your approach. Try to explain why it’s important for them be involved and what you hope to achieve. Accept all offers of help even just an hour can make a difference, and if they enjoy it they may also offer more help. And most importantly always make sure everyone is thanked for helping, if they feel appreciated they are more likely to help again!

2.Take your volunteers for granted
Parents normally volunteer to help the school, get to know other parents, social and have fun, in order to keep you valuable volunteers try to make sure their time in the committee allows them to fulfill all of these aims. Volunteers will also want to feel a sense of accomplishment so give them work to do that matters and allow them to exercise their own creativity. This will lead to happy volunteers who are likely to contribute and help out regularly.

3. Making Fundraising the Focus of your Group
A lot of parents will find it hard to donate money constantly, even if it is for the good of the school, if you constantly do fundraisers you may find the take up of helpers and donators gets less as the year goes on. It’s also a good idea not to start with a fundraiser at the beginning of the year, a free welcoming even for families is a great idea to get everyone involved and build support.

4. Doing too much
Don’t push yourself and others into taking on too much – eventually it will become a burden and the group will suffer burn out. When deciding on the events calendar for the yet make sure you also evaluate by how much effort and time will be needed to complete the project, as well as the cost.

5. Doing the same thing
Don’t just do an event because it has always been done. People may get bored of the event and you may end up ignoring new creative ideas because you feel the established events are a safe bet. This can end up offending the creative members of the team who will feel the group isn’t really making any progress. With each activity make sure you evaluate it to see if there are signs dimming interest or has the amount raised each year been getting less? If so try something new- and don’t be afraid to fail- it’s the only way to learn what works and what doesn’t!

PTA Meeting - 9 Mistakes to Avoid6. Not planning long term
Avoid just focusing on present activities – if you can plan long term you can work to a much more organised plan and start organizing upcoming events earlier to give your team more time and make the organisation much for relaxed and enjoyable. A fundraising target is also a good idea to give the team a goal to work to.

7. Failing to keep a record
All key members of committee need to important documents relating to planned events etc so that when planning future events these can be referred to – for example if you wanted to use the same DJ as the one you had at an event you did last year. It’s an idea to have a binder for each key position, all key information is recorded in these and these are passed down from old officers to new officers, in a special handover meeting so that all knowledge is passed on. It is also an idea to have a secretary for all meetings so that all decisions are recorded and can be referred back to.

8. Too much trust regarding cash
Money is stolen from dozens of groups each year – the culprit usually has the intention to pay it back, but it it goes unnoticed they may be tempted to take more and more until things spiral out of control. To prevent this happening to your committee make sure at least two people regularly review bank statements and perform audits every year, it is also important to have at least two people present when counting cash.

9. Forgetting to involve the Head Teacher
If you find that the group’s ideas are often rejected when you go to the Head Teacher for approval it may be worth involving the Head Teacher earlier in discussions. The Head Teacher has a lot on their plate, so the PTA group may not be high on the list – however if you can discuss your ideas with them early on and address any concerns they may have this may make it easier to get the final go-ahead from them.

For some fundraising ideas for your PTA why not download our free Fundraising Pack by clicking the button below.

Download our Fundraising Pack

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install commercial grade canopies, shade sails,
awnings and shelters across the UK. We specialise in servicing the education, leisure,
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Rachel is Able Canopies' previous Marketing Coordinator, she is an advocate of outdoor learning and the benefits the outdoor brings to all.

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