How To Manage Your PTO Memership or Directory
If you are like most parent teacher groups, one person in your organization is tasked with tracking the membership of your group. We have found that the common way most groups do it is using a spreadsheet to hold the names and other information about the group’s families. While this may suffice for some groups it does not open your group up to the benefits of true membership management.
The first item to note is that the chair person managing the list needs to track everyone down to build the list. This is often done by collecting membership forms with traditional check payments for the annual dues. The forms are usually hand written and can be difficult for the chair person to read. This results in misspellings, inaccuracies, complaints and then headaches.
With a Paperless PTO website, you place the responsibility of your membership entries into the hands of your members and not your volunteers. Each parent will come to your website and create an account which will build their profile. The information collected includes the parent names and contact information. The site will also securely collect student information such as teacher names and grades. Each parent can then alter their profile as needed and the end result dramatically increases the accuracy of your membership database. Board members and website administrators can also manage the profile of each of their families.
Another hurdle the chair person who manages the membership list on a spreadsheet will face is having to update the information each year. Parents may not have to make any changes, however student will have new teachers and new grades each year. Why have one person update all of these details with a high margin of error when your Paperless PTO website will automatically moves the students up a grade each year. Then each parent simply needs to update the new homeroom teacher each year and you have a new membership list without much effort.
Your membership chair person may also track who has paid their dues and who has not. I’m sure we all know how difficult it can be to track down the families who have not paid their dues. With your Paperless PTO website your group can easily offer payment of the annual dues on the website and accept the payments credit card. The system will track who has made their membership payment, and also limit the privileges they have using the site if they have not paid their dues.
When you build your membership using the Paperless PTO you also have access to all kinds of reports and spreadsheets that group and sort the membership information in multiple ways. If you need to break the membership down by class or grade, it is simply a matter of clicking a few buttons.
Each Paperless PTO website also comes equipped with an email and text blast feature that sends messages out to your membership list. Your families can easily decide to opt in or opt out of your email notices. While your membership chair person can still oversee and manage this feature, the bulk of the updates will be done by your family members to their own accounts.
As your website and membership list build over time, your site becomes a true location that your family members will visit over and over again for many years. This can become a truly lucrative fact for you parent teacher group. With hundreds of parents visiting your website numerous times each month, your site becomes an attraction to local merchants in your community. Each Paperless PTO website includes an optional feature that allows you to sell ad space to these merchants at prices and rates that you dictate. They will more than likely be willing to invest in your website as it will be attracting the same audience that they want to capture. This can quickly turn into a revenue stream for your group that requires no maintenance.