Eight Strategic Mistakes with Memberships by Blue Avocado

Ellis Robinson and Blue Avocado, a magazine of American non-profits, posted an interesting article that discusses “Eight Strategic Mistakes with Memberships”.

  • Strategic Mistake #1: Encouraging people to become members.
  • Strategic Mistake #2: Over-using membership numbers in public.
  • Strategic Mistake #3: Thinking membership benefits are important.
  • Strategic Mistake #4: Not asking people to renew several times.
  • Strategic Mistake #5: Boring members by telling them what your organization does.
  • Strategic Mistake #6: Relying too much on electronic communication.
  • Strategic Mistake #7: Thinking that all members are equally valuable.
  • Strategic Mistake #8: Announcing a membership drive.

Intrigued by the list? Visit “Eight Strategic Mistakes with Memberships” to learn more


Resources/Tools

• PTA Surveys click HERE (in MS Word format)

• Membership section of the Tool Kit.  The Tool Kit is emailed to each unit president during the summer.  It is also available online in the PTA Members Section of this website.

• PTA Membership Quick-Reference Guide.  This is included in the Back-to-School kit from National PTA.  The kit is available online.

• Procedure Book.  This should be passed on to you from your predecessor.  If you didn’t get one, start one now.

• National website:  Check out the latest information & hints about card activation, member benefits and growing your PTA.

• Check out “201 Ways to Increase Your Membership“.

• Search the Internet:  PTA Membership, PTA Membership Campaigns, PTA Membership Ideas, etc.; Look at other State or unit PTA Websites and Newsletters on-line

• CONTACT:  This is a state magazine publication that is online under the PTA Members Section of this website


Business Members

What is a business member?
Business members are companies that join your PTA, but are usually required to pay a different membership cost than individual members.  Many PTAs offer special incentives for businesses joining their PTA’s.

What does the average PTA charge for a business membership?
There is no specific answer to this since it varies quite drastically across the state.  Dues can vary from $10.00 all the way to $75.00 or more.  As with individual dues, the amount your PTA charges for a business membership is addressed in your bylaws.  Depending on what a PTA is willing to provide a business in incentives, often determines the amount they charge.

What kind of incentives can a PTA offer business members?
The biggest asset you have to offer as a PTA is exposure a.k.a. “advertising”.  You may list your business members in your newsletters, on your PTA bulletin board, your website, student directory, yearbook, etc.  The more you can offer a business, the more your business memberships are worth.

Aside from PTA parents who are business owners, what other places are good to approach for business memberships?
Local businesses located around your school or neighborhoods where your students live.  Your parents are usually their customer base, so what better advertising for them than to show their support of your school.  Just remember….you can never promise a business that you will tell your membership to make a purchase from them, BUT you may tell your members/parents to say “thank you” to that business for their support.

Can a business member attend our meetings or vote on PTA business?
Yes, they can.  They have joined your PTA and therefore are considered a member, but they are only issued one (1) card so no matter how many employees that business has, they only are allowed one vote.


Unit in Good Standing:

How do we become a Unit in Good Standing?
These are the main elements to being a Unit in Good Standing.
1.  Membership Dues (State & National) turned in regularly to state by dates required
2.  Unit Annual Financial Review (formerly known as “Audit”) to State Office by December 1st
3.  Fiscal Year-End Report to State Office by December 1st
4.  Submits a copy of the required IRS tax from to the state PTA by December 1st
5.  Has bylaws approved every three years according to the procedures of the state PTA
6.  Officer’s list to State Office by March 31st
7.  Adherence to the Purposes & basic policies of PTA

What happens if our PTA is “not in good standing”?
If a PTA is not in good standing, neither the unit nor the students attending the PTA’s school are eligible to receive awards and recognition, e.g., membership awards, Reflections, etc.

If our PTA is “not in good standing” how do we fix it?
If a unit has become “not in good standing”, as soon as it has fulfilled the necessary requirements, it is again considered “in good standing”.

How often do our bylaws have to be reviewed?
Bylaws are required to be reviewed/updated and sent to the state office every three years.

What if we don’t have all the positions filled requested on the Officer’s Form?
Fill in the information known on the officer’s form by March 31st, and then send the other information as positions are filled.

What is the “Fiscal Year-end Report”
This is compiled by the treasurer at the close of the PTA’s fiscal year showing all actual receipts and expenditures.

 


Awards:

What are the Membership Awards?
There are several different membership awards.  Early Bird, Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal, Honor Roll, Platinum Award, President’s Award, Student Membership Award, 100% Faculty Award, Diamond Faculty Award, and Business Partnership Award.

Where can I find the Membership award applications?
The application is now fully digital!  Here is the link to the Membership Award Application. (You must be logged in to access this form)

When is the last date for dues to count towards awards?
Dues must be postmarked by March 1st, to count toward awards.

What is the deadline for Membership awards?
Membership award applications must be submitted by April 1st.

How does our unit make the Honor Roll?
PTA units that send in dues equal to or greater than the previous year’s membership are automatically placed on the Honor Roll.  Dues must be postmarked by March 1, to count toward this award. (New units and units that did not send in dues the previous year do not qualify for this award)