Many PTAs elect their nominating committee at their January general membership meeting. Electing the nominating committee is one of items that must be done at a general membership meeting (along with accepting the audit report, adopting and amending the budget, adopting the bylaws, and electing officers). If you’ve just been elected to your PTA’s nominating committee and aren’t sure how to proceed, here are five keys to running a successful nominating committee.

  1. Know your responsibilities. The basic responsibility of the nominating committee is to nominate one candidate for each of the PTA officer positions at least 30 days in advance of the election. Your PTA president can download the nominating committee guide from the Illinois PTA online leadership resources for you (or provide you with the password to do so).
  2. Make a call for nominations. Your nominating committee should issue a call for those interested in being considered for an officer position to let the committee know. Your PTA or nominating committee can determine what information it would like to have from prospective candidates (check out the Illinois PTA Letter of Interest as an example).
  3. Hunt for candidates. Realize that your call for nominations is usually not going to have a large response. Talk to the current officers about whether they would like to serve in that position again (if eligible according to your PTA’s bylaws) or serve in a different officer position. Discuss with them if there is anyone in your PTA that has stood out to them as a good candidate for a position. Pay special attention to committee chairs who have been successful in those positions. If you are a middle school or high school PTA or PTSA, contact your feeder schools to see if any potential candidates will be coming to your school next year (note this is specifically allowed in your PTA bylaws).
  4. Slate one candidate for each officer position. Each officer position should only have one nominee from the nominating committee. Note that “co-“ officers are not allowed unless explicitly recognized in your PTA bylaws. If you have candidates who are interested in being “co-Presidents,” inform them that the duties of Vice President (primarily preside when the President is unavailable and take on tasks assigned by the president) make the President/Vice President pair similar to a co-presidency. The difference is that the President is responsible for signing contracts, a duty that would have to be assigned to only one “co-President” for legal purposes.
  5. Make your nomination report at least 30 days prior to the election. The nominating committee should report out their slate of candidates at least 30 days prior to the election. Since your PTA bylaws require candidates and voters to be members of your PTA (or a feeder PTA) 30 days prior to the election, this allows candidates who wish to run from the floor or people who wish to vote for officers time to join the PTA and do so. Note that if the nominating committee was unable to slate a candidate for a position, nominations must be taken from the floor for that position.

Graphic courtesy Goombiis via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license.