Several months into the school year, your PTA is probably not attracting as many new members as it was during the start of the school year. Now is a great time to assess how your membership recruitment has gone so far and plan to build your PTA membership. Here are some tips to help.
- You know who your PTA members are so far. Look at your membership and note who in your school community isn’t a PTA member? Is it teachers or staff? Are there any characteristics that the families not joining your PTA share? If so, what can you do to reach out to those families and make them feel welcome? What barriers might your PTA be putting up that discourages them from joining? Use PTA’s Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit to reach out to those families.
- Use an Illinois PTA ready-to-use membership program to get more people interested in joining your PTA. Build a Super Fan campaign around upcoming sports seasons or a Give the Gift of Membership campaign for the holiday season.
- Sign up for National PTA’s Local Leader Kit so you can receive the DIY Kit for Membership Growth for free. The DIY kit will walk you through how to target potential PTA members and build a membership pitch to share the value of PTA with them.
- Take advantage of the power of MemberHub. PTA members aren’t the only people who you can sign up on MemberHub. If you have non-members joining MemberHub and using it as a communication tool with everyone, those non-members will see more of all the great things your PTA is doing. And if you are offering PTA memberships through MemberHub, you have an easy way to get them to join.
Photo courtesy Nick Youngson and Alpha Stock Imagesunder Creative Commons License.
Membership is critical to your PTA’s success. Members become your PTA’s volunteers and leaders, but most importantly members, even those who never volunteer, are sending the message that what your PTA is doing is important for their child, for their family, and for their school. Here are five tips to help your PTA engage with families and boost your membership.
- Build Your Brand:If people don’t know that your PTA exists or what your PTA does, they certainly won’t join. Make sure that your PTA is visible at school events, communicates regularly with all families in a variety of ways, and shares the good things your PTA does for their child. Be consistent with identifying PTA events and communications.
- Target Your Recruitment:Not every member of your school community will join PTA for the same reason. The days when everyone would join the PTA simply because it was what you did are long gone. The message to recruit teachers will be different than the one to recruit families, and both will be different than the message to recruit community members or businesses. Use PTA’s customizable 10 ReasonsPDF flyersto reach out to each community.
- Reach Out to Underrepresented Groups:PTA’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality, and that mission is more easily served when everyone is at the table sharing ideas. But making the connection with some families in your school can be difficult if your PTA hasn’t been building those relationships already. Use PTA’s Diversity & Inclusion Toolkitand tips on how to engage with underrepresented groupsto help you start building those relationships now.
- Use All Your Tools:Having the right tool for a job can make it go a lot easier, but if you never take that tool out of your toolbox, it might as well be a rock. PTA provides you with a wealth of resources to help you with membership, including National PTA’s Local Leader Kit(register here), Illinois PTA’s Leadership Resources(formerly the Local Unit Packet, register your officers through MemberHub to get access), and membership articles here at One Voice Illinois.
- Have a Plan:When you register for National PTA’s Local Leader Kit, you’ll be sent a DIY Kit for Membership Growththat will walk you through the process of creating a membership plan specific to your PTA. You can also use Illinois PTA’s membership campaignsthroughout the year to recruit members.
Next week, PTAs across the country will celebrate National PTA Back-to-School Week. Each day of Back-to-School Week will highlight and provide tips and resources for the people who support our children’s learning and success.
- Monday, September 17: PTA Leaders
- Tuesday, September 18: Parents
- Wednesday, September 19: Students
- Thursday, September 20: Teachers
- Friday, September 21: Office Depot Day (National PTA sponsor of Back-to-School Week)
These highlights and resources include:
And there are many more resources at the Back-to-School Week website. Take advantage of these resources, new grant opportunities, and more to make the 2018-2019 school year a huge success for your PTA, your children, your families, and your school. Follow the hashtag #PTABackToSchoolto see what PTAs across the country are doing to celebrate Back-to-School Week.
Membership is at the heart of PTA, so it’s not surprising that membership was the focus of several workshops and one big announcement at the 2018 National PTA Convention in New Orleans. The announcement? Every PTA leader who registers or logs in to the Local PTA Leader Kit(formerly the Back-to-School Kit) will receive a new DIY Kit for Membership Growth by mail while supplies last.
The kit contains everything local PTA leaders need to develop a Do-It-Yourself membership plan. Included in the kit are promotional posters, customizable membership resources, and a Design Your PTA/PTSA Membership P.L.A.N. booklet. PLAN stands for:
- Pictureways to reach and attract possible PTA/PTSA members.
- Listento what matters most to them and align your PTA’s efforts.
- Askpossible members to join PTA by sharing PTA’s focus on what matters most to them.
- Nurturerelationships year-round by communicating the impact your PTA/PTSA is making for your students, school, and community.
The guidebook walks you through each of the steps with examples, questions to consider, and brainstorming prompts for you and your fellow PTA leaders to develop a membership plan tailored to your PTA, your school, and your community. The guidebook is printed in both English and Spanish. Get yours today!
The new DIY Kit for Membership Growth was a big focus of most of the membership workshops at the 2018 National PTA Convention. The other workshop focused on attracting more parents, students, and educators to PTA in middle and high schools. The latter featured Illinois PTA’s South Suburban Cook Region Director Darvel Stinson as one of the panelists.
Among the ideas floated at the workshop were events that would attract students such as a car care night (learn how to check and change your oil, change a tire, etc.) or a sexual violence awareness event. Consider partnering with business classes at your high school to handle running and marketing PTA Reflections at the school. If your PTA offers grants to teachers, require teachers applying for a grant to be PTA members, and offer extra consideration points for teachers who have attended PTA meetings or based on the number of PTA parent and student members in their homerooms. For teachers without a homeroom class, offer extra consideration points for their doing a project with the PTA that engages families.
The workshop also provided a handout with links to the following resources: