No matter your budget, frequent thank-yous — to your volunteers, your fellow leaders, your principal, your custodians, your office staff, etc. — are the best investment you can make as a PTA or PTO.
We hosted a coffee for local PTO and PTA leaders last week here at the office. The topic of volunteer appreciation came up along with my advice to thank more people more often. One of our guest replied, “But we can’t afford that.”
It got me thinking that some leaders think appreciation always has to be a gift or a luncheon or a plaque. No way! While tangible appreciation has its place, that kind of paid effort isn’t nearly as effective as a simple written or spoken thank-you shared soon after an event or a contribution. The two-line email. The quick, public mention during your meeting. The note in your newsletter. Those are the things that pay dividends well beyond their cost.
If your group doesn’t have that habit now, it could be the best change you make this year. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, if you don’t personally have that gene (it’s not natural to everyone), try to find a volunteer who does and appoint him or her as your official or unofficial Czar of Thanks. It can fundamentally change how your group is perceived by the wider community at your school.
Looking for more on appreciation? Check out these resources from ptotoday.com: