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Resource Guide Online - PTO Today Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram Login/Register Plus Member Toggle navigation Helping Parent Leaders Make Schools Great POPULAR TOPICS Parent Involvement Fundraising Event & Program Ideas Planning/Organization Bylaws/Nonprofit Meetings/Robert's Rules Topics A to Z PTO ESSENTIALS Free Programs Find a Vendor PTO Today Live School Family Nights Insurance Finance Manager Software Volunteer Manager Software Parent Express Email PTO Today Plus GETTING STARTED Startup Toolkit Bylaws/Nonprofit New Leader Kit Presidents Page For Treasurers SHARE AND SWAP File Exchange Ultimate Donation List Clip Art Gallery Ask a Question Message Boards Share Your Story FIND A VENDOR Find a Vendor Fundraising Products and Services Playgrounds and Recreation PTO Today Resource Guide Online The only directory created exclusively for parent groups. It includes all the products, services, and tools you'll need to run your group, host great events, and plan your fundraising. Fun...

Put Some Bounce in Your Spring Fundraising - PTO Today

...Popular items include gourmet chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pretzel rods, cookie dough, cheesecake mixes, and dip mixes. “Food always works,” says Roger Coutu, owner and president of Jeannine Fund Raisers. Just be sure that these items are protected from the elements upon delivery. “You need to think about the heat,” says Nick Kukta, vice president of fundraising company The Great Western Reserve Corp. “You don’t want to have a truck drop off frozen cookie dough and have it sit for six hours in a gym that’s not air conditioned.” Although the gym at Bellevue (Ohio) Elementary is climate controlled, the delivery of pastries, pumpkin rolls, apple dumplings, cookie dough, snack pizzas, soft pretzels, and pretzel dogs in May does make for some extra work. There is just a three-hour window for pickup, says PTO president Amanda Bless, and the orders that are not picked up have to be packed into freezers in the teachers lounges or dropped off by volunteers on their way hom...

The One-Hour Meeting Manager - PTO Today

...Yes, the cookie dough fundraiser was a challenge when the dough was delivered three hours late and we had to hand-deliver it to families across town, but it is irrelevant. Save the war stories for social settings. Likewise, don’t confuse planning sessions with business meetings. Encourage committees to meet separately from the full PTO. A room full of parents looking for updates on the PTO budget and the principal’s school improvement plan do not need to witness a debate over whether to hire a DJ or a live band for the spring formal. Meet Robert Finally, familiarize yourself with the basics of Robert’s Rules of Order. A little parliamentary pro­cedure can do wonders when it comes to maintaining order in a meeting. By following basic Robert’s Rules, you can direct your group to stick to one topic at a time. When discussions get off track, suggest that the group table the discussion and revisit it during the appropriate part of the agenda. To discourage side conversations and u...

Tax Court Rules on Common Fundraising Practice - PTO Today

...This practice allowed families to essentially “work off” their own club bill—which ranged from $600 to $1400 per athlete—by selling wrapping paper, cookie dough, or other items. Families that did not fundraise had to pay their full share, preventing them from “freeloading” on the others. The Internal Revenue Service revoked the club’s nonprofit tax exemption in 2008. A federal judge upheld the decision in August 2013, ruling that the booster club’s activities were not charitable. The ruling does not affect parent groups that hold fundraisers to purchase new school equipment or pay for academic programming that will benefit a large number of children. But groups and schools that offer families or students credit for raising money should consult with their attorneys about the ruling’s implications. The following types of organizations, in particular, may want to make sure they comply with all tax laws and regulations: Private schools that offer fundraising tuition cred...

How To Respond to Common Excuses - PTO Today

..., and in just 13 hours the fundraising company will deliver 300 pounds of frozen cookie dough to your school. You need help—people to unpack the pallets, sort the shipment, manage the money, and call all the parents who forget to pick up their orders. You dial number after number listed on your volunteer sign-up sheet, and on each call you hear the same thing: “I’d love to, but...” Excuses. They can bring even the best-run parent group to a halt—and how you handle them can be the difference between a successful year and a stressful year. Here’s our No-Excuses Response Guide—specifically, what you might be tempted to say, and what you should say instead. What they say: “I work.” What you might want to say: Nothing—just stare intently at the person or keep quiet on the phone until they agree to help or turn away in shame. What they mean: Most likely, they really would like to help, if only someone could help them figure out how to juggle it all. Between the boss, the...

Which School Fundraiser Is Right for Your PTO? - PTO Today

...Groups can and do make a lot of money selling popular products like wrapping paper, candy, cookie dough, and many others. It helps to survey your school community to see what parents would support. And whether you’re selling a single item or selling from a catalog, be sure to ask for samples to check quality. Sales Fundraisers: The Basics Catalog Sales: Profitable, Easy To Run Give It the Business One of the toughest fundraising situations occurs when a group needs a lot of money, but the need is not urgent. This situation might arise if your PTO has a long-term goal to sponsor a capital project such as a playground upgrade or technology purchase. The profit outcome is unreliable, and the lack of a firm deadline can make it difficult for a small team to maintain momentum. You can run dedicated fundraisers to support your project, such as a product sale or an event, and that actually can be a way to keep your community focused on the project. But a key source of funds for a major pro...

How To Choose a Fundraising Company - PTO Today

...If the company runs out of stock on an item, does it back-order that item or substitute something else? How is the product distributed? For example, with cookie dough, some companies issue an e-coupon instead of sending the product; this allows the customers to go online, place the order, and have the product delivered directly to them. Packing and delivery processes can vary, depending upon location. “Some companies are local; the rep is a local person who delivers the product themselves and will deliver it anytime that is convenient for the PTO,” says Hinze. “But if the product is packed hundreds of miles away and then shipped by common carrier, the school can’t dictate exactly when it’s delivered. In that case, the school will need more help to sort and bring the product inside.” How are damaged or unsatisfactory items handled? Some companies replace items at no cost to parent groups. Others will make replacements at one time, and groups have to bear the cost of items l...

Robert’s Rules: Sticky Situations - PTO Today

...But as a rule, you shouldn’t be voting on which cookie dough company to choose for your fundraiser or whether the color scheme for the auction should be blue and white or green and yellow. Those types of nitty-gritty items are best handled by committees and the board. Keep your general meetings short, friendly, and informational. Our secretary thought she had the recorder on at our meeting, but the battery died and she did not get everything. How can we rewrite our minutes accurately at this point? Do we need to hold another meeting? Meeting minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not a record of what was said. So you don’t need to recreate the debate. You just need to remember what decisions were made. You and your officers should be able to take a look through the agenda and recall what actions were taken. If you approved any expenditures, your treasurer should have notes on those. Are PTOs subject to public open meeting laws? No. Open meeting or “sunshine” laws...

Fine-Tune Your PTO and PTA Fundraising - PTO Today

...Here’s an example of what a balanced fundraising year might look like: Fall:  cookie dough sale, first box tops collection Winter:  holiday shop Spring:  carnival, second box tops collection Ongoing:  supermarket loyalty program Occasional:  restaurant fundraising nights Planning your fundraising in this way has several benefits. For one, it creates broader appeal. A variety of fundraisers will reach more people with different spending habits and discretionary budgets. This kind of balance also helps fight fundraising fatigue. Many families are happy to support the school once or twice. But you can’t expect to go back to the well too many times. This is where events and collection programs help add to the mix. Loyalty programs, where parents can support the school simply by making regular purchases, can also help. The simpler the program, the more likely people are to participate. More complicated programs like scrip tend to attract fewer participants but typically yi...

Test Your Fundraising IQ - PTO Today

...Examples are cookie dough, frozen food, magazines, gift catalogs, and candy bars. “Don’t try to be the pioneer that’s going to pick a brand new item,” he says. “As you learn more, then maybe in year two or three you can try something a little new or different.” Which items work best can vary depending on the school level. Elementary students, he says, do well with gift catalogs. Selling in-hand candy is effective with older children. It can also help to survey school parents to see what they will support. But limit your survey to a few choices. Otherwise, it will be difficult to narrow down the results. How can we figure out ahead of time if a fundraiser will be profitable for us? Is it better to choose a company that offers 50 percent profit rather than 30 percent?  a. It’s anyone’s guess.  b. Ask for a detailed breakdown from the fundraising company.  c. Instead of the profit percentage, ask about gross profit. Answer: c. “It’s really not the percentage amount...