Finance & Budget Archive

Your group can't do its great work without strong financial policies and a sound budget. Whether you're the PTO or PTA treasurer or a member concerned about protecting funds, you'll find tons of ideas and help on money management in the articles below. Yes, we even cover PTO and PTA embezzlement. Find more helpful tools and info on the Finance & Budget resources page.

  • Email Scam Targets PTOs and PTAs

    What you need to know to protect your parent group from a phishing scam targeting volunteer organizations.
  • Forms To Manage Your Group's Cash Flow

  • Get Your Financial House in Order

    Implementing financial controls is a key organizational step. These practices will help your group track income and expenses and keep your assets safe. 
  • Create a PTO Budget

    An important part of the planning process is to create a budget. Here are the nuts and bolts of setting up a good parent group budget.
  • Insurance Checklist for New PTO Leaders

    Lots of PTO leaders reach out to us with questions about insurance. It’s not uncommon for people (especially newer leaders) to get overloaded when it comes to insurance. They aren’t sure whether their group already has it or why they’d even need it.  So we’d like to make it a little less complicated for you with this quick checklist for new leaders:  1. Start with the assumption that your group really should have insurance. (And we aren’t saying this just because we offer it.) You want to go through the school year without worrying that one mishap, bad decision, or injury could cost your group money or land it in a lawsuit. 2. Find out what’s up with your school district. It may require that parent groups have insurance. It may also provide some amount of insurance. You may need to purchase your own policy to cover the gaps.  3. Review the different types of coverage. Typically policies are put together with some combination of coverage, including:  • General liability: This covers your group should someone get hurt at one of your events. Lots of schools won’t even allow the PTO to host an event unless it has this coverage. • Excess accidental medical: This coverage would go beyond the coverage an injured person would have from their own personal medical insurance.  • Crime: We see stories about embezzlement all the time. This coverage would give a group up to $25,000 per year if money is stolen.  • Directors and officers liability: This provides coverage for individual officers should they be targeted in a lawsuit over a claim of misrepresentation or mismanagement of the group. • Property: This insurance protects items your group owns, like computers and popcorn machines, from theft or damage.  We also have a helpful Insurance Info Sheet that you can download to get more information on types of insurance. When you click on the download button, you'll be prompted to input your email and then you can grab the info sheet.  4. By taking a look at the types of events, programs, and activities your group is planning, you should get a pretty good sense of what you may need. For example, you may realize your group doesn’t own any equipment, so property insurance won’t be necessary.  5. Discuss your options with your board members.  6. If you have any questions at all, we’re happy to help review the basics with you. Call our leader support team at 800-644-3561 to chat. Originally published in 2016 and updated regularly.
  • 6 Digital Tools Your PTO Needs

    From social media platforms to financial software to group texting apps, here are technological solutions to consider adding to your PTO toolbox for better communication and efficiency.
  • Spending Survey 2015: Steady Budgets, Similar Challenges

    Use our survey results to take a closer look at how groups like yours raise and spend money.
  • How To Protect Your Cash During the Holidays

    Commonsense financial safeguards for holiday events.
  • How To Close Out Your Financial Year

    A few must-dos to wrap up your finances and close out the PTO or PTA books for the year.
  • 10 Tips for Handling and Protecting Your Assets

    Could your group use some more money smarts? Our 10 tips can help with your budget, record-keeping, and more.
  • Debit Cards Can Make Life Easier for PTO Leaders

  • Could You Be Your PTO's Treasurer?

    Would you make a good treasurer candidate? Ask yourself these 3 key questions to see if you have the basic skills.
  • PTOs and the School Technology Gap

    Parent groups are a major source of technology funding at schools. How can you help without breaking the bank?
  • Spending Survey 2013-14: Rising Expenses, Increasing Demands

    Our survey finds PTOs and PTAs are working to fill a widening gap in school budgets.
  • The PTO Spending Debate

    Don't let short-sighted views on money hold back your parent group.
  • How Much Should PTOs and PTAs Spend on Teacher Appreciation Luncheons?

    Here are 14 helpful hints and tips for doing a teacher appreciation lunch on a budget.
  • Should Your Group Be Paying Taxes?

    Should you be paying taxes? Probably not. Your efforts are most likely tax-exempt. But should you be thinking about taxes and probably filing an annual tax form? Most likely.
  • What Do You Do When Teachers Ask the PTO for Money?

  • The Most Important Financial Protection Your PTO Can Get

  • Reminder: Tax Deadlines Coming in November and December