Volunteers Archive

A strong volunteer base makes for a healthy long-term parent group. You'll find ideas in the articles below to help you get greater parent and community involvement in your PTO, and to express appreciation for time and talents shared. Get more ideas and information on the PTO Volunteer Recruitment & Recognition page. (For articles about getting more moms and dads engaged at school, go to the Parent Involvement archive.)

  • Get Kids Involved in Your PTO or PTA

    Parent groups can serve their schools better when students have a say.
  • Why Parents Don’t Volunteer (and What You Can Do About It)

    No-nonsense advice on why people stay away from your parent group—and how you can get them to be part of it.
  • Facebook Graphics for PTO Volunteer Appreciation

  • How To Be an Effective PTO or PTA Volunteer Coordinator

    Make the most of this important role by concentrating efforts in the right way.
  • Ideas To Make Your PTO or PTA More Fun

    If parents have a good time, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. Here's how to make volunteering more fun for everyone.
  • 10 PTO Leader Resources for Dealing With Difficult People

    We had a lively discussion on our PTO and PTA Leaders group about what to do when parents complain and drag you down. Many leaders offered great tips for dealing with difficult people. (Catch a few gems in the video at the bottom of this post.) We wanted pass along some of our best resources on handling negativity and what leaders can do for themselves to stay positive and enjoy (not just tolerate) the upcoming school year! 1. Don’t avoid your most challenging parents. When you try to understand the likely reason why someone is confrontational, you’re better able to diffuse these awkward situations. Resource: How To Deal With Difficult People 2. Share responsibilities so you’re not a (cranky) one-man show. Be willing to offload tasks so you stress less and have more time to devote to your important goals. Resource: Polish Your Delegation Skills 3. Reach out to fellow leaders for comfort and validation. Try connecting with other PTO and PTA leaders locally and online to share experiences with folks who really get you. Resource: Build a Leader Network: Help Is All Around You 4. Give yourself a break. Schedule occasional downtime or just pure fun so you stay healthy (mentally and physically). Resource: A Key To Avoiding PTO Burnout: Take a Breather 5. Embrace personal organizational systems. Find the time-saving tactics that work best for you and commit to using them so that you’re doing less PTO busywork. Resource: Reduce Your PTO Stress 6. Meet criticism with a smile (even if it’s a slightly fake one). When a parent points out what stank about a recent event, thank them for their feedback and move on. Resource: How To React to Critics 7. Put the kibosh on gossip. (You think you can’t, but you can!) If you hear putdowns, address them quickly and publicly by saying you know there have been rumblings (don’t mention anyone by name!), but here’s what’s really happening. Resource: Stop the PTO Drama 8. Get a fix on what makes what makes your volunteers tick. When you understand personality types, you can better resolve the inevitable problems that crop up among volunteers. Resource: Managing Personality Conflicts 9. Get a fix on what makes you tick. Take our quiz to understand your strengths as a leader. Knowing what you’re good at better prepares you to handle any situation. Resource: Rate Your Leadership Skills 10. Try to have a good laugh at least once a day. One of the best ways to get rid of negative energy is to have a good belly laugh. Check out our Facebook page when you can because we are committed to posting something silly on a regular basis. We believe in the power of laughter...check out the image below! Resource: PTO Today on Facebook As a bonus, we wanted to share some advice from PTO and PTA leaders that we collected for this video:  Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly
  • 6 Ways To Shake Things Up in Your Group

    Things feeling stale? Sometimes a little change is all you need.
  • Volunteers: Use Them or Lose Them

    The way you follow up with interested parents can make or break your volunteer recruitment efforts.
  • Rethink Your School Volunteer Recruitment

    When your appeals for help aren’t getting results, it’s time to try something—or someone—new.
  • 27 Easy Jobs for PTO Volunteers

    Offering volunteers a range of tasks that can be done fairly simply (and many at their convenience) increases your chances of getting them on board.
  • 17 Ways To Get More Parent Volunteers

  • Grandparents Are Great!

    Take advantage of a valuable resource by including elders in your events.
  • 11 Quick and Easy Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

    Let your volunteers know you care with these simple expressions of thanks.
  • Do This First for a Successful PTO Year

    Success isn’t just about what you get done—in fact, sometimes real success involves doing less.
  • 7 Things Volunteers Hate

    Help your parent group’s volunteers have a positive experience by avoiding these missteps.
  • 6 Keys to Volunteer Appreciation

    When it comes to thanking your volunteers, it's always worth the effort.
  • 6 Ways To Boost Parent Involvement

    Use these tips to get the help you need.
  • Why Don’t People Volunteer?

    The real reasons people don’t help, and what you can do about it.
  • Small Parent Groups, Big Achievements

    Short on volunteers? Learn from others how to keep your PTO running smoothly with a small group.
  • Don't Make the Biggest Volunteer Appreciation Mistake

    What not to do when it comes to showing your volunteers that you care.