Question: Choosing Chairpeople

I am the President of a large PTO. Someone volunteered to chair one of our fundraisers and I said yes. Who's going to turn down someone offering to help? Now, there are board members upset b/c they don't believe this person to be trustworthy. Can a board overturn this kind of decision if it's not stated in the bylaws (nothing governing chairs of events are in the bylaws)? Do board members really have the authority to pick and choose volunteers?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It's your decision. Fundraisers require a lot of support from your school community, however, so you don't want hard feelings to fester. Let your board know that the decision has been made and you can't take it back at this point. Make sure they understand the importance of supporting this key volunteer -- and especially not speaking poorly of her to others. You will also need to work closely with her to make sure the work gets done. Don't micromanage, but set goals and deadlines for her to report back to you on her progress. That way you'll get an early warning in case she's not getting the work accomplished. Since she's new to the job, it makes sense to offer her support and advice along the way anyway. Setting a series of milestones and report-back dates along the way creates a good, nonconfrontational way to keep tabs on this project. By taking this kind of leardership action, you can make this a win-win situation.

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