Carry-over funds

How much money is recommended to carry-over from year to year in an emergency/reserves account for our PTO?

We recommend that at minimum you carry over enough money to get started with parent involvement and welcoming programs the next year before you kick off any fundraising. The point is to establish your group in the minds of parents as more than just a fundraising group -- you don't want your first correspondence and interaction with them to be about fundraising. Beyond that, there's no set rule for establishing a cash reserve. To a large extent it depends on how successful you've been at fundraising and what your school's needs are. If you have no large goal coming up (a new playground, for example), I don't think there's a need for a large reserve. PTOs don't have the kind of fixed expenses (rent, payroll, etc.) that businesses do, so the risk is minimized.
- Craig
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