Question: what is the most effective model for officer structure?

Our VP is suggesting that we have 2 presidents and 2 vps for our PTA. Also, our Bylaws have to be renewed this Spring so we're also going to review and update them. I thought that it would be great to have 2 presidents and 2 vps to spread out the responsibilities. We don't have a ton of folks stepping up for officer positions so we're lucky to have at least 1 president and 1 vp. I just found out from another board member that the State PTA recommends 1 president and 1 vp and creation of other positions to serve in leadership roles. Since our bylaws are due and we have to think about officer positions for next year, I wanted to learn about how most PTAs are structured. If possible, please let me know what officer positions you have (and the number) for your PTA. Also, please let me know if and what experience(s) you have with a PTA that has 2 presidents and/or 2 vps.

Asked by Anonymous



Community Advice writes:
We have a President and a co-president (who will lead the group next year) and for each VP (fundraising and enrichment) we also have co-VPs. This certainly spreads out the responsibility.

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
I like the structure Kelly suggests below -- a president who runs the group and a co-president who is essentially an assistant to the president and training to run the group the following year. The problem with having two co-presidents of equal authority is that someone needs to be responsible for making a final decision. Otherwise you end up with a deadlock when they disagree. Co-presidents sharing the office works when the co-presidents have a strong rapport, but it doesn't work as a continuing structure. The article Cochair Survival Skills offers tips on making a situation like that work. Whatever you decide, it's great that you have enough people willing to take a leadership role that you can consider expanding your board.

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
I just reread your question and realized I didn't really read it all the way through the first time. Most PTAs and PTOs have a president, vp, treasurer, and secretary. Some split the secretary job into two parts: recording secretary (takes the minutes and is responsible for maintaining group records) and corresponding secretary (responsible for communications such as the newsletter). Some groups have a volunteer coordinator (a good idea, in my opinion) who recruits volunteers and keeps a database of volunteer information. You might also add to the board the chair of one or two key committees. For example, if you have a fundraising chair, that person might be on the board. If you're having trouble attracting officers, you might be better off expanding the board than adding officer positions. Sometimes it's the title that scares people off rather than the actual work. Good luck!

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