Question: Does there have to be a President?

I have been president for the past 2 years. I informed the board, this would be my last year as president. There's no interest from our current board members with regard to taking over this position. We function under Robert's Rules. Must there be a presdient to stay a PTO?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
In a functional sense, no you don't need a president. We certainly have heard about groups that operate successfully without a president. Usually they do it for the same reason you mention -- people are reluctant to take on the title. What you do need is a well-defined method for making decisions when people disagree. Will you require a unanimous vote of the board for every decision? Majority rule? Will people be empowered to make decisions on their own in between meetings, when time is key? It's also important to define job duties. One thing that can happen in this situation is that things get left undone because no one is strictly responsible for getting them done. Both of these issues can be overcome, especially if you have a board that gets along well. As for running meetings, you can rotate that duty if you would like. One other issue -- if your group is incorporated or registered with the IRS as a 501c3 charity, you may need to include the name of a president on your paperwork. That person in essence becomes the main contact for your group with the state and IRS. How you define that person's role in terms of job duties is a separate matter; I don't think it precludes you from the system you're considering. I'm guessing if you do go in this direction, the result will be that one or two people from the board emerge as natural leaders and take on the leadership role. Good luck, and please let us know how things go.

Community Advice

Nke34 writes:
just jump

Community Advice

wkiwaha808 writes:
I agree with Craig. However, some states require that there be a person fulfilling the role of President, though he or she does not necessarily need to be called "President." In Hawaii, all non-profits, which PTOs and PTAs are, there must be a president, secretary and treasurer. The president and secretary cannot be the same person.

Answer this question: