Question: Thanking Board Members

A board member, who has worked tirelessly for two years to raise funds for our school, is moving out of state. Another board members suggested buying her a $250 Amazon gift card as a "thank you" for her hard work. As former PTO president, I am concerned that this opens a Pandora's box: first, there is no historical precedent, and we do not advertise to parents that we would be spending donation money this way; second, do we then have to give $250 to EVERY board member who leaves (the state, or the school)? My feeling is we give a card and a small gift, paid for by PTO board members out of personal funds--but I could be COMPLETELY off-base here. Board members work hard, and often thanklessly (after 2 years as PTO president, believe me, I know). What are other PTOs doing? Does this have any legal/financial implications?

Asked by Anonymous



Community Advice

gjcoram writes:
$250 is a lot of money. I've been treasurer for 4.5 years, filed 8 years of Form 990 and got our 501c3 status (and got a waiver of $11k in fines for our failure to file 990s for many years), and we probably would have had to pay a lot more than $250 to have an accountant do that stuff ... but still, I wouldn't want a $250 gift. I did it all for the kids & the school.
That said, our PTO does usually give $25 gift cards to outgoing board members. And one president gave thank-yous out of her pocket to board members she'd worked with.
If you want to do something more, then I'd think about how you could do something to benefit the school with a plaque saying it was in honor of this person's efforts. Eg, if she helped with the playground, then put her name on a bench.

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