Question: Help Volunteer in need of a PTO

Okay I have become very involved with the PTO and I started Restaurant Night Outs they have been bringing in over $100.00 a month but none of the PTO members or Principle with show up. This really aggravates the Owners. How can I address this?

Asked by Anonymous



Community Advice

MommaJA writes:
Continued: I really feel embarrassed about it and I brought it up to one of the members and she just became very defensive and says she doesn't see the big deal in the fact that none of them showed up. I'm just scared I'm getting to aggravated about it and then they will shut me out. I really could use some advice I don't know what to do. The last RNO we held only 5 families showed up so it put the owners in a bind because we expected a bigger turn out and it really aggravated them that not one of them showed up.

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It's time to retrench. How often are you having restaurant nights? If it's once a month, cut back to once or twice a semester. You're better off doing them occasionally and making them into a big deal than butting your head against the wall.

How are you alerting parents? Some restaurants will actually design and print fliers to help you promote your night. You might consider holding a raffle or giving away door prizes to people who attend. Or make it into a class event and let the featured classroom or grade keep the money that's raised.

I heard about one school that had a lot of success doing a lunch event on a half day of school. Many parents took their kids to the restaurant (pizza place, I believe) after picking them up at school.

Good luck!

Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
We backed off doing the once a month restaurant nights because it was overload. We also have a school where about half the kids qualify for free and reduced lunch, so participating in this type of fundraiser isn't really a good option for them. To make them successful, we found that they needed a ton of publicity/reminders--at least two fliers, mentions on the kids' morning news shows, signs up on the day of the event, and email reminders. We also varied the types of restaurants, but the most popular ones were the ones with kids' meals or fast food type places where the food is quite inexpensive. We also would get $100-$200 per restaurant night, but in the end figured it was a whole lot of free publicity for the restaurants, and not something that the majority of our families could/would support, so we were better served to drop it. Now we just do two or three a year, publicize the dates well in advance, and get better participation.

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