Question: Is a PTO or Booster Club strictly concerned with fundraising?

I am currently sitting on the board of my son's elementary school PTO or Booster Club. Their is an on-going debate (years) about whether this group is a Booster Club ONLY concerned with fundraising or whether we are a PTO, meant to both fund-raise and build a strong school community. Our principal says we are meant ONLY to fund raise and every activity we do MUST bring in funds. Additionally, she uses our account to pass-through money she fund-raises with specific activities she organizes and says is not our group's money even through it is deposited in our bank account. (The group has a separate Tax ID and Account.)

Asked by CDN



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
If your group is organized as an independent parent group, then it should be focused on community building and activities that enrich the school experience for the kids. Your issue here is having such a different point of view from the principal and your board should try to sit down and have a (non-confrontational) conversation with her. Share with your principal why building community and holding family events really makes a difference. Let her know that more involved and connected families support the school in so many ways. Yes, fundraising is important, but shouldn't be a parent group's only mission, not by a long shot. If the principal isn't budging on this issue, can you at least come to a compromise to host a family event before year's end? Propose something very simple, like an ice cream social or picnic after school. Maybe if the principal sees how positive this kind of event can be, she may start to think differently.

Many PTO leaders have had challenges dealing with the principal, so we've written many articles on this topic. You might find these helpful:

Improve Your Relationship with the Principal

Make the Principal Your Partner

Whose Rules, School or PTO? 

Good luck!

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