Question: New Leadership

I will be acting as President of our school PTO for the 2014-2015 school year. For the past couple of years the PTO has been under the leadership of another parent that has done a great job. How do I go about making changes to events and fundraisers without anyone feeling like I am insulting what has been done in the past. I have the mindset that there needs to be variety in the events from year to year in order to keep the attention and involvement of the parents. If we do the same things year after year, it may cause some of the students and parents to become bored and not want to participate. I would just hate to lose the support of the other board members because they think that I am on a power trip of some sort.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi there!
This is a common question. It's a struggle for many new leaders because they are of course sensitive to others but at the same time they have some great ideas! One suggestion is to avoid any sort of widespread changes. Instead, select a few things you know need immediate attention. Try to get advice from others, including the former president, and ask how they would tackle these new projects. Consider implementing other changes over time. Keep asking for input from others so they feel including.

We have some helpful resources for you:

How To Get Support for New Ideas [video]

Build Support for New Ideas

Good luck!
Rose C 

Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
Is the actual attendance at your events going down, or are you just having a problem getting volunteers? If you've been doing an event for awhile and the attendance is down, then maybe it does need a tweak (or even to be replaced) because people are getting bored with it. But if attendance has been good, that might not be something you want to play around with too much--it's easier for volunteers to run it when it's been done before. But if you just want to add something new, as long as you are willing to run it, you might not have too much of an issue. I'm always happy to let someone try something out as long as they are willing to put in the effort. If it's a fundraiser you want to change, again, if there have been declining returns over the years, that may be a sign that people are tired of it. I know we never do the same catalog fundraiser two times in a row, because the second year is always worse than the first.

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