PTO Today Q&A

Question: Savings and carry-over

Regarding our parent club annual budget, one parent has advocated, now for the 3rd year in a row: "I think it's important to have a savings set aside for a rainy day, help out another club like we were helped out, a big future project, to offset a poor jogathon or other fundraiser we have and a host of other reasons. I think we should have 10 grand on hand at all times." The principal and I both feel like that is a LOT of money to have in savings, we have tried to have about $1500 in carryover every year. Does anyone have input about what is a healthy amount to carry over and/or have in savings??? Another factor, our school is fairly new and at this point the parent club is not its own entity, all finances go through the school office, we are not a non-profit and do not have our own bank account.


Asked by Momof3inOregon

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Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
If you've survived with a $1,500 carryover for a number of years, $10k does sound excessive. Generally speaking, the thing to do is look at how much you need to cover expenses before you have some revenue coming in for the year. Most of our beginning of the year expenses are pretty low, then we do a big fall fundraiser. The high cost expenses come more towards the end of the year. So if the fall fundraiser falls short, we either scale back activities for the remainder of the year or decide to have another fundraiser.

If you're getting parents to raise or donate money during the year, I think they usually expect that it's going to benefit their kids. If it's just put aside for a rainy day, they're probably not going to be too happy.

The exception is some big long term project, like a new playground. It's hard to raise money for something like that in a year, so there is more of a long term investment involved. But most people wait to start saving for that until they identify a specific project.


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