Question: Staff Appreciation Week

There is some confusion as to whether our PTO is allowed (per our non-profit status) to pay for a luncheon for Staff Appreciation Week. It has always been a budgeted line item, approved by the membership, and a reasonable amount of money ($750 for over 120 staff members). How can I confirm if it's an acceptable expense?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

lharac writes:
Your PTO absolutely can spend money on staff appreciation (as well as volunteer appreciation)! The IRS requires your group to spend its money is ways that support its mission. Your mission statement probably says something like "To enhance and support the learning environment at ABC Elementary for parents, teachers, and students." Staff appreciation absolutely falls within the scope of that mission. As with all things, be reasonable -- if you give a $50 gift card to each teacher for personal use, the IRS might look at that and wonder, how does that support the learning environment? On the other hand, a $50 gift card for classroom use would be perfectly fine (as would a smaller personal gift, such as a $5 gift card to use at a coffee shop). -- Lani @ PTO Today

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