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Teacher gifts/food

11 years 1 month ago #163621 by Rachel
Replied by Rachel on topic Re:Teacher gifts/food
Whenever we budget money, we ask "how does it benefit the students?" The only PTO money spent on teachers is $50 for school supplies at the beginning of the year (which all benefit the students) and about $500 for an appreciation week lunch and small gifts for 70 staff members each day: 1 decorated sugar cookie, water bottle/crystal lite, bag of trail mix, dessert day, (less than .50 each/day). Conference meals are all specifically donated money/food. Christmas="Wish Tree" school supply items donated by parents.

PTO also has to be strong and not let the principle dictate where the money goes. They may have an opinion, but it is up to PTO. If you keep one constant thought in mind, it helps guide you, "How does this benefit the students?"
16 years 9 months ago #135585 by kimberlyr
Replied by kimberlyr on topic RE: Teacher gifts/food
Wow, 50%!!! That is out of control. Any fundraising expert will tell you that some of the best ways to raise money for the school is not to just have a fundraiser, but to:

1- Tell your supporters how much you need to raise. Eg: $40,000 divided by 500 families = Need to average $80 per family.

2- Tell your supporters exactly what you intend to spend the money on. Don't say educational programs and playground improvements. Instead say: New educational software for the 3rd and 4th grades, a new soccer goal, and basketball equipment.

By employing #2, you may just cure the problem. If parents know that 50% of the money you raised will go for teacher gifts and food, there would be enough ruckus that the practice will end.

For fundraising advice check out my Fundraiser Help website for more school fundraising ideas .

Good Luck and hurray for you.
16 years 10 months ago #135327 by dlf
Replied by dlf on topic RE: Teacher gifts/food
There are so many terrific things to do for the teachers that it is hard to single out one and I believe truly that all are appreciated. I do think it is excessive to spend half your dollars on ANY aspect of your budget (read the thing that is supposed to be created BEFORE the school year starts, or very early on, identifying where the money will be spent so that the PTO at large can approve of it).
If you are looking to enhance your child's classroom, I really suggest you look at the adopt-a-classroom program. Visit and you will see that there is an opportunity for businesses (small and large) as well as families contributing small amounts of dollars OUTSIDE of the PTO to adopt their classroom. There is no minimum anymore as to what you can contribute--however our school still strives to put 500 dollars in each teachers virtual "pocket" for them to spend. Last year, we were ranked number 3 in the nation as far as classrooms that have benefitted from this program. In the past two years (and this is staggering to me) our parents and businesses in this community have contributed more that 25,000 dollars directly to teachers in our children's classrooms to spend as they see fit using this 501c3 program. We push it as a TREMENDOUS christmas program for parents to do vice the spa coupons, or the candles etc. For what amounts to 20 dollars a family, teachers benefit from a hefty amount to spend online for their classrooms.
Check it out--I haven't heard one teacher yet say "oh darn, I got ANOTHER 500 dollars for my classroom this year".

16 years 10 months ago #135281 by d squared
Replied by d squared on topic RE: Teacher gifts/food
Teachers in our school spend thousands of their own dollars on their classrooms each year. It seems to be becomming the "norm" in most schools. Our teachers really care about the students and want to see each one excel, even if that means footing the bill for some necessary and/or extra things to enhance learning. We are not a large PTO so we don't have the funding to splurge on our teachers. We are giving our teachers a little "homemade" gift every month just to let them know we appreciate them....Lot's of baked goodies! Here are a couple of ideas:1.) A brownie decorated with frosting on top saying "4+4=GR8", add a little card that says, "Thanks for being so great to our children". 2.) A votiff candle on a small plate filled with cookies and a card that says, "Thanks for lighting up your classroom". You can even have the students get involved in some type of card making one month.
Our teachers love these simple types of reminders! You don't have to go overboard with extravagant gifts and parties. Be creative and have fun.

Tippy Toe
16 years 10 months ago #135032 by CapeDad
Replied by CapeDad on topic RE: Teacher gifts/food;134890 wrote: I'm entering my second year of fund-raising for PTO and I want to know how the money raised is going to be spent. I was totally in the dark last year. Just this week, I found out that half the 07/08 budget will be spent on food and gifts for teachers. I'm not happy. I think the funds should go to school improvements and the students. How much, if any, do other PTOs spend on teachers? Do teachers join the PTO? How do you decide where the money goes? Do members get any input? Or do principals tell PTOs what the needs are?

In your case, I'd be more concerned that there is no process for members to know where money goes or to have a say in it -- what happens at meetings?

If you are a membership org independent of the school, the leadership is likely not following the rules.

As far as feeding teachers and gifts, I am a big believer in community building, and fostering positive relationships among parents and teachers is a key part of that.

However, 50% of budget is excessive, unless there are details we don't have. Our group allocated $2500 to teacher appreciation last year, but that was less than 10% of total budget, which I think is about right.

If you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down. <img src=images/smilies/smile.gif>
16 years 10 months ago #135023 by
Replied by on topic RE: Teacher gifts/food
middleschool, Half of our PTO officers spent all of last year trying to convince some of the others that we were not a charity. I agree wholeheartedly with you. It IS all about the kids. There are ways to show teachers and staff how appreciated they are without using large amounts of the PTO funds.
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