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Help - we may change from PTC (Booster Club) to PTO. Any advice?

18 years 2 months ago #59606 by <girlsmom>
We are considering switching from PTC to PTO. We are already a 501c3 in our 5th year of probationary status. I'm doing a few things to research this:
1.) Calling IRS nonprofits to ensure that we don't effect our status as we head to our audit. (Their paperworks says as long as mission and activities are same then affiliation with other group is okay).
2.) Calling our school's insurance office to ensure that we are still covered if we don't buy PTO insurance.

My question is - has anyone done this kind of a switch (PTC to PTO)? And if so is there any advice?
18 years 2 months ago #59607 by JHB
PTO is a pretty generic term.

What is the difference in what do now versus what you plan to do? Do you intend to change the name? Why? Will the structure of the organization change? The mission?

Tell us more about where you are and where you want to go. Then we can try to help you.
18 years 1 month ago #59608 by Rockne
Hi girlsmom -

Not sure exactly what you're thinking about doing.

In general "PTO" is a catch-all acronym for independent parent groups. While the acronym PTO is the most commonly used acronym for independents, your current PTC would also be considered a "PTO" for the sake of discussion. A simple name change wouoldn't present you any problems. There's likely some procedural paperwork with state and IRS to finalize the name change, if you want to make it.

I'm thinking that maybe you're referring to joining the National PTO Network. If so, you should know that National PTO Network affiliation is open to all groups, regardless of acronym. We have several PTAs that are affiliated with NPN and we have tons of groups like PTCs and PCCs and the like who are affiliated, as well.

The word "join" is sometimes a bit confusing. You're not really "joining" NPN so much as your choosing to take advantage of NPN benefits for one year. The best analogy is AAA (the auto club), where they call it "joining" but where you're really paying for a bunch of really nice services for one year. NPN is like that. There's the insurance discount, the expert guides, the member's-only web access, the quarterly NPN newsletter (difft than the magazine), the NPN grants program, the forms and tools, etc. -- all for just $179 per year.

There's no complicated process for getting in and certainly no complicated process for getting out. If your group likes the services you're getting, you stay (just like AAA). And if you don't, then you don't renew (and we try our tails off to get better).

More details here:

Hope this helps.


PTO Today Founder
18 years 1 month ago #59609 by <girlsmom>
Thank you to both of you for your reply. It is confusing to many in our community - we're commonly called a PTO and we always have to clarify that we're a PTC (no national affiliation). Seems like splitting hairs but it's a big issue around here because most of our problems come from our founders who insisted that we do it alone. We've done a lot of self educating about benefits of getting some affiliation with an organization like yours. What was confusing really was how it compared to change to affiliation with you versus PTA. Frankly, it seemed deceptively easy to change over to PTO! [img]smile.gif[/img] I was just double checking that I wasn't missing anything. I'm about to go into an organizational review with board and community and this is going to be one of my proposals - get affiliated and this is easier of the two options and will work better for us.

Anyway, thanks for your replies - they made me self aware of how confusing the names are and also gave me some answers to my questions.
18 years 1 month ago #59610 by JHB
Did you understand Tim's point that you already are a "PTO"? PTO is a very generic term for any parent group that works with the school. They are independent organizations with no national affiliation like the PTA has.

As an organization, you potentially buy various things to help you run your organization efficiently: insurance, reference books, accounting services, space for a webpage, etc. The PTO Network (if that's what is confusing you) is one more resource you might choose to purchase. It's basically a subscription to a set of reference material/services. Tim's analogy of AAA is good. Subscribing (e.g., "joining") doesn't change who/what you are - it just gives you access to some specialized services.

The name "Parent Teacher Organization" (PTO) is a very common one, but there are lots of other acronyms groups use. Not everyone here uses PTO as their name.

I still don't quite understand WHY you want to change your name? It doesn't sound like your organization is changing.

[ 02-01-2005, 12:31 AM: Message edited by: JHB ]
4 years 2 weeks ago #172999 by Mrsbcook
Hi there! I just joined this group after googling this same question. Our organization is currently a PTC, meaning that most everything we do must be approved by the board of education or at the very least the school principal. Big things = board approval. Little things = principal. Plus our finances are held by the board and we must have multiple approvals to spend any of the groups money. We are interested in switching to a PTO. Supposedly we would be considered a stand alone organization and would no longer require approval for our functions and would have the capability to establish our own financial account and manage that ourselves. Am I on the right track? I've also been told that as a PTO we would be required to collect member dues. Basically I'm trying to find something that is a set of concrete guidelines on what exactly is required of a PTO and it's members.
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