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Gifts for pta executive board members

14 years 6 months ago #72587 by Debbieomi
I guess I always look at it in terms of what else could have been purchased with that money. If you spend even $50 on gifts for volunteers, I translate that into at least two new books for the library or a case of copy paper for newsletters or flyers. I really have never understood any organization using their fundraising dollars to thank their volunteers. It just doesn't seem right when people are purchasing your product or service expecting that the money will benefit their children, not the volunteers. I also take issue with our parent groups using this money to benefit teachers, whether through personal gifts for them or at staff appreciation time. They are the T in PTA and PTO. What's wrong with providing a luncheon that parents provide...that's where it should be coming from, not the PTA/PTO coffers. There are alot of no-cost ideas available, even on this message board, to show staff how they are valued. Even if you are able to only spend $1 per staff..in our two schools, that would still be over $100. And again, I think, that's four new library books. With budget tightening and programs being slashed, I just find it frivolous to be spending any amout of money that doesn't benefit our children and their school. Just my food for thought!!!
14 years 6 months ago #72588 by JHB
Debbie - you're absolutely entitled to your opinion, and there's certainly no wrong or right answer.

In fact, it is important that any group remember its membership probably includes people with these diverse opinions.

I think volunteer appreciation and teacher appreciation are both important aspects of a succesful organization. Yes, you can do a lot for token amounts or with donated goods. I'm pretty conservative, but I'm still willing for some funds to be spent - especially on teachers. The important thing is finding the right balance of expenditure that sits well with your members.
14 years 6 months ago #72589 by Rockne

Originally posted by Debbie Ball-Odeh:
I guess I always look at it in terms of what else could have been purchased with that money. If you spend even $50 on gifts for volunteers, I translate that into at least two new books for the library or a case of copy paper for newsletters or flyers. I really have never understood any organization using their fundraising dollars to thank their volunteers. ......
.... With budget tightening and programs being slashed, I just find it frivolous to be spending any amout of money that doesn't benefit our children and their school. Just my food for thought!!!

Hi Debbie -

I also appreciate your opinion, but I'm with JHB on this one. I think the way you're thinking about this is not uncommon, but I think it's one of the biggest mistakes a group can make.

If the mission of your group is to provide as much "stuff" as you can to the school, then I can see your concern. But even then, I'd suggest that you'll wind up providing more "stuff" in the long run, if you invest in things like appreciation and training and organizational/management tools. Ironically, well-organized groups that focus on volunteer-building (and caring and feeding of volunteers) almost always raise more funds than groups that focus more singly on raising funds.

More importantly, if the mission of your group is to help build involvement and create a great community in which your kids can learn, then there's an even stronger argument for investing in items that are not "stuff" directly for the kids. Teacher appreciation, volunteer appreciation, classroom support, family nights, spaghetti suppers, volunteer training, organizational tools, etc -- I can make a strong case that all of those things wind up having a tremendous effect on your total school community, and I can make an equally strong case that great school community winds up helping the kids more than anyone.

Honestly, I'd gladly trade four more books in the library for increased parent involvement. But luckily, I don't have to, because in the long run the investment made in increasing involvement (maybe four fewer books this week because of the $$ spent on involvement) will result in more books in the library, too, as our school community becomes stronger.

Tim

PTO Today Founder
14 years 6 months ago #72590 by Debbieomi
I absolutely agree that money SHOULD be spent on family nights, organizational tools, public relations, training, etc. And I would gladly trade four new books for even five new parents being involved. But there are many ways to show volunteer appreciation without dipping into funds, or at least taking a big bite out of them. During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, our volunteers will be lauded in our newsletter, an article in the local paper and we will line the lobby halls with their names on footprints(3forMe program). I believe public recognition will do more to make other parents know how volunteers are appreciated then thinking they will receive a nifty coffee mug.
We went the route of spending over $700 last year for an incredible luncheon and gifts for staff. Involvement this year is worse than last. We bought every student a water bottle to keep at their desk because teachers told us that water breaks were very disruptive. Every staff member got one also along with a personal invite to become a PTA member and out of 35+ teachers, we have 4 who are members and only one who attends meetings, she is our VP. And no help with any of our events or programs.
I guess I'm just a hard-sell on spending our hard-earned money in this manner.
14 years 6 months ago #72591 by EaglesPrez
Replied by EaglesPrez on topic Gifts for pta executive board members
I dont think Officers should be given gifts to say thank you - isnt the satisfaction of a job well done and a big thank you enough? We do allow free admission to dances for the volunteers child to say thanks but I dont see spending any more money than that should be done for volunteers or Officers. We are all volunteers which means we work w/o pay so a cheap card and a mention in the newsletter should be sufficient in my opinion.
14 years 6 months ago #72592 by backhoed
Replied by backhoed on topic Gifts for pta executive board members
EAglesPres: I see from other posts that are going on at the moment that there seems to be a lot of stuff going on in your organization. It is not unique though as most organizations probably have some similar struggles at one time or another. You are going through a lot at this time, don't you think it would be nice that at the end of your term, you were shown some appreciation like a small bouquet of flowers, card and a nice round of applause for a job well done? Having been there already, it really does mean a lot. Sure it sounds very noble to say all you need is a cheap card, but with all the hardwork you do do a little bunch of flowers or a box of candy is not out of line and will certainly not break the bank. Any business recognizes it's employees for good work. Why not an officer who HAS volunteered their time, energy, and much more for everyone else's kids?

Everyone deserves a pat on the back at the end of their term. We are all human for goodness sake- recognizing your accomplishments IS important. [img]smile.gif

I would appreciate any others to chime in here.

We are not martyrs.....nor are we asking for the world....some small token, whether it is a book to the library as noted above, flowers, candy,or whatever IS important. Good lord, there is another thread going on about paying officers!? :( Whats up with that?! Yikes! ;)
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