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Fundraising Question

17 years 1 month ago #133874 by threeboysmom

I'm not sure if the PTA Pres is suffering from a case of sour grapes or if she knows something that she is not sharing. The best difference between a PTO and a PTA is that a PTO makes its own rules (with the backing of the school). If you write up by-laws that state you are doing fundraisers, then you can do fundraisers. You may decide to limit the number or type of fundraisers your PTO will do, but there is no "law" that says you can't do any.

Maybe she meant you can't do door-to-door fundraisers?? Our school doesn't do that type, but we have a HUGE Carnival/Auction night and we do collection fundraisers like Box Tops, Milk Caps & Campbells.

Then again, maybe she was just being a poor sport about losing her position and was trying to stir up trouble! I would talk to the people who are going to be on the PTO Board and get your by-laws set up. There's a TON of info on here about all that stuff.

Good luck & keep coming back!!
17 years 1 month ago #133644 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Fundraising Question
Of course a PTO can do fundraisers. Any organization can.

Keep in mind that parent group officers are typically well-meaning volunteers, but they aren't necessarily knowledgeable about all the business rules. Plus, everyone seems to inherit a lot of myths and mis-information.

What is probably true (if you are a fledgling group) is that your PTO may not yet be formally set up to really comply with existing federal and state rules. Note - many organizations never formalize, and they still do fundraising, but that's another story.

The bottom line is that to operate legally as a non-profit, if your group is likely to have more than $5000 per year in receipts (everything, not your profit), then the IRS expects you to go through the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity. PTAs already have this infrastructure in place. Otherwise, your PTO is technically a business and should be filing a commerical tax return. Additionally, you'll want to look into incorporating in your state (optional, but desireable) and if you qualify for sales tax exemption in your state.

There's a wealth of information posted on this Forum and lots of folks here that will answer questions.

So yes, you can do fundraisers. But you should be exploring what steps you need to take to formalize your organize if that hasn't been done.
17 years 1 month ago #133635 by WFS
Replied by WFS on topic RE: Fundraising Question
Of course you can. Just look at all the great ideas that are on this site alone. How else would the PTO function? Parents aren't likely to just hand over money to the PTO without getting something in return.
Maybe they meant to say that the fundraising that you do is to support your budget, but is not suppose to profit the PTO. Meaning, you shouldn't intentionally fundraise just to build up a bank account. Funds should be going into your general funds budget or earmarked for a specific project. Your end of year balance should be close to what you started with unless you are saving up for something or you have an unexpected profit.

Making a positive difference one project at a time <img src=images/smilies/smile.gif>
17 years 1 month ago #133609 by LUVMYKIDS
Replied by LUVMYKIDS on topic RE: Fundraising Question
Hmmm.... can't do fundraisers if you're a PTO, huh? Well I guess my group(and lots of others on here) have been "breaking the law" for many years now and quite successfully I might say.

Welcome to the boards and search away for lots of great ideas and advice. Oh yeah, and here's to great success in all of your future fundraisers!

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
17 years 1 month ago #133608 by Rockne
Replied by Rockne on topic RE: Fundraising Question
Complete and utter bunk.

No difference whatsoever between PTOs and PTAs on what fundraisers you can run and when.

Sorry to be so quick.... running out the door. Come back often for help or to share your own ideas.


PTO Today Founder
17 years 1 month ago #133607 by caghramm
Hi, I'm VERY new to the PTO/PTA. Our school is changing this year from PTA to PTO. I was told by our PTA president that PTO cannot do fundraisers. Is this true or do we need to start figuring out other ways to go about this? We are a new group and want to make our PTO and school a big success this next school year. Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated!
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