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$$ for end of year teacher gifts from PTO

6 years 4 weeks ago #172409 by Anonymous
Replied by Anonymous on topic $$ for end of year teacher gifts from PTO
From California PTA toolkit. Are PTO separate rules?

Staff/Volunteer Appreciation: PTA resources may be used for hospitality for staff/volunteer appreciation as long as it does not represent a significant amount. “Not of a significant amount” is defined by the IRS as an amount that does not exceed 5 percent of the nonprofit organization’s annual budget (see Staff Appreciation). PTA funds cannot be used to purchase personal gifts for staff or volunteers, such as gift cards.
6 years 11 months ago #171827 by Rose H
Thanks for sharing. The $75 was a ballpark figure, understanding that many groups will spend less and many will spend more.

6 years 11 months ago #171826 by Anonymous
Replied by Anonymous on topic $$ for end of year teacher gifts from PTO
that to me is a lot $75. what our pto does is send a letter home allowing parents to donation any amount they would like to teachers and staff, we have a form with everyone listed they mark who and how much and then we give the staff and teachers a certificate for that amount. PTO makes up any difference so that everyone gets at least $25 and the certificate is given as a gift from their class so it doesn't show what each family gave or if a family was unable to give. Staff and teachers can then use the certificate to get gift cards from our script program. Next year we are going to use a program called for the first time but it's were families donate on line and then teachers pick gift cards from the site (same as what we do now but less work for us :) )
10 years 11 months ago #163648 by Rose H
Hi everyone,
We had lots of great discussion about how much to spend on teacher appreciation. I thought it would be worth mentioning that we have a ton of stuff on the File Exchange ( and on our Clip Art Gallery ( that you can download and use for free.

I've been posting links on Facebook this week as well to Teacher Appreciation logos, gift tags and quotes that you can find on both the File Exchange and Clip Art Gallery. The Facebook posts and discussions are here:

Finally, we have had lots of excitement around our Teacher Appreciation Pinterest board. You can check that out here: It has lots of great crafty ideas that you could do for Teacher Appreciation on a low budget. Also, just this week we added a new Pinterest board of just Teacher Appreciation Quotes. The link for this new board is here:

Good luck with all your Teacher Appreciation efforts!

Rose C.
Community Manager
10 years 11 months ago #163620 by Rachel
I think that is definitely too much to spend on gifts. Our PTO philosophy is the majority of the money needs to benefit the students. At one school, we asked parents to donate items for themed gift baskets and we always had enough for gift baskets for every staff member. This year, at a 5th/6th grade school, we are making small gifts for all 70 staff members at less than .50/day (e.g. S'mores ingredients~"we appreciate you S'MORE & S'MORE each day," water bottle and crystal lite packet~"thanks for QUENCHING our students thirst for knowledge," one apple shaped frosted sugar cookie made by a PTO member, a dessert day, fortune cookies dipped in chocolate~"we're so FORTUNATE to have you," stop by the classroom with a beverage cart of sodas or water--non-alcoholic :) and of course a luncheon. Overall we will spend $400-$500 total. We also give $50.00 to spend on school supplies at the beginning of the year and serve 4 meals over conferences. But, the majority of our money goes to benefit the students. We also had a wish tree for the holidays and parents donated school supplies on the list, each teacher received a nice gift basket of needed supplies.
11 years 6 days ago #163518 by Maria
I can't remember my password or I would have shown my name as Maria.

Sarah said, "You're spoiling them. Most teachers are simple and would appreciate the small, thoughtful gifts and a luncheon." I'm surprised and can only think I'm reading that out of context. Considering the fact that most teachers wind up paying for so many supplies out of their OWN pockets, work a full 8 hour day at school and then go home to do lesson plans and homework I think $75 once a year is the LEAST we can do for them. Teachers in the US are grossly underpaid for the critical work they do. They are laying the groundwork for our children's future and are as influential in their lives as parents. Sometimes more so. These people spend more waking hours with our children than we do. It is important to support them and show appreciation.

Personally, I see this as an opportunity for community building - not bribery.

We don't have a budget for Teacher appreciation, but the parents pitch in to recognize their efforts. In December the HSA takes up a collection. Each family contributes what they see fit - some send $5 others send $100. There's no minimum requirement or expectation. The funds are then divided among ALL teachers, staff, principal, school nurse, custodian, PE teachers and after care providers and presented in the form of gift cards at the Christmas program. The value of each card ranges from $50 to $100 and is based on each persons role at the school. Parents are asked not to organize class gifts for Christmas and are instead encourage to participate in this collection. At the end of the year each Home Room Parent organizes a gift for the teachers, but under this system, ALL staff receive a gft and some form of recognition during the year.

In January we celebrate Teacher Appreciation week. Traditionally, the first grade families arrange for a weeks worth of little surprises such as nice hand lotion and soap in the staff restrooms, specialty coffees, fruit and baked goods in the break room, poems or prayers read by first graders during morning announcements and so on. All of this culminates with a luncheon prepared and served by the 6th grade parents. Nothing fancy, but it's always lovely and the teachers look forward to it.

Granted, we are a small PK-8 school with about 260 students and 35 or so staff members. It's easier to coordinate on this small scale. Volunteering at our school is a big part of its success. Not only do the children see their parents getting involved, but it allows us to get to know each other as well as the kids our children spend their days with.
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