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Out of Ideas to Motivate People

19 years 7 months ago #111378 by library mom
Replied by library mom on topic RE: Out of Ideas to Motivate People
I love your ideas! Please send me all the information that you have.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you,
19 years 7 months ago #111377 by Denise Ryland
Replied by Denise Ryland on topic RE: Out of Ideas to Motivate People
HockeyMom,I can understand your frustrations. I am a first time PTO president for a public school with an enrollment of 496.

We sponsor several fundraisers a year and sometimes struggle to get volunteers to cover the basics. When I took office in May of 2004, I decided one of my goals would be to increase parent involvement during the 04-05 school year. Here are a few things that I have done:

1) I sent home a parent survey last May, asking parents various questions relating to fundraising events, volunteering etc.
2) I planned all my events (including fundraisers, meetings, non-fundraising activities) out during the summer months, so that when school started in August I could send home a brochure that included tentative dates for parents to mark their calanders. This brochuse also included the information about becoming a PTO member.
3) I sent home a parent volunteer sheet/family data sheet. The volunteer part listed all fundraisers and non-fundraising events that would require parential help. I not only included PTO events but events sponsored by other groups (4-H, Beta Club, Student Council etc) and events sponsored by the school. Now, we know ahead of time how many parents are willing to donate their time and how many we need to recruit for each event.
4) I planned some new "fun"raisers for this year, that did not involve any parent help. I have done all the work myself (actually, they have required very little work) and have generated an extra $1500+ for this year.
5) I planned our November meeting to be a Thanksgiving Pot Luck Dinner. We had about 25 people attend rather than the usual 4.
6) I have also planned a Doughnuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom for early Jan/Feb next year. This event will be free to PTO members, thanking them for their involvement.
7) Another idea that works well, is to do a gift card (such as to WalMart) drawing. At our mini olympics event last year, every student that got an adult to volunteer for 30 minutes recieved a chance to win one of 6 gift cards. Our involvement increased by at least 30%.

If anyone would like a copy of any of the forms/brochures that I have used, please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Make sure the subject is marked as PTO request. I check my emails more often than I get a chance to visit this site.
19 years 7 months ago #111376 by Debbieomi
WOW HockeyMom!
My jaw dropped when you responded with your numbers or rather lack of numbers.
Maybe it's time to look at your agenda of activities. If you can do only one fundraiser a year and raise xx amount of $, then you only sponsor programs/events/etc. that the profits can cover.
I don't know what your plans are for each year and what your money is spent on, but you can't stress yourself out doing it all.
How are parents asked to volunteer?
If it's by note sent home with students, maybe it's time to give each parent a personal phone call. Or vice versa.
Have all your volunteer opportunities listed and ask folks directly, for example, to spend 1 hour from 9-10 a.m. on xyz date to man the refreshment table at the Winter Festival.
These posts from people with such problems make me thank God that we have such great people supporting our PTA. Our issues seem really small.
Hope this helps even a bit. Good luck.
19 years 7 months ago #111375 by HockeyMomto2
We asked for volunteers from all parents in the school, and only received four responses from board members.

I know. We only have three fundraisers during the year because we are a small Catholic school, and don't want to be asking too much financially from people. So, we really needed them to do well (or at least on budget) to cover the programs we would like to offer.
19 years 7 months ago #111374 by Debbieomi
Do you only use volunteers that are members of your group? We use all parents who sign up at the beginning of the school year at the school. We are just launching our Three for Me program, so we hope to have lots more.
Don't feel disappointed by the turn out of your dance. Our movie night last year had almost 200 people attending, this year, less than 50. We didn't have free pizza this year and the movie wasn't a new release (Finding Nemo a week after release)We'll still do it again.
Our group's philosophy is that if we can't get enough people to handle some of our programs/events, outside of only board members, and things can't get done right...then we don't do it. It's better to have just a few well done events then a whole slew of crappy things.
Remember these 5 little words...IT'S OK TO SAY NO!
19 years 7 months ago #111373 by HockeyMomto2
Hi Everyone! I have spent a long time lurking here, and have only posted a few times, and I am really in need of advice and moral support.

My problem is I am president of a usually well organized PTG. We have a large board. (15 members on the agenda) But, due to a poor response to two of our fundraisers, we are $3000 under our budgeted profit. (We used last year's numbers to estimate our profit.) To make matters worse, our board is experiencing such burn-out. I know that I can't rely on 15 people to carry the load, but we don't have any other volunteers. When I try to shoulder more of the burden by myself, my VP tells me to "Just let it fall. Let people see it fail, and that they need to help." But that only hurts the students.

She also gets annoyed that I am doing too much on my own when it comes to executing a fund-raiser, but when I ask for volunteers to set up chairs, buy paper goods, and buy all the food supplies, no one responds. I feel like I HAVE to do it myself or it won't get done. Now, in my defense, we all plan the fundraiser together at our board meetings, and we all agree to do the work together, but when the event comes it seems like everyone goes into hiding. I make the phone calls that set up is going to be at 7:00, and my husband and I are the only people there.

What else can I do?

Oh, I have also tried having a free dance for our entire school hosted by our PTG, and only 30 people showed up. We advertised for weeks, planned activities, and only 30 people showed up. (Remember 15 people have board positions.) * sigh *

[ 12-08-2004, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: HockeyMomto2 ]
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