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Dues or no dues?

12 years 1 month ago #151468 by Laura
Replied by Laura on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
I am really very sorry to see this article published and sent to PTOs across the country making them feel that they are wrong for charging $5. We all have opinions, but I think this one should have been kept.

No one knew who was a part of the PTO before we charged dues with the membership. No one knew who could vote. No olne knew who wanted to be included in emails. Therefore, the sam 5 people did everything and formed a closed group. "Everyone" is a member did not work. "Everyone" did not feel entitled to say "hey - what is going on? I want to do that..." Now, they fill out a membership form, idicated their interests and contact information, pay the dues and they are an official member that is equal to any other member. This nominal fee gives people the feeling they are part of an ACTIVE group of parents that want to work to improve the school. They have indicated their desire and have not been lumped in with parents that don't.

It is not about the money collected. It does get people involved. It does give the Board and Chairpersons a database to draw from and include. I could not be happier with the decision to charge this nominal fee.
12 years 1 month ago #151470 by Jewel
Replied by Jewel on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
For many schools, volunteerism and charging of dues are two distinctly different issues where one can have very little to do with the other.

Our local elementary school charges no dues but has a very active volunteer group and hughly successful fundraisers. Our high school charges dues and struggles to get volunteers. Their PTO budget from fundraisersis about 1/3 of the elementary school despite having more than twice the students. Other schools may have just the opposite situation.

One thing is clear -- no one format works for every school.
12 years 1 month ago #151471 by L Lloyd
Replied by L Lloyd on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
When I came on board as the new president, I proposed that we not charge dues. After all, our PTO meetings are part of general assemblies so everyone should be considered members. I was told, though, that membership dues were required for our PTO to qualify for 501c3 status. Is that true?
Thanks!
12 years 1 month ago #151472 by pta prez
Replied by pta prez on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
My main issue with the dues in California, is that a large portion of them go to the State and District PTA organizations. As a result, there is a HUGE push to have the individual PTAs hold 'membership drives', etc., which seem to hold little benefit other than to provide funding to the state organization. As a result, we receive glossy posters, glossy publications, glossy brochures... If we could channel those expensive publications back into advocacy and policy changes, imagine what we could accomplish.
I don't have a problem with supporting the State PTA, but it seems dishonest to make it seem that it's all about the local level.
12 years 1 month ago #151473 by Jewel
Replied by Jewel on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
Google "501c3 rules" and click on the IRS link. There's nothing in the description about requiring dues to qualify.
12 years 1 month ago #151474 by Deb from Dublin, Ohio
Replied by Deb from Dublin, Ohio on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
We have a Membership drive. This process helps the treasury grow at the beginning of the school year. We have a form with suggested amounts, but they can really give any amount or do not give an amount at all. Some parents in our district don't mind writing the check because that 's their way of volunteering. They may not have the time to do anything else. They can also use their check as a tax reciept as a donation to a non profit PTO. Remember that giving money is also a way of volunteering & we should not be ashamed to at least ask. You will be surprised at the amounts of donations, wether it's a business or private, and all you had to do is ask.( use a: form, letter, email, or phone call)

This process should be looked upon as a positive & not a negative.
It's a win - win for all.

Deb from Dublin, Ohio
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