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Dues or no dues?

12 years 1 month ago #151475 by dorothy
Replied by dorothy on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
i'm the president for our local PTA in Dallas and have the same issue as the post above. We've charged $5 for our dues for as long as anyone can remember. But because the state and national dues have gone up SO much in the past few years, we only get to keep a dollar of that! That's right...the state and national groups get $4 for every member. It's completely outrageous. 95% of our school population is on free lunch. So asking for more money is just not an option for us. If it wasn't for the extra fundraisers we're able to do throughout the year, we'd be working in the red. It's infuriating, and the only way to make a change is be a voting member in good standing. And how do you do that...by paying your dues!
As for the volunteering question...our school does not require it's volunteers to be members, so I'm not sure how charging dues or not would impact our volunteers.
12 years 1 month ago #151477 by Christine T
Replied by Christine T on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
This is the first year we have been a PTO. We were PTA for a very, very long time and we thought we would try something new.
We decided to charge dues because our PTO was in it's infancy which meant we were starting with a zero balance in our account.
We charged $8.00 per person plus we gave away the PTO gift bags, the Jump Start magazine and hershey bars which had labels with a message which said "we look forward to working with you this year, thank you for your support" then the names of all the PTO executive board members were also on the label.
Everyone loved the idea of "gifts" upon sign up. We have over 350 members and still counting plus we have added $2800 to our account.
We introduced ourselves to the parents, explained what we had planned for their dues and they were more than happy to contribute AND we had most parents also sign up for the "2 hour power" which has also been a success.
We definitely plan on having dues again next year at membership sign up.
12 years 1 month ago #151478 by Bulldog Mom, PTO Pres.
Replied by Bulldog Mom, PTO Pres. on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
We did a survey of the schools in the district, and found the dues our middle school requests were the lowest in the district. We increased the dues, and added a "gift". Now every family receives a school directory (that includes bell schedules, calendars, etc.) and a car magnet with our school's name.

We find at the middle school, involvement drops significantly, and this is sometimes the only contact we ever receive from some families.

I don't see it scaring anyone away from volunteering.
12 years 1 month ago #151479 by Cindy Johnson
Replied by Cindy Johnson on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
We eliminated collecting dues as of this year because we felt it better to welcome everyone into our HSA and not just the select few who would have paid to be in it. Instead, our HSA puts together a school directory which is professionally printed in booklet style and the artwork on the cover is in color. It's not inexpensive so we ask that each family who wishes to be included in the HSA school directory, provide us with a payment of $20 to cover the cost of printing. Any monies that are left over when the final printing bill is paid are dispursed throughout the HSA budget lines. Any family who is not included in the first printing of the HSA school directory gets an opportunity to come forth and be included a few weeks later. The actual officers and committee chairs of our HSA are published in the school directory and the HSA makes sure to thank everyone who supported the directory. Putting everyone on equal ground increases the chances of getting more people to step forward to contribute their time to an HSA function and eliminates the burden of having to pay dues. Down with paying dues; involvement is far more priceless.
12 years 1 month ago #151480 by Kelly G.
Replied by Kelly G. on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
No Dues! I believe that the volunteerism required for fundraising and supporting the PTO itself makes a strong example for our children. Not only are the children excited to see their parents at their school and at functions but it sends a strong message to them that school is important and that they are important. Paying dues is easy, but volunteering pays off! If parents had the option to just send in some money or pay dues and call it done then that would be the majority ( we are all so very busy ) but if we welcome them- with no monetary border- then not only are we building school spirit but we are telling our children with action how very important it is to go above and beyond. The quality of our connection with their school makes them happier children and better people.
12 years 1 month ago #151482 by Glynda Richter
Replied by Glynda Richter on topic Re:Dues or no dues?
Yes, Yes, Yes to Dues! Our PTO charges $10.00 annual dues per family. Our PTO members receive "membership benefits". We offer $2.00 off school tee-shirts, 10% off at book fairs and $2.00 of free carnival tickets. Last year our PTO dues were $5.00 and no benefits. Membership was 140 and brought in $700. This year our membership is 226 so far which has brough in $2,260. We used $3.00 from each membership to purchase a school mascott for our school. The dues help to kick start our year and both teachers and parents love their benefits esp. at book fairs. Without dues, it would be difficult to order tee-shirts and books for book fair.
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