PTO Startup Toolkit

Our comprehensive startup guide walks you through all the essential steps you need to take to organize your group successfully! The PTO Startup Toolkit outlines best practices for organizing a typical PTO, from creating a shared vision and writing bylaws to setting up a budget and working with school staff. The PTO Startup Toolkit also includes samples and templates so you can get to the real work of your group sooner.

Did you know that PTO Today Plus members get all our toolkits as part of their membership? If you’re a Plus member, you can download the complete PTO Startup Toolkit right now. To learn more about Plus and all the benefits of membership, including access to all eight of our expert guides (retail value $332), visit

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After your purchase is complete, you’ll receive instructions on how to download the toolkit.


Chapter 1: Getting Started
How This Toolkit Is Organized
A Note About Switching From PTA to PTO
When To Seek Professional Help
Should We Go for It?

Chapter 2: How To Create a Mission Statement
A Simple Exercise

Chapter 3: Your Bylaws
Bylaws, Section by Section
Final Steps

Chapter 4: Financial First Steps
Signing the Checks
Opening a Bank Account
Smart Financial Controls
Next Steps: Licenses, permits, and insurance

Chapter 5: Budget Basics
Previous Financial Activity
Deposits Made (Income)
Payments Made (Expenses)
Balancing the Budget

Chapter 6: How To Work With School Staff
The Principal
Administrative Staff
Support Staff
Custodial Staff
Staff Appreciation Days

Chapter 7: Build a Strong Executive Board
Get To Know Each Other
Develop a Shared Vision
Set Ground Rules
Meet Regularly
Put Your Plan Into Action

Appendix A: Are You Covered?
Do We Really Need Insurance?
Which Policies Should We Purchase?
The PTO Today Plus Advantage

Also included:

  • Mission Statement Samples
  • Complete Sample Bylaws
  • Sample IRS Conflict of Interest Policy
  • “Robert’s Rules for Beginners” Handout
  • Standing Rules Template
  • Budget Sample


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