Finance & Budget Archive

Your group can't do its great work without strong financial policies and a sound budget. Whether you're the PTO or PTA treasurer or a member concerned about protecting funds, you'll find tons of ideas and help on money management in the articles below. Yes, we even cover PTO and PTA embezzlement. Find more helpful tools and info on the Finance & Budget resources page.

  • Video Blog: Transparency in PTOs & PTAs

  • Video Blog: No Group Is Immune to Embezzlement

    No one likes to talk about embezzlement from PTOs or PTAs, but the reality is that no group is immune to theft. The good news is,  it is easily preventable. Watch Tim's video blog this week to learn how to protect your group.
  • Trend Watch: Bailing Out Enrichment Programs

    As school budget cuts go deeper, parent groups work harder to save student programs.
  • School Volunteers Sued. Ouch.

    Another reason groups need parent group insurance.
  • Mass. Town’s PTOs Face Stronger Financial Controls After Thefts

    Police charged four women in January with embezzling more than $55,000 from four PTOs in New Bedford, Mass. In response, the New Bedford School Committee enacted rules that require more oversight of parent group finances.
  • How Has the Economy Affected Your Group?

    A sampling of responses from PTO Today’s fall 2008 survey of 1,100 parent groups.
  • Economy Blues: Survey Results

    Results from our fall 2008 fundraising survey of 1,125 leaders on how the economy has affected parent groups.
  • Two Fundraising News Updates

    Two quickies that will be of great interest if you're affected and not so much interest if you are not.
  • PTA to PTO switch in Utah

    Quick story from Utah on a PTA-to-PTO switch. The reasons given are fairly standard: feeling that dollars going out don't match value and a bit of a mis-fit with PTA politics.  The non-standard part is the state.  Utah remains the highest % PTA state in the country (by far).
  • Varsity Gold update

    I got a note from the folks from Varsity Gold (there's been a lot of back-and-forth on our message boards about their recent Chapter 11 filing) with an update and some answers from the Varsity Gold perspective.  Will be up to you and your members how you feel about these developments.
  • Varsity Gold Shuts Doors

    Looks like Varsity Gold won't make it out of banruptcy.  We're hearing that their recent Chapter 11 filing (which implies a re-organization) has been switched to a Chapter 7 filing (liquidation). I'm sure there are a lot of good people looking for work today, and I'm hoping that not too many groups are owed $$ from Varsity Gold.  Best wishes to all.
  • Some people... ugh! PTO sued for tricky tray malfunctions.

    There's a special, very warm place for someone who would sue the PTO because the raffle wasn't run to the letter of the law.
  • 10 Years for PTO Embezzle

    Wow -- this is the harshest sentence we've seen yet for a PTO or PTA embezzle case.  This Arkansas treasurer convicted of taking $23,000 (and that's just what they can prove).
  • That's going to be some playground!

    Congrats to this PTA mom from Maryland who's up for a statewide parent involvement honor.  Her achievement?  Securing a $300,000 grant for a new handicapped-accessible playground for her school.  Sounds like it's going to be amazing.
  • Another parent group theft story, big one

    This time the stealing from the PTA was done by a couple! Ugh. When the parents at Erdenheim Elementary School in Erdenheim, PA, decided to switch from a PTA to PTO an audit was done and numbers just weren't adding up... to the tune of $17,000! Ouch. Unfortunately, this group learned the hard way about the importance of fiscal controls in PTOs and PTAs.
  • National PTA Stats Updated

    The annual national PTA convention, which ends today in Florida, is always a good marker for tracking financial performance of the well-known national non-profit for past year.
  • Fun Services Still Kickin'

    On the business side of the PTO world, a couple of us from PTO Today had a great meeting last week with the folks from Rhode Island Novelty and Fun Services.   Nice guys, and very interesting company.  We got a tour of a ha-uge (very huge) warehouse filled with every kind of carnival prize and plastic snake and stuffed animal you can imagine.  My kids = very jealous.
  • What should PTO & PTA Groups Pay for?

    Came across this interesting article about how one school board is saying no to using extra funds to hire teachers. What it boils down to is one school fundraised enough money to offset the costs of cultural events, field trips, technology and more. As a result, the principal was able to use operating expenses to fund a technology teacher.
  • Parent Group Embezzlements

    Every school year we read about new cases of embezzlement from parent groups. Sadly, in this case it's a principal that is at the center of the alleged theft of PTO funds. Ugh.  Hate to hear these stories, especially when they are preventable.
  • Pre-Pay Fundraiser or Post-Pay Fundraiser?

    This is always a big discussion on our message boards and in our PTO Today community, mainly because the differences are so stark.  I recently received an email about this topic from an expert that brought a fundamental new concern into the debate.  I’ll explain below.