Tim's Tips Archive

PTO Today founder and publisher Tim Sullivan has been writing about important issues for parent groups since the first issue of the magazine was published. You can find all of his columns below. Our email newsletter includes a weekly tip from Tim, and Tim is also a frequent contributor to the PTO Today Blog and our Message Boards. Find highlights and featured columns on the Tim’s Tips resources page.

  • Escaping the Guilt Trap

    There's a better way to get parents involved than guilting them into it.
  • Do You Really Want Help?

    Often it's easier to just do things yourself. But for the long-term health of your group, your time can be better spent.
  • Put Meetings in Perspective

    Parents have limited time to devote to volunteering. Should you ask them to spend it attending meetings?
  • Make Peace With the Principal

    Even if you're at odds over certain issues, it's important to find common ground with the principal.
  • Fundraising Makes It Happen

    Fundraising shouldn't be your group's main focus. But fundraising the right way can make a significant difference in how well you're able to fulfill your mission.
  • It's Always Sharing Season

    Almost a decade of connecting parent group leaders has shown the ever-present interest in learning from each other.
  • The One-Hour Pledge

    You'll get a lot more people to volunteer if they know there's a limit to their commitment.
  • No PTO Left Behind

    While education fads come and go, parent groups still concentrate on the time-tested elements that enhance learning and community.
  • The Truth About Cliques

    If people say your group is a clique, it is. In this case, perception matters.
  • "Just a PTO"? Say It Isn't So!

    Don't downplay the work you do. Parent groups play an important role in helping students and teachers succeed.
  • 7 Steps To Grow Involvement

    Use the approach to parent involvement taken by the most successful parent groups. These resolutions will change how you think about attracting members and volunteers.